The exiled Prince Barin is pitting Flash and Thun the Lion Man in a fight to the death as the renegades on Earth kick some Nazi butt. Though even while Ming prepares to marry Dale, there are those that are plotting his demise from various dark corners. Ming has crushed many under his boot heel while ascending to his throne, and many would like to see him fall just as soon and just as hard.
This issue really steps up the entire plot, and Trautmann gives us plenty of awesome moments along the way. This is an improvement, because for the past couple of issues Flash has seemed like more of a background character in his own title. Trautmann rectifies that here by reassuring us that Flash is the title character for a reason. From the fight with Thun to rallying forces to rise up against Ming, it’s clear that the build up was well worth it. Trautmann does stick to a lot of the original story of Flash Gordon, though he’s able to go deeper with the characters which is making for a richer story. As someone who has read many of the original Flash Gordon strips, it’s still nice that there are surprises with this story. Might I add that seeing Hitler cower before Klytus was something that put a smile on this reader’s face.
The art has been very good since the series began, but for some reason Daniel Indro decided to go beyond that, because this issue looks fantastic! The opening with Flash and Thun about to throw down was some great storytelling. Then to see the battle actually played out over several panels was even better. His landscapes and settings still capture the essence of what Raymond began all those years ago, and look just as exotic and new as they did back then. It’s also a bit refreshing that colorist Slamet Mujiono didn’t make Ming and the rest of the Highborn a very bright yellow/gold, but found a shade a little easier on the eyes.
This creative team has done nothing but justice with Alex Raymond’s creation, and I’m sure he’d be proud of what is transpiring in these pages. They didn’t try to modernize the story, or go so far off the beaten path and lose what made this character and his adventures worth reading about. They respected the source material, infused some new elements, gave us richer characters, but most importantly, they kept it fun!