Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Booknote: Flash Gordon Omnibus

 Jeff Parker,, Flash Gordon Omnibus. Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment, 2015. ISBN: 9781606905999.

Genre: comics and graphic novels
Subgenre: superheroes, adventure, retro
Format: e-book galley
Source: Provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This feels a lot like the classic Flash Gordon comics, so if you remember those, you will probably enjoy this newer series as well as it captures the essence of that. If the only Flash Gordon  you know is from that one movie with the Queen soundtrack, then forget that and read this. Don't get me wrong, the film has a special place in my heart due to nostalgia, but the comic is better. I also remember watching some reruns of the old show, so all those memories come into play here. This was a fun volume to read. Flash Gordon may be a bit of a misfit on Earth. Back there, he is the son of a rich man who can't seem to find his direction in life. He gets involved with Dr. Zarkov and Dale Arden, a reporter, and they end up on Planet Mongo. It is here where Flash seems to find his direction and fate. Mongo is ruled by the ruthless Ming the Merciless. Ming controls various colonies such as Arboria and Sky City. The colonies are oppressed, and they are in need of someone to inspire them to rebellion? Could Flash Gordon be that man?

The comic is a light read. It combines a good amount of action with some sprinkling of humor. This is what action adventure is about. In these comics, Flash is portrayed as very capable; he certainly is very fit physically, can do great feats of strength, and is a serious swordmaster. However, he is also very impulsive and rash. He needs someone to keep him in focus. As the series progresses, he does begin to find a sense of direction and seeks to do what is right. So, we have a tale of a man finding his talent filled with adventure in an alien world. Add to this art that is colorful and has a feel for the classic comics, even if Flash Gordon is modernized for our time, and you get a fun volume to read.

This is definitely a good addition for libraries with graphic novel collections. I am sure it will be a good one for public libraries. If your library happened to have old tapes or DVDs of the classic show,  you could display and advertise them along with this graphic novel. For readers who have never read or heard of Flash Gordon, this is a good entry point. If you have read or watched the show or film, then this comic will take you back. Want to get your swashbuckling fix? Flash Gordon has you covered.

The volume picks up the complete 8 issue run of the Flash Gordon comics from Dynamite Entertainment plus two more issues: the Flash Gordon 2014 Holiday Special and the Flash Gordon 2014 Annual. You also get some bonus stories from Planet Mongo and a cover gallery. So overall, it is a pretty good value for readers.

I really liked this one, so I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

This book qualifies for the following 2015 Reading Challenges:

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