Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Flash Gordon #3
Deneen & Green
Another solid installment in the Flash Gordon reboot. We get some new characters added to the mix and some interesting plots begin to hatch. The comic doesn’t waste any time establishing situations and pushing the character’s personalities into those situations, which creates a fast moving, but tension filled comic. It’s been a great read and things look like they will continue to accelerate in the coming issues.
The issue begins by checking in with each of the three Earthlings and what they are up to. All three aren’t in the best of positions, whether they are in immediate physical harm or just potential danger.
The bulk of the issue deals with Flash and his new “friend”, Eldun. They are being held by the Lion creatures and their stand-in leader, Prince Thun. Flash and Eldun grow together in this issue, which is important to establish some sort of respect. Otherwise it wouldn’t make sense that Eldun would stick with Flash and not just strike out on her own. Flash, makes nice with Eldun, but Flash angers his captor and his people. This sets up the death match and a potential problem for Flash and Eldun.
The secondary threads deal with Zarkov and Dale on separate fronts. Dale and Ming begin to bond. On a tour of the city they get to know each other and it seems that Dale makes quite an impression on Ming. The obvious development here is that Dale is going to get mixed up with the bad guys, but she is going to fall in love with him? Or him with her?
Zarkov, is being held captive, but he is also in a tough spot. Prince Vultan seems to be a slave and wants the help of the scientist to free his people. Threats seem to work best for Vultan and things don’t look good for Zarkov. Does this open things up for an alliance or is this going to create grudges and enemies? We’ll see.
The issue is great. We move from scene to scene and don’t spend any panels on wasted dialogue or meaningless filler. Each page and interaction provides some character evolvement and some set up for the next scene. It gives the comic a natural flowing feeling. Each scene has some specific purpose. For example, you could question some of the actions of Thun. Why wouldn’t he just kill Flash and Eldun for their attitudes, but the ending provides some insight into why he most likely didn’t. It’s a good technique to lead the reader down one road and have them pulled in a different direction at the end.
I enjoyed the art tremendously. I’ve seen where some compare it to Manga, but I would disagree. The art has a deep contrast in its light and dark tones. The overly jagged facial features do provide a Manga style, but the comic has heavy emphasis on facial close-ups that remove much of the hard angles. The coloring is really what drives the tone though. It’s a style that is very conducive to science fiction.
The one comment I would make about the direction of the art is use of Flash’s signature close-up. The one where he has one brow burred up and his head slightly cocked is used up to five times in one sequence and four more times in another. I just feel like he has a much wider array of expressions he puts out there that might suit a given scene. It’s very minor, but worth noting in a near perfect comic.
Flash Gordon now has established a solid core cast to mix in the politics of the planet. We have interesting characters, civil war and distrust and espionage running amuck. It’s the start of a terrific series. I can’t wait for the next issue and it isn’t too late to jump on board with this excellent story.
5 out of 5 geek goggles