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Review: Flash Gordon #1

Writer Jeff Parker is at it again. Dragging readers into a book I really did not think I would like (how old a property is Flash Gordon?) and almost immediately I am adding to my pull list.

Flash Gordon #1 is a fast, furious and fun romp through the future that has more than a little pulp feel to it, and that is most certainly a good thing. Free of the angst and anger of modern comics, we enjoy Flash and Dale Arden as they go wormholing it through the dimensions associated with the planet Mongo. And there is no secret agenda for Ming. He is refreshingly honest about his intent, and does not wait for the typical last page “big reveal.” There he is, big as you please, right on Page 11.

Also along the way, we get the low-down on Flash and his history with his dad (MORE daddy issues?), his relationship with Dale and also some Mongo background. Even blue aliens and some very UN-pulp actions by Dale!

Artist Evan Shaner does a wonderful job with the art. Clean lines, no murky shadows and vivid action and space scenes that make me hunger for such art in other titles. Jordie Bellaire adds much with a clean color palette, vivid colors matching the enthusiasm of the art.

I do not know what Parker has planned for the future of this title, but it looks like it is gonna be a fun ride. And cosmic!

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Brew’s Crew: Flash Gordon


Star of comic strips, comic books, radio, film and television, space hero Flash Gordon has been one of the most publicized heroes this side of Tarzan. And yet, I am willing to bet over half the readers eyeing this column do not have any idea about his background.

Since Dynamite Entertainment will soon be celebrating Flash’s 80th anniversary with a new ongoing series, as told in CBN’s exclusive interview with writer Jeff Parker, let’s learn the cosmic crusader’s origins together!

Flash Gordon was the hero of a sci-fi adventure comic strip originally drawn by Alex Raymond. First published January 7, 1934, the strip was inspired by and created to compete with the already established Buck Rogers strip. Also inspired by these series were comics such as Dash Dixon (1935 to 1939) by H.T. Elmo and Larry Antoinette and Don Dixon and the Hidden Empire (1935 to 1941) by Carl Pfeufer and Bob Moore.

The Flash Gordon comic strip has been translated into a wide variety of media. A print comic book series by Brendan Deneen and Paul Green and published by Ardden Entertainment debuted in 2008, with the first arc entitled “The Mercy Wars.” These were followed by further storylines.

The comic strip follows the adventures of Flash Gordon, a handsome polo player and Yale University graduate, and his companions Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov. The story begins with Earth bombarded by fiery meteors. Dr. Zarkov invents a rocket ship to locate their place of origin in outer space. Half mad, he kidnaps Flash and Dale, whose plane has crashed in the area, and the three travel to the planet Mongo, where they discover the meteors are weapons devised by Ming the Merciless, evil ruler of Mongo.

For many years, the three companions have adventures on Mongo, traveling to the forest kingdom of Arboria, ruled by Prince Barin; the ice kingdom of Frigia, ruled by Queen Fria; the jungle kingdom of Tropica, ruled by Queen Desira; the undersea kingdom of the Shark Men, ruled by King Kala; and the flying city of the Hawkmen, ruled by Prince Vultan. They are joined in several early adventures by Prince Thun of the Lion Men.

Eventually, Ming is overthrown and Mongo is ruled by a council of leaders led by Barin. Flash and friends return to Earth and have some adventures before returning to Mongo and crashing in the kingdomof Tropica, before reuniting with Barin and others.

Flash and his friends would travel to other worlds and frequently return to Mongo, where Barin, married to Ming’s daughter Princess Aura, has established a peaceful rule (except for frequent revolts led by Ming or by one of his many descendants).

The long story of the Skorpii War takes Flash to other star systems, using starships that are faster than light.

Dynamite’s Flash Gordon #1 hits stores in April!

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Exclusive: Jeff Parker celebrates 80 years of Flash Gordon in new book


On the advent of his 80th birthday, pulp science fiction hero Flash Gordon will be zooming from the pages of Kings Watch to his own ongoing comic.

To discover the details behind this move by comic book publisher Dynamite Entertainment, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer exclusively caught the first spaceship to Mongo to talk with the writer of the new book, coming in April, Jeff Parker.

Cosmic Book News: Jeff, how exciting does it feel to be putting out a book on sci-fi hero Flash Gordon on the advent of his 80th birthday — AND Dynamite’s 10th anniversary?

Jeff Parker: It’s pretty great, what a perfect confluence of landmarks. It’s all really coming together.

CBN: Jeff, as a writer, where do you begin to search for your inspiration for such a story as Flash Gordon #1? Old comics, the early movie serials, the lampoon movie or elsewhere?

