Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Flash Gordon #4
Deneen & Green
Another great installment of Flash Gordon handles a ton of characters in this issue. We get some more of the political landscape mapped out for us and we get some action to boot. What we are seeing here is that alliances are being formed and relationships are being tested. It’s a dense comic with a lot going on in it.
The issue opens with Ming’s campaign in Frigia as Ming challenges the ruler, Fria. Prince Barin is fighting on Fria’s side and in the middle of the battle he is informed that his girlfriend, Ming’s daughter, Aura, is alive. Barin has his full focus on rushing off to her, much to the dismay of Fria.
Upon the discovery of the true identity of their prisoner, the Lion Men decided not to make Flash and Aura fight Thun in the arena. In the process, Flash’s bravery shows the Lions just how dumb their pride has made them act. They seem to find themselves aligned with Flash. Though I’m not sure the level of trust is there yet.
The element of the issue that seems to be on steroids is that of the relationship between Ming and Dale. They are getting close, very close. However, by the issue’s end we see the seeds of doubt in Dale’s mind growing at a substantial rate. It felt a little rushed but on the other hand how could she have fallen for him in the first place? Ming is certainly a charmer but he’s quite ugly.
The back half of the issue sets up the action for the coming issues as Flash and the Lion Men begin their infiltration into the prison city where they think Zarkov has aligned himself with Vultan. Something tells me this is not as straightforward as it seems. We also get a new player in the mix: Panther Men.
This issue is seriously packed with plot and character interaction. You have Aura seeming to fall for Flash, you have the Lion Men seeming to want to follow Flash and you have Ming screwing things up with Dale. The character that is probably the most important to come out of this issue is Fria. She has a very powerful personality and she is one of the few rulers that still holds her land.
The artwork is tremendous. Every single page is filled with images, backgrounds and storytelling visuals. Even something as simply as Thun, Flash and Aura sitting in the ship’s cockpit tells more than what is in the dialogue. This is not the kind of comic you devour in three minutes to be sure.
This series is quickly becoming one of the top reads as each issue adds more and more to the larger tapestry. It’s not the usual “Part 1 of X” comics but it captures all the elements of the build up within an arc and it uses the cliffhanger to get from issue to issue. This issue also started using footnotes to help marry up past events from previous issues. It’s a very comprehensive read. I can’t recommend this series enough.
4 out of 5 geek goggles