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Flash Gordon: The Tyrant of Mongo: The Complete Flash Gordon Library 1937-41

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  • Posted December 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Looks Futuristic Even Today

    Flash Gor­don: The Tyrant of Mongo: The Com­plete Flash Gor­don Library 1937–1941 by Alex Ray­mond and Don Moore is a cof­fee table book fea­tur­ing Sun­day strips of the famous hero. This hard cover book col­lects 4 years of comic strip to bring an excit­ing story to a new audience.

    Flash Gor­don: The Tyrant of Mongo: The Com­plete Flash Gor­don Library 1937–1941 by Alex Ray­mond and Don Moore is an out­stand­ing book which will intro­duce new read­ers to the won­der­ful art of Alex Ray­mond, drawn to the excit­ing story of Don Moore. For those who are famil­iar with the art and story, the for­mat would make the book eas­ier to read and the clear and clean pages make the images jump up much bet­ter than the cheap Sun­day newspaper.

    Ray­mond and Moore cre­ated worlds which even today look unique and futur­is­tic. The build­ings and out­fits are fun, out­ra­geous and cre­ative – they scream sci­ence fic­tion in every panel and adven­ture on every page. Before being immersed in sto­ries of future escapades, comic book writer Doug Mur­ray (who is also a Flash Gor­don his­to­rian) writes an infor­ma­tive essay

    Flash Gor­don is one of the most influ­en­tial char­ac­ters in the hero genre, the comics inspired movies, TV shows and other shows, like Star Trek, which would become influ­en­tial in their own right.

    The char­ac­ters are the old famil­iar friends, Flash Gor­don, Dale Arden and of course Hans Zarkov and are fleshed out fairly well. The story takes place mostly on the planet Mongo, com­plete with light filled cities to tree towns, ice caves to under­ground tun­nels – sounds famil­iar?
    You’ve prob­a­bly seen those on cur­rent shows and / or movies but keep in mind the dates these strips were writ­ten in and you can see why this is con­sid­ered an influ­en­tial work.

    While for me the art­work is the star of this book, Moore’s sto­ries (5 in all) cer­tainly dis­play the grandeur and epic for which he was going for. It is amaz­ing that Moore and Ray­mond could tell such mag­nif­i­cent space soap-operas in short strips pub­lished in the Sun­day fun­nies over months (if not years). I can spend hours on each page, dissecting the pan­els and find­ing some­thing new each time.

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