Jeff Parker: I’m not even sure, I feel like I’m synthesizing all of it then picking my favorite bits and filling in with whatever my subconscious gives up. Except for the SyFy series, that didn’t look so good to me. 


CBN: And Jeff Parker got attached to this august project in what way?

Jeff Parker: Nate Cosby asked me once he joined Dynamite, without knowing that I’ve had an idea for how to handle Flash lodged in the back of my head for years. 

CBN: What can you tell us about the awesome story that will return the Man from Earth to comics?

Jeff Parker: It picks up right out of Kings Watch, which will make sense at the end of KW #5. But if you begin only with Flash Gordon #1, you won’t be lost, his time on Mongo begins right then.

CBN: Who of Flash’s old cast will we see? Any new supporting characters or droids?

Jeff Parker: Well of course he pulled Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov along. At first we’re going to see Prince Barin, of Arboria. And a lion fellow.

CBN: I know it might seem incredible, but for those who are unfamiliar with this hero tell us a little bit about your interpretation of Flash Gordon. How is Jeff Parker’s Flash unique?

Jeff Parker: Going back to the idea lodged in my head — my take is essentially that Flash is a jack of all-trades rich boy adventurer who almost doesn’t fit in on Earth. He’s a champ at archaic sports like polo and fencing, and excels at mountain climbing, swimming …anything that you can’t make much of a career at, Flash is the master of. It drives his father nuts, because he wanted Flash to take over his role in Gordon Enterprises. 

But once Flash gets to Mongo, suddenly he is THE MAN. Every territory is made for him, riding monster steeds with an energy-charged sword, that is what he was born to do! And his reputation precedes him fast — and enrages Ming. 


CBN: When readers get through with this first issue of Flash Gordon, they should feel … what? 

Jeff Parker: Tired and exhilarated. 

CBN: How long into the arc will it take for Ming to rear his ugly head?

Jeff Parker: About five pages!

CBN: What does artist Evan Shaner bring to the table?

Jeff Parker: EVERYTHING! Everything about Evan’s art and what he likes to draw fits and drives this story. It is going to be one of the purest embraces of the comics medium you’ll see this year. With Evan’s first sketch of Flash, he absolutely nailed him. You love the character immediately. His sense of design is perfect for it. 

Our Flash is a really positive guy, he loves these wild experiences. To show a character that way and be convincing is harder than it looks, and Evan does it very naturally. Typically the approach is to go darker and more serious when doing a new version, but I feel it’s done to death, and it doesn’t work for every book. The danger in this book is serious enough, and our hero stands out because of it. 

CBN: Jeff, any other projects present or future would you like to discuss?

Jeff Parker: Well, when you order this, you should probably also have it put in a file with Aquaman and Batman ’66, just saying.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Jeff Parker for answering our questions during his busy schedule. We would also like to thank Dynamite’s Nick Barrucci who helped make this interview possible.

“Flash Gordon” #1 hits stores in April!

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Review: Kings Watch #2

It is hard to top some of the classic team-ups Spidey had in Marvel Team-up in its heyday, but Dynamite Entertainment is giving it a go with its mini-series, Kings Watch.

This week, issue #2 hit the stands as always-fun scribe Jeff Parker takes the three primaries (legendary heroes Flash Gordon, the Phantom and Mandrake the Magician – wow!) through their paces in a common, modern world.

Seems that someone is trying to open a portal to another reality and all signs point to Africa where Lothar and the Phantom have both encountered nightmarish creatures. And speaking of nightmares, seems there is a global epidemic of dreamscape monster mash going on as strange fire shows are hitting the skies around the planet.

Enter Mandrake and Flash (ahh-ahhh), who are heading right for the heart of the matter and discover that the strange doings indeed have something to do with a stone carving in Tanzania called Ka’teh K’mor, “the Kings Watch.” Not a royal time piece, according to the Phantom’s info, but something “… a demon lord spies on us all through …”

Mandrake has a plan. Unfortunately, so does a person who has one of two keys that will open the Ka’teh K’mor: the villainous Cobra!

This second issue really builds well off the first for this one-of-a-kind team-up Parker is bringing us, and the fun that he is experiencing writing it literally can be felt from page to page of this pulp-pounding comic.

Marc Laming’s visuals have a great modern appeal but do not miss that subtle salute to the old pulp world that makes each of these three proponents so intriguing and long-lasting. Besides Flash looking just a tad more Clutch Cargo-ish than I would like, the art flows freely and has some great action scenes and panel arrangements. It carries Parker’s story well.

