20th Jul2013

‘Flash Gordon: The Complete Library Vol.1&2′ Book Review

by Phil Wheat

Writer: Don Moore | Artist: Alex Raymond | Published by Titan Books | Format: Hardback, 208pp

Everyone knows Flash Gordon–the most iconic science fiction swashbuckler ever to burst forth from the newspaper pages. His adventures wielded so much energy that they inspired everyone who followed, no matter what the medium. Filmmaker George Lucas famously revealed, “Growing up in California, I was enchanted by two things…race cars and Flash Gordon. The first love I put to use in American Graffiti, the second eventually turned into Star Wars.”

Flash-Gordon-cover

FLASH GORDON: ON THE PLANET MONGO (Sundays 1934 – 1937)

The first volume in Titan Books’ The Complete Flash Gordon Library, Flash Gordon: On the Planet Mongo gathers together the early adventures of the pulp hero, starting with the very first comic strip in 1934 and continuing through all of illustrator Alex Raymond’s now-legendary Sunday strips up until 1937, all brilliantly restored in a huge hardcover tome.

Introducing the  heroics of Flash Gordon, the beauty of Dale Arden, the evil of Ming the Merciless, and the exotic setting of the distant planet Mongo, Flash Gordon: On the Planet Mongo is a reflection on a different time – when men were men, the future was a bold and exciting new frontier and comic strips were the backbone of newspapers.

FLASH GORDON: THE TYRANT OF MONGO (Sundays 1937 – 1941)

Continuing the comprehensive library of the greatest science fiction hero of all time, this brand new collection continues the adventures of pulp hero Flash Gordon on the planet Mongo and his ongoing battles with the deadly and heartless Ming the Merciless.

Having reviewed the first volume in Titan Books’ The Complete Flash Gordon Library, I was eager to get my hands on the next volume which picks up where the last book left off – this time featuring the Sunday newspaper strips from 1937 to 1941. Once again digitally restored and remastered by Pete Maresca, Flash Gordon: The Tyrant of Mongo is a testament to the work of Raymond and his skills as a storyteller – the kind of book that will not only please sci-fi and comic fans, but also fans of great storytelling.

Comics have come a long way since these early newsprint days, but without illustrators like Alex Raymond and characters like Flash Gordon I’m sure we wouldn’t have the superheroes we have today…
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Both volumes of Flash Gordon: The Complete Library are out now from Titan Books.

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