Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon
Flash Gordon.png
Artwork for the cover of King: Flash Gordon #1 (January 2015 Dynamite Entertainment). Art by Ron Salas.
Publication information
PublisherKing Features Syndicate
First appearanceJanuary 7, 1934 (comic strip)
Created byAlex Raymond
In-story information
Team affiliationsDale Arden (love interest),
Dr. Hans Zarkov (scientist)
Defenders of the Earth

Flash Gordon is the hero of a space opera adventure comic strip created by and originally drawn by Alex Raymond.[1] First published January 7, 1934, the strip was inspired by, and created to compete with, the already established Buck Rogers adventure strip.[2][3][4]

The Flash Gordon comic strip has been translated into a wide variety of media, including motion pictures, television, and animated series. The latest version, a Flash Gordon television series, appeared on the Syfy channel in the United States in 2007–2008.


The first Flash Gordon comic strip (1934).

The Buck Rogers comic strip had been commercially very successful, spawning novelizations and children's toys,[5] and King Features Syndicate decided to create their own science fiction comic strip to compete with it.[2] At first King Features tried to purchase the rights to the John Carter of Mars stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The syndicate was unable, however, to reach an agreement with Burroughs.[6] King Features then turned to Alex Raymond, one of their staff artists, to create the story.[3][5]

One source for Flash Gordon was the Philip Wylie novel When Worlds Collide (1933). The themes of an approaching planet threatening the Earth, and an athletic hero, his girlfriend, and a scientist traveling to the new planet by rocket, were adapted by Raymond for the initial storyline.[7] Raymond's first samples were dismissed for not containing enough action sequences. Raymond reworked the story and sent it back to the syndicate, who accepted it. Raymond was partnered with ghostwriter Don Moore, an experienced editor and writer.[5] Raymond's first Flash Gordon story appeared in January 1934, alongside Jungle Jim. The Flash Gordon strip was well received by newspaper readers, becoming one of the most popular American comic strips of the 1930s.[2][3][5]

As with Buck Rogers, the success of Flash Gordon resulted in numerous licensed products being sold, including pop-up books, Coloring books, and toy spaceships and rayguns.[8]

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