I cannot wait for more of Kings Watch. If you pick up #2, neither will you!

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Geoff Johns Leaves Aquaman


With DC Comics releasing their December 2013 solicits we have word of another creative change; this time with Geoff Johns leaving Aquaman.

Earlier it became known that Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato are off The Flash.

The December solicits reveal Jeff Parker as the new writer beginning with Aquaman #26; Paul Pelletier will remain as the series artist.

Geoff Johns confirmed the news on Twitter, mentioning that his last issue will be November’s Aquaman #25, and that an announcement about his next project will be coming soon.

“It was not an easy decision to make, but I will conclude my run on AQUAMAN with issue 25! Thank you all for making Arthur and Mera into the A-List heroes they are — they wouldn’t have risen up the ranks without you, Ivan [Reis], Joe Prado and my other amazing collaborators on the King of the Seven Seas. We still have big plans for Aq and Mera in Justice League along with Orm and Black Manta, who will soon be fighting side-by-side w/Captain Cold in Forever Evil. Thank you again for reading and believing that Aquaman is more than a guy who talks to fish — he is all that, plus one of the most regal, powerful heroes in the DC Universe.

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Your Alternative Comics Beat For July 8th, 2013: Batman ’66

Alt Beat With Kenneth Porter


I know I’m going against the grain by picking not only a Big Two book for this column, but also a Batman title. If you give me a chance to explain I think we can avoid any stone throwing or harsh language. Since the debut of Tim Burton’s Batman the world has viewed the caped crusader as the dark knight instead of a fun, pulp character. My first exposure to the Adam West Batman was in the film version of the TV show.

I thought it was hilarious, very fun, and a whimsical take on Batman that I had never seen.


I grew up on the Tim Burton films and Batman: The Animated Series. When I discovered the TV version of the character I didn’t react like many people my age did. I’ve literally heard people call it embarrassing and ridiculous. The same might be said about Nolan’s films by an audience in the future. Back then the whole idea of costumed crime fighting was light and fun pulp stories. Now the trend is to make things as dark as possible, even when it has no right being there.

What makes Batman ’66 so special is the blend between the fun and goofy TV show and post-modern comic book storytelling. The comic was written by Jeff Parker with art and colors by Jonathan Case, and it really pops. Both the writing and the artwork are incredible. I feel like I’m watching an episode of the TV show but with a much higher budget. They never could have had Batman launch from the batmobile and fight it out with the Riddler on a bi-plane in the TV show.


If they did it wouldn’t have looked this impressive.

I really need to focus on the art here. Parker writes a thrilling story, but Case delivers on the art front in a way I’ve never seen before. It mixes pop sensibilities of the 60’s with a use of color that makes it unique on the digital shelves.

So why is it an Alt-Beat you ask?

Because this is a version of Batman many of you might not be familiar with. It’s a look back to what Batman used to mean to a whole different generation. It shows off just how versatile the character is and how he can flourish in any decade and context. Throw your caution to the wind and try this digital title on for size.


Will the readers warm up to Batman ’66?

Can Alt-Beat columnist Ken Porter stave off the rampaging post-modern Batman fans?

Will he find something just as fun to talk about next week?

Tune in to Cosmic Book News and the Alt-Beat column again! Same Cosmic time, same Cosmic channel!

Ken Porter also writes comic books with his latest being “Ink Ribbon” from Visionary Comics. Ken was also the winner of this year’s Top Cow Talent Search contest.

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Exclusive: Parker, Laming bring Flash Gordon, Mandrake and the Phantom together for new adventure


Three of the biggest names of the pulp comics world – Flash Gordon, the Phantom and Mandrake the Magician – return in September in a new series from Dynamite Entertainment called Kings Watch, by writer Jeff Parker and artist Marc Laming.

After making his way through the jungle, out of Earth orbit and into a mystic realm, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer exclusively pulled up a conjurer’s cone next to the scribe to ask about this strange team-up.

Cosmic Book News: So, Jeff, how did this gig come about? Was it something you initially pitched or a project you were approached about by Dynamite?

Jeff Parker: Approached by editor Nate Cosby. He’s worked with me on book launches before at Marvel (like X-Men First Class, Agents of Atlas) so we team well on stuff like this. He figured I was probably into these characters, and I certainly was. 

CBN: Who is/are the “king” in Kings Watch?

Jeff Parker: That is actually a revelation that makes the story really interesting so I’m not going to spoil it!


CBN: Tell us a little about your own past experiences with these three diverse heroes? Maybe the inspirations for your interpretations of the characters?

