By Jeff Parker, Evan Shaner & Jordie Bellaire
No prerequisite is required to enjoy Parker’s vision of the Flash Gordon universe. Dale Arden, Flash and Dr. Zarkov have similar traits and personalities that appeal to both long time fans and new readers to worlds of Flash Gordon. Parker, Shaner and Bellaire are firing on all cylinders to create a fun and exciting adventure for these classic characters.
The issue opens with Dale, Flash and Zarkov as guests of Prince Barin on the planet Arboria. Under the guise of royal historians, the trio are introduced to a couple of Arborian pastimes. This sequence establishes the competitive dynamic between Flash and Prince Barin. Barin’s compulsion to one-up Flash is fun and entertaining. Zarkov manages to get the trio on board a convoy on route to a factory of the planet’s sole industry. During the trip and at the destination, shocking revelations are made by both the heroic trio and Prince Barin. All of the excitement in this issue builds up to a great last page cliffhanger and exciting momentum for the start of the third issue.
So far, the familiar worlds and characters are respectfully depicted and nicely personalized by Parker. There are some small changes made to the characters. Dale seems to be a more well-rounded character than the female characters of the serials of the past. Dale has a background in both journalism and science which is evident in her actions and dialogue. Flash is more than a competitive athlete, he displays compassion that at times fuels his rush to action. Zarkov seems to have a knack for espionage, playing the drunk as an advantage to advance his own opportunity. Parker is working at a fast pace to get the characters from one point to another and building the cast in the process. By doing so, he has crafted a fun, action packed exciting two issues in the Flash Gordon reboot.
Evan Shaner and Jordie Bellaire give the familiar vision of Flash Gordon a modern and animated look. The pencils and colors are crisp and clean so that the art matches the aesthetics of the script. The interiors of Arborian woodlands are beautifully detailed. Lush greens and detailed trees bring the landscape to life. The distinctive and subtle features that are consistent throughout add a visual definition to the characters.The light pencils and inks create a classic sci-fi art style that helps enhance the excitement and overall tone of the book. Shaner and Bellaire’s simple yet beautiful art contributes to the fun and excitement of Parker’s script.
Parker’s respect for the source material as well as his unique tweaks to the characters are the ingredients that makes this book both fun and exciting. Shaner and Bellaire are perfect synch with the script and pace. Based on the classic story, this new Flash Gordon title is a fun filled book that is sure to please all fans of adventure.