The Complete Flash Gordon Library - The Fall of Ming (Vol. 3) Hardcover – 24 May 2013
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"This was my first experience with Flash Gordon, but it has left me hungry for more. I NEED to get the other volumes in this series. And frankly, so does everyone else who works in or loves comics. This is a true masterpiece." --Comics Bulletin
"Alex Raymond s work is as exciting today as it was in the 30 s and 40 s, or even my childhood. The pages are lovingly produced. Titan respects these pages as much as the fans and presents them as fresh and alive as if inked yesterday." --Greg Manchess
"This beast of a book is a really good value and will look good in any comic collection." --Nerd Machine
About the Author
Alex Raymond is one of the most famous artists in the history of comic strips. He created Flash Gordon, Secret Agent X-9, Rip Kirby, and Jungle Jim. George Lucas has indicated that Flash Gordon was the inspiration for the Star Wars movies, and Raymond's work has inspired decades of writers, artist, and filmmakers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I have to confess that I skipped from volume 1 to volume 3 missing out on volume 2 which I do intend to get eventually. There had been some issues in volume one with dialogue. Westerners are conditioned to read left to right and top to bottom but sometimes in Flash Gordon the person on the right side of the frame would be talking first so a reader would read dialogue out of order. I'm not sure who is to blame for the issue but the solution seems worse than the problem. In volume 3 everything is told in third person in text boxes at the bottom of the frame. It makes the storytelling feel even more amateurish than in volume 1 even as the art remains beautiful.
Early in the book Flash, Dale and Zarkov manage to fly back to Earth to find it embroiled in a war with "The Dictator" and "The Red Sword". As if Moore's writing couldn't be any more repetitive Flash's time on Earth is pretty much a duplicate of his time on Mongo with him battling against an evil tyrant. Having won using advanced technology, Flash and crew return to Mongo to retrieve more radium in order to create an impenetrable defense for the United States. This leads into the very long Queen Desira storyline which is the same story and just about the only story Moore has already told. Beautiful, powerful woman falls in love with Flash, Flash is captured, Flash escapes, Flash saves everyone. So while Raymond was researching historical clothing and frequently giving Flash different outfits to keep things fresh Moore was essentially writing the same story over and over again. Early in the book in a twist Ming is captured and of course escapes. The actors may switch positions but the story remains the same.
I have no qualms about the presentation of material here and there are some very nice introductions by Dave Gibbons and Doug Murray. However after two volumes it's painfully clear that Don Moore only knows one story and even that one story isn't told very well. I will give this volume a generous four stars because the presentation is well done and the artwork is beautiful but the writing, whew. I know there are better science fiction stories from the era of Flash Gordon.
Received mine yesterday. Everything is done to perfection. The paper choice, the restoration, the colors, etc... Like in the two previous volumes of this nice collection by Titan, the strips have been restored, but you simply don't notice it because the colors (as far as I can appreciate) have not been altered. So it looks crisp, and yet it feels old because of the combination of the paper choice and the restoration quality. This volume 3 completes Alex Raymond's run on Flash Gordon, leaving the way for Austin Brigs; which should be the coming volume 4 reprinting the dailies.
Great job here, worth every penny, buy with confidence!
Freed now from a tomb of relative pop obscurity Titan Books has put together three volumes collecting Raymond's work. Each page contains a week's strip in saturated full-color printed on heavy paper bringing it leagues away from its inaugural appearance on flimsy newsprint. It is more than a coffee table book: it is a time capsule. Much like Flash's own narrow weekly escapes, these pages preserve a story rich in sci-fi operatic and fine beautiful line-work from falling into history's dark corners.
Each installment overflows with rich imagery, expressive characters, and compulsive visual world-building. There are no corners cut in these panels; no black backgrounds and no half-tone filler. Instead we get detailed views of pre-computer schematics, diverse alien landscapes, and tables littered with utensils and discarded missives. This is a world to lose oneself in and study. Raymond invites us to be flies on the wall and witnesses to daring escapades and nefarious plots. We become the hero's unseen companion and invisible conspirator.
In my favorite series of strips, "Upside-Down World", Raymond flips the panels as our protagonists find themselves trapped without gravity. The end result leaves us unsure as to whether we should read the panels first or focus on the art. The effect is one that mimics the same strange sense of disorientation Flash and the gang must feel. There are no editor's explanation or fan forums to detail the rationale, Raymond assumes that we invisible onlookers simply understand it is all part of the adventure.
As the age of Sci-fi serials died and WWII ushered in a wave of existential cynicism, Flash couldn't keep up. The age of wonder became an age of fast cars, Rock'n'Roll, and superheroes. Without Raymond's sense of story pacing, his eternal supply of cliffhangers, and precision line-work, Flash appeared even more lost. But Titan has preserved those glory years and transcended time and space. They have given us a crystal clear view into a world many of us never knew existed.
From the Back Cover: Science Fiction's most enduring icon Flash Gordon returns in newly