Jeff Parker: Like a lot of kids I read Phantom in my newspaper, still being written by his creator (and Mandrake’s) Lee Falk. I was always on the lookout for Flash Gordon stories because PBS had shown the Buster Crabbe serials and I loved them. I’m still fond of the 1980 movie too. My favorite material is Alex Raymond’s original stories, and then anything with him that Al Williamson drew. 

CBN: Flash Gordon, The Phantom, and Mandrake are such different types of heroes from different types of environments. Will they indeed come together, and in what environment? Flash of the Jungle? (laughs)

Jeff Parker: They do come together, and they really mix it up. But yes, think how many alien jungles you’ve seen Flash in, it’s well in his wheelhouse. But this story gets very global and the three go all over to fight what’s happening as it goes on. 


CBN: Can you describe a little of what will be happening in this unique team-up?

Jeff Parker: The catalyst for a lot of chaos in the story is the Mandrake villain, The Cobra. He’s discovered something that could change the entire world and has no moral reservations with going through with it. Mandrake has been off the radar for a while and doesn’t plan to do any more adventuring, but then he’s the first to understand what’s at stake. 

CBN: How about the art of Marc Laming? Have you two worked together before?

Jeff Parker: We never have, but I hope to change that from here out. Marc was already great, his work on The Activity and Exile on the Planet of the Apes is excellent, but I swear he must be going for an Eisner or something, he’s blowing the doors off this thing with each new page. And just a pleasure to work with, he actually tolerates my crazy descriptions. He does his work mostly digital, but I’m trying to convince him to do some on paper because I know a lot of people would love to own pages from this. 


CBN: Is there any literature or other genre outside of comics that may influence this tale? With Flash Gordon involved, how much of this will be science fiction-oriented?

Jeff Parker: Almost purely pulp- sci fi, mystery and adventure. It’s a kind of sci-fi that is inclusive of a lot of other genre. Really Flash is always more over to the side of science-fantasy, after all. 

CBN: Besides The Cobra, can you tell us anything else about the foe(s) your protagonists will be facing?

Jeff Parker: There are a lot of big freaky monsters, spies and murderous cult types. And special threats to be revealed halfway through. 

CBN: Before we wrap, Jeff, I just wanted to say what a big fan of your Exiles work at Marvel I am. I certainly wish that iteration of the series had continued.


Jeff Parker: Hey thanks! We had a good time on that book, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

CBN: Finally, any projects current or future you would like to discuss?

Jeff Parker: We’re only about a week away from the digital launch of Batman 66, so I hope readers will come to comiXology or the DC site [for that]. I have a feeling this is going to launch big, a lot of people have waited a long time for this version of Batman and Robin to return. Fantastic art by Jonathan Case with The Riddler and Catwoman kicking the series off. 

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Jeff Parker for answering our questions and also Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci and Keith Davidsen who helped make this interview possible.

“Kings Watch” #1 hits in September!

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Iron Man 3 & Audi Team Up For Interactive Comic Book Contest

Marvel Studios, Marvel Comics and Audi have teamed up for a new promotion for Iron Man 3 that centers around an interactive digial comic book contest, “Steer The Story.”

You can actually become a co-creator of a comic book where you decide Iron Man’s fate and craft the final chapter.

And all participants who submit a final panel will be acknowledged in the final page!

CBN Marvel favorite editor Bill Rosemann will be a judge, with the story that sees Iron Man taking on the Blizzard written by Jeff Parker with Manual Garcia on the art.

More details below and head on over to for more. You will see a “Chapter 1” link on the top middle of the page to check out the comic.




Press Release

Audi and Marvel have teamed up to give fans a thrilling interactive comic book experience with the launch of the Iron Man “Steer The Story” comic book contest. The crowd-sourced digital comic book gives Audi and Iron Man 3 fans the opportunity to become a co-creator of the final panel of the comic book as well as direct Iron Man’s fate and help decide the outcome of his adventure.

Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and editors Jeanine Schaefer and Bill Rosemann will serve as the contest judges for the final component of the contest, which gives consumers the chance to create their very own final frame to Tony Stark’s adventure by drawing or photographing their submission.  Additionally, all participants who submit a creative final panel will be acknowledged in the final page. The final US-based winning submission will have the opportunity to win an original art board signed by Marvel artists and a trip to Comic Con in San Diego for an art review by a top Marvel editor.

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SDCC 2012: Parker’s Hulk Re-Named To Red She-Hulk; Announced At Marvel Next Big Thing Panel


Earlier Marvel held their “Next Big Thing Panel” at the SDCC where it was announced that Jeff Parker’s Hulk would be re-named to and star Red She-Hulk with #58.

