Alex Raymond, Author, Alex Raymond, Illustrator . Checker $19.95 (200p) ISBN 978-0-9741664-6-9

Outstanding art overcomes weak scripts in this sci-fi classic, which started in 1934 as a rival to the extremely popular Buck Rogers. The story begins as three Earthlings—muscular Flash, beautiful Dale and brilliant Dr. Zarkov—are dropped on the alien planet Mongo, ruled by Emperor Ming the Merciless. Much swashbuckling hugger-mugger ensues, as Flash, Dale and Zarkov bounce from one realm to another, from one crisis to the next. Uncredited writer Don Moore relies on melodramatic conventions to keep things moving: handsome but humorless Flash is irresistible to any alien queen he meets; Ming is a standard, creepy Yellow Peril villain; Dale alternates between simpering and pouting. Nevertheless, Raymond's wonderful brushed ink illustrations bring the characters to life. His work recalls the tradition of magazine illustrators such as Joseph Clement Coll and J. Allen St. John, and is superbly composed and executed. The notion of Flash wrestling with a monstrous "constrictosaurus" while chained to the wall of a dungeon is a cliché, but Reynolds's rendering makes the silly beast appear menacing. His Dale is more attractive than irritating. Even Ming looks wily enough to be convincingly dangerous. The terrific art makes ignoring the slapdash writing worthwhile. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 10/04/2004
Release date: 12/01/2004
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-9741664-3-8
Hardcover - 100 pages - 978-1-933160-25-2
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Hardcover - 80 pages - 978-1-933160-20-7
Hardcover - 88 pages - 978-1-933160-26-9
Hardcover - 88 pages - 978-1-933160-27-6
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