Review: Flash Gordon #2
Holllllllllllld on tight, cuz JEFF PARKER (Batman ’66, Aquaman), EVAN SHANER (Adventures Of Superman) & JORDIE BELLAIRE (Moon Knight) are coming right at you with FLASH GORDON, THE MAN FROM EARTH! As Flash’s heroic reputation grows across the cosmos, his fantastic talents are tested by the Beast Men Of The Outer Lands Of Arboria!
Flash Gordon is back and brash as ever in the second issue of his new series from Dynamite. The story is written by Jeff Parker with art by Evan Shaner. Jordie Bellaire handles colors with Simon Bowland tackling lettering. Flash’s first issue was out of this world, but how does the second installment fare?
Flash, Dale, and Zarkov have bluffed their way into the Arborian’s begrudgingly good gracious thanks to their lie about being ‘royal historians’ for the Ming Empire. The people of Arboria aren’t fans of their ruler on Mongo, but they take the royal historians in and show them around the planet and introduce them to their customs. Of course Flash takes like a fish to water when it comes to the Arborian athletic endeavors. In fact he’s something of an insufferable showoff. Even though Flash is something of a jerk, he does have a strong moral code and he hates to see people (and aliens) suffering. That’s why things take a rather interesting turn when Prince Barin shows off the one industry Aboria is allowed to have. What horrors are housed in Aboria’s one industrial complex? How spectacularly will Flash blow his cover?
Parker writes a fantastic issue. Parker has a great handle on Flash, as arrogant and unapologetically awesome as he is, but the writer is also able to balance out the rest of the cast with fully-formed characters that actually have something to do and important things to say. It’s a well-rounded story with some spectacular sci-fi flourishes. Parker really found everyone’s voices early on, so that makes for some highly enjoyable reading with no real period of adjustment which almost every new series goes through. Shaner’s art is top notch as well. The characters and landscapes are presented well and the action scenes are of cinematic proportions. Shaner really makes Flash likeable with the way he carries and presents himself. Flash could just as easily be a jerk you hate, but he’s kind of a loveable almost-oaf. Bellaire, as I have said countless times, is the best colorist in the business. There’s not much more to be said that I haven’t said already. The colors give the book a really neat retro/comic book strip feel that just makes the entire experience all the more enjoyable.
Bottom Line: Flash Gordon is two for two when it comes to great comics. Parker and company click right out of the gate, so it’s just nonstop fun each and every panel. 4.5/5
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