No other really big news coming out of the Panel other than that, but you can check out the recap below.

The artists on Red She-Hulk will be Carlo Pagulayan and Wellinton Alves.

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Review: Hulk #29



Writer: Jeff Parker

Artist: Gabriel Hardman

Colorists: Elizabeth Breitweiser with Jim Charalampidis

Letterer: Ed Dukeshire

Cover: Ed McGuinness & Steve Firchow

Back-Up: “Things Best Left Unseen Part II”

Writer: Jeff Parker

Artist: Ben Oliver

Colorist: Frank Martin

Letterer: Ed Dukeshire

Editor: Mark Pannicia

Publisher: Marvel

Release Date: February 2nd, 2011


*Warning: Spoilers*


Hulk #29 sees the finale to M.O.D.O.K.’s “Scorched Earth” protocols – and it’s a Rulk fanboy’s dream come true!

I’m not sure, but Marvel may actually be reading the reviews and message boards in regards to what fan’s think. Can it really be?

Without giving too much away, we know that General Ross is not the Rulk he used to be. Last issue, saw Ross sent in to find out what happened to to Rick “A-Bomb” Jones (love this character). However, Ross has been having, shall we say, peformance issues! Ok. Ok. Ross has been having trouble changing into his heated alter-ego — so Banner, as good ol’ Green Skin, is forced to make the save.

This issue is full of twists, so much so that they never stop. Kid you not, as even the back-up featuring the female Watcher takes us for a doozy. Kudos to the team behind these quality back-ups in both Hulk titles as they actually have something to do with the main story.

As to be expected from a Hulk title, a lot of pounding takes place, but don’t let that all that brawn mistake you for no brains. This issue is full of them! While that statment may not pertain to Ross (I thought the fly-boys were supposed to be the smart ones in the military), it does to Banner who shows off his experience dealing with the emotional battlefield that comes with being the Hulk. Just who is the General?

Gabriel Hardman’s art is perfect for this title. When it was announced that McGuinness was returning, I wondered what was to become of our current Hulk artist. No worries as we see Hardman is doing Hulk 30.1 and then is back on with #31. Actually, McGuinness returning to #30 is a big clue as to what happens in this issue. Sorry, no spoilers!

Back to Hulk #29; one of my big gripes with the first few issues of Parker’s run was the lack of Rulk-worthy villains. Sure, we saw Thor and Iron Man pound the crud out of the Red Skinned Goliath; however, now Ross has joined them to take on the Hood and his Infinity Gauntlet over in Bendis’ Avengers (sorry, JRJR can’t draw Rulk). Plus, Iron Man and Thor are not villains – or at least Thor isn’t! Well, that is all about to change as this issue gives us TWO arch-enemies to counter the Incredible Rulk. One of those villains was featured in a huge Marvel marketing blitz; one I wasn’t too thrilled about. That changed after reading this issue. To be honest, it almost reminded me of a Dalek (Who fan here!) – and that is a great thing. I like this rendering better than the previous versions or related entities. Very cold and calculating. The other villain was previously mentioned and is the “doozy” (see above).

Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman excel at balancing the physical features, that are required of this title, with the intellectual aspects that are necessary to counter all that Hulk smashing – and vice-versa. Parker and Hardman give us a nicely wrapped conclusion (with a big red Rulk-sized bow and all!), not only tieing everything together from the start of their run, but from events preceding – and also events not yet taken place.

Looking forward to what is to come!

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Marvel Announces Ed McGuinness returns to HULK!



Press Release

Ed McGuinness returns to HULK!

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at HULK #30, as superstar artist Ed McGuinness returns to the book he helped create and joins red hot writer Jeff Parker for the gamma-irradiated team-up you never thought you’d see! That’s right, the Green Goliath and the rampaging Red Hulk must put aside their differences to take on a threat so massive it’ll take the both of them to put a stop to it. The Earth will shake as the COMPOUND HULK makes its shocking debut!

“Thanks to his amazing run with Jeph Loeb, Ed’s become THE definitive Hulk artist of our time,” said Senior Editor Mark Paniccia. “HULK #30 is pure McGuinness madness, introducing new characters that are bound to be instant classics, and some Hulk villains that fans have been frothing for. All this and the Impossible Man, too.” 

Prepare for an action-packed, gamma-fueled beat down that only the combined might of two Hulks can deliver in HULK #30, on sale this February!

HULK #30 (DEC100576)

Written by JEFF PARKER

Pencils and Cover by ED McGUINNESS


FOC 1/24/11, On-Sale 2/16/11

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