The GeeksverseFlash Gordon: Zeitgeist #1

Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #1
Published on Thursday, December 1, 2011 by

Published by: Dynamite Entertainment
Written by: Eric Trautmann
Art by: Daniel Indro
Colored by: Slamet Mujiono
Lettered by: Simon Bowland
Cover Art: A- Alex Ross; B- Paul Renaud; C- Francesco Francavilla; D- Wagner Reis
Editor: Joseph Rybandt

Everyone knows the story of Flash Gordon. Adventurer crash lands on Mongo with a scientist and ladyfriend and they fight to overthrow Ming The Merciless. Everyone knows that story. Dynamite is now trying to give us a new and modern retelling of that story.

This is the same ol’ Flash story but with some new twists and turns and the last page is an interesting one.

Sometimes covers can reveal too much and this one definately does. Hitler features promienantly on the covers and as soon as Ming says he has a proxy on Earth, it’s pretty obvious who that is. So the last page reveal doesn’t carry the big shock that it should have.

Which is a shame because it could have been a nice impact.

But basically what the last couple of pages end up giving us are two story threads. We’ll get Flash on Mongo, and the aliens on Earth. That’s a bit different then we’re used to with Flash Gordon, especially since Vulkor and Kimjo usually end up as Flash’s allies.

Trautmann’s story is decent. He does a great job of setting the mood in the first few pages. He does good showing Ming as the bored ruler of everything. Even the sycophantic mutterings of his harem are nicely done. The double page spread showing Ming’s attack on Earth is very nice. It definately has the feel of the old time movie reels in the theatres. I can hear the “Flash!” in my head as reading it. Very nicely laid out.

The introduction of Flash isn’t as strong though. It’s just kind of thrown at us. There’s no set-up to him or Dale. It could have been anyone piloting the plane, but it ends up being Flash because it has to be. What I mean is, storywise, there’s nothing that makes sense for him to be there at that particular time. Why him? Why did he get chosen to fly Dale to find Dr. Zarkov? Why was Dale chosen? If Zarkov was that important to the President, why weren’t more people dispatched to get him?

It doesn’t make any sense and comes across as very forced. These three need to get to Mongo together, so the story forces them together. It doesn’t flow and doesn’t read well.

Indro’s art is nicely detailed. He’s got some interesting layouts that help the story get a crazy edge to it. The style for Mongo and the look of the tech is very interesting. It’s got an almost scary feel to it. Sharp and merciless looking. The tubes and such coming out of the harem girl look painful. And Zarkov looks extremely crazy.

He really helps pull the whole thing together.

Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #1 receives
3.5 out of 5

An interesting beginning and change-up to the mythos, but the overly forced set-up detracts from the story.

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