As one of the youngest living fans of pulp heroes, Stanley Moore of Los Angeles, CA, is right in the prime demographic for Dynamite Entertainment's stable of comics based on popular Golden Age characters, so when we received a press release from Dynamite announcing a relaunched Flash Gordon series by current Flash Gordon scribe Jeff Parker, artist Evan "Doc" Shaner, and colorist Jordie Bellaire, we couldn't wait to tell him about it.
"The Fresh Prince of Bel Air?!" shouted an annoyed Stanley after we rang him up on his Jitterbug smartphone. "I'm not into that newfangled hip hop crap."
We explained to Stanley that we weren't talking about The Fresh Prince, which is over two decades old and can hardly be considered newfangled in any case, but telling him the Jordie Bellaire, who works on Image Comics' Pretty Deadly, will be handling the colors for the book. Moving on before Stanley could say anything about "the coloreds," we informed him of Jeff Parker's promise that the new series would feature "over-the-planet high action and adventure where Flash's spirit and optimism are as powerful as anything the forces of Ming the Merciless can dish out."
"The doctor started me on some new medication for that," explained Stanley. We attempted to convince him that we hadn't said "gout," but Stanley had already launched into a description of the more than thirty-five different types of medication he takes each day for a variety of painful conditions, and he wasn't going to stop on our account. We waited him out, and then told Stanley about the variant covers being produced by the likes of Gabriel Hardman, Jonathan Case, Declan Shalvey, and Marc Laming. Stephen Mooney will provide a special 80th anniversary cover in an old timey style, while Ken Haeser will produce a "Lil' Flash" variant.
"The Moonies?!" cried an upset Stanley, believing we were talking not about artist Stephen Mooney, but the disciples of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. "They're comin' in through the windows! Where's my shotgun?!"
Saddened that Stanley's dementia appears to be worsening, but somewhat relieved that he had only made comments of a religiously offensive nature instead of racist, sexist, or homophobic ones, we decided to call this article a wash and roll the press release while we contact the orderlies at Stanley's nursing home and have him sedated. Enjoy:
FLASH GORDON #1 Continues the Thrilling Adventures of Sci-Fi Icon, Courtesy of Jeff Parker, Evan Shaner, and Jordie Bellaire
January 20, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite proudly announces that writer Jeff Parker (Batman '66) will continue the science fiction thrills of a science fiction legend in Flash Gordon #1, a new ongoing series illustrated by Evan "Doc" Shaner (Deadpool) and featuring the colors of Jordie Bellaire (Pretty Deadly). Slated to debut in April 2014, Flash Gordon marks the 80th anniversary of the fictional icon, follows Parker's critically acclaimed Kings Watch miniseries, and includes beloved cast members Dale Arden, Dr. Hans Zarkov, and the infamous Ming the Merciless.
"Dynamite and editor Nate Cosby have put together the dream team for Flash Gordon, and I'm the lucky writer who gets to work with them," says Jeff Parker. "We're bringing Flash back for a new audience. It's over-the-planet high action and adventure where Flash's spirit and optimism are as powerful as anything the forces of Ming the Merciless can dish out. We also have some of my favorite artists contributing covers - make no mistake, this book is going to absolutely kill!"
The new Flash Gordon series places the ultimate sci-fi hero on the bizarre planet Mongo, where his thirst for thrills and danger makes him the perfect weapon against world-breaking Ming the Merciless and his awful inter-planetary swarms of terror. Can the cocksure Man From Earth funnel his overconfidence into saving worlds, or will the universe fall to Ming?
Dynamite has assembled a team of three highly respected creators for the new Flash Gordon series, individuals whose recent comics work has made their names instantly recognizable to fans. Writer Jeff Parker's recent successes at DC Comics - including Aquaman and the retro-chic Batman '66, follow his many years as a contributor to Marvel titles including Agents of Atlas, X-Men: First Class, and Hulk. Evan "Doc" Shaner will bring his kinetic visual style seen in Deadpool and Ghostbusters to the Flash Gordon project, just as Jordie Bellaire will bring the coloring flair she's known for on such titles as Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel, and The Rocketeer.
Flash Gordon #1 will feature a wide selection of cover variants, presented by some of comics' most talented artists: Gabriel Hardman, Jonathan Case, Declan Shalvey, and Marc Laming. Stephen Mooney provides a special 80th Anniversary Cover, illustrated to capture an aesthetic of the bygone golden era, while Ken Haeser provides a cute Subscription-Only Variant Cover of "Li'l Flash", intended as a reward for dedicated fans who preorder with their local comic shop retailers. A Blank Authentix Cover will be created for the first issue, featuring blank white space on the cover perfect for convention artist commissions or the creative whims of the do-it-yourself fan.
Comic shop retailers are invited to create store-specific cover editions, as well:
Dynamite has designed a "Death to Ming" propaganda-style cover as a Retailer Exclusive Variant Cover, available for retailers to order through Diamond Comics (Item Code FEB141156). Numerous retailers can share the "Death to Ming" artwork, but have personalized store names built into the front cover design.
Dynamite also welcomes the opportunity to develop unique Retailer Exclusive Variant Covers featuring artwork not available anywhere else.
Flash Gordon #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' February Previews catalog, the premiere source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release on April 9, 2014. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Flash Gordon #1 with their local comic book retailers. Flash Gordon will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.