Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Flash Gordon Invasion Of The Red Sword #1
Deneen & Garcia
Flash Gordon returns with the second arc from Ardden penned by the same writer (Deneen) as the first but with a new artist (Garcia replacing Green). The opening issue offers a bit of a change of pace from the first arc in the first few pages but delivers a lot of action and opens up a bunch of subplots by the issue’s end. As with the previous arc, this issue also dips into the rich history of the character very well and manages to have a strong hold on the character’s voices. There is a lot to like in here and the best part is you don’t need to know the character or have read the first arc to jump right into this issue. This should not be missed.
With Ming gone, Flash and friends are stuck with a couple of dilemmas. The planet still has quite a few races that need to find common ground and learn to live and rule together in peace. This issue delivers a lot of tension in that area but manages to keep the victory over Ming in the foreground. Their real enemy is gone so why shouldn’t they get along?
The folks from Earth: Flash, Dale and Zarkov, still need to get themselves home. Contrary to popular belief Flash is not the next ruler of Mongo and he seems to have no desire to stick around. But sometimes adventure just finds Flash and before this issue ends Flash is submerged in a brand new set of problems that should keep him on Mongo a little while longer even if an escape route back to Earth is discovered.
As far as the plot goes there are a couple happening here. Flash and company discovers that the universal language translator isn’t working anymore. With so many different races involved in tension filled situations this communication breakdown could be disastrous. Flash takes matters into his own hands.
While this going on, unbeknownst to Flash and friends, the Red Sword has arrived on Mongo from Earth with evil intentions. The Red Sword isn’t taking prisoners.
The construction of the issue reminds me of something out of Indiana Jones. The book opens with some action, seemingly with little setup, but then has a lull where a lot the background becomes clear and then the issue launches into action as problem after problem hits the main characters. It’s an exciting and fun read. Deneen nails the characters and manages to put forth a comprehensive issue while still leaving plenty set up for future issues. This is a great floor plan on how to kick off a series.
Garcia’s art plays off the story well. Garcia takes the action sequences to another level. His art is big and loud. He shows his gentle side with his amazing depiction of Dale. In some ways she may be too delicate though. As if the toughness was sacrificed to show her beauty. It’s a fine line but I did struggle at times with the framing of Dale, hot as she appears I think I like her tougher. But Flash Gordon at its heart is a science fiction story and Garcia knocks this aspect out of the park.
Flash Gordon is back with a bang. This is a comic book that pays homage to its roots while elevating the character to new heights. I can’t imagine a fan of science fiction, action, adventure or the character being disappointed with this issue. When this hits stores I definitely recommend tracking down a copy then sitting back and enjoying some old school fun.
4.5 out of 5 geek goggles