Flash Gordon: Kings Cross
Collection: #1-5 © 2017
Publisher: Dynamite Comics © 2017
Written by: Jeff Parker & Jesse Hamm
Drawn by: Jesse Hamm
Colored by: Grace Allison
Lettered by: Simon Bowland
Cover by: Roger Langridge
Collection design by: Cathleen Heard
Packaged & Edited by: Nate Cosby
Flash Gordon’s sworn nemesis Ming the Merciless swears to take over Earth again, by bringing his world of Mongo here to us, and his has daughter Aura to help. Meanwhile, Flash Gordon is joined by countless other characters such as The Phantom, Mandrake the Magician, Jungle Jim and Prince Valiant to help save the day in this pulpy adventure.
Parker and Hamm begin the story with a lot of fun, with plenty of humor and do a terrific job of casting the world in this pulpy yet timeless setting. You have the old school radios, but Mandrake’s house is something of a beach front mansion with a Lamborghini out front like an episode of Miami Vice. Seeing the Phantom as two characters with one woman and one black was certainly intriguing and diverse. Personally, I am a fan of pulp but quickly the story takes a turn for staleness. The first action scenes throughout the collection like with The Phantom and Flash Gordon are great, but in time grow into very routine and subpar moments. The two main things holding the story down is the overabundance of characters that feel more like just props and hardly characters at all or even plot devices. Our second issue is the overall wordiness and talkative nature throughout the trade. Countless time we have exposition central talking about the item needed to do so forth and save the day. It is mentioned so many times and in such a dry manner you have no idea what the characters are truly talking about, nor care but know it is important.
I would dare say original pulp comics offer better art than Hamm here. Once in a while he has a good close-up of characters with the cross-hatching and decent detail on their faces. Hamm is able to blend a pop art with pulp design but fails in execution. Elsewhere, if the character is let alone a foot deep into the panel all details are foregone and replaced with basic frowns and dot eyes. In other panels characters appear very flat. Great page spreads are non-existent and very few pages ever wow you.
Not a terrible read or hard read, but a very boring one that feels like a cheap Saturday morning cartoon. It ends in a most un-climatic way and leaves you hungry to read the original pulp comics of past instead.
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