Review: Flash Gordon #1

I’ve been giving the pulp genre a little more of my time in recent months. And basically all of the comics in that genre come from Dynamite. I’m really enjoying Green Hornet. Mark Waid really created something entertaining between the pages of that book. I even read Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist. I thought that that was pretty cool at first, but I lost interest fast. I’ve even been reading The Shadow books from time to time. I’m proud of myself. But when I heard that there was yet another Flash Gordon series, I wasn’t excited. Plus, I’ve never really read anything from Jeff Parker. It’s not that I’m not a fan, because I’ve never really given him a chance… but if any of his other work even closely resembles Flash Gordon #1, I’m going to stay the heck away. I didn’t have any idea what I was reading here. It didn’t feel like a Flash Gordon book, it didn’t feel like it was part of the pulp genre, it wasn’t funny, and where did Flash get this attitude all of a sudden? Is this supposed to be some kind of unofficial origin story that makes him seem more human, so we can relate better? He’s Flash Gordon, we aren’t supposed to relate. This guy is vastly superior to any other human that I’ve ever met. This will be short. So we open with Flash bungying off of a bridge. He’s apparently XXX in this new series. He has fans and a disappointed father who wants him to make something of himself. That really isn’t the best combination. Bad decisions usually follow in the life of someone like that. But now, a year later, Flash and two others are frantically trying to get back to Earth by flying through one portal after the other. Well they don’t end up on Earth, and thus our story begins.

Flash01-Cov-LamingThe script seems to be all over the place. As I mentioned, there is a time-jump. Unfortunately, there is no explanation of how our heroes get to their current predicament. I’m sure that it will be explained later. Maybe someone will fill me in on it later. Maybe after this first arc finishes up and this book finds out what it wants to be, I’ll give it another shot.

The art was the best thing about it, except for the fact that a lot of comics, even mainstream ones, are following in the idea that simplification works. Am I the only person that’s noticed that a large portion of current comics kinda look the same? I’m not saying that it was easier to draw this stuff, don’t misunderstand, but it is very cartoony, if that makes sense. Just compare current art to what it was in the nineties. Art was a lot more descriptive. A lot of the time, I feel like I’m reading the Sunday funny papers. Evan Shaner does do a good job though. I liked the look of it, no matter how familiar it was.

I hope that everyone reading this review gives this book a chance regardless of how much I didn’t like it. I would love to hear some feedback. Get in touch with me on Twitter. Tell me why I was wrong and you’re right. Or just tell me how much you agree with me. Whatever. I love a good discussion based on comic book quality.

Score: 2/5

Writer: Jeff Parker Artist: Evan Shaner Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/9/14 Format: Ongoing – Print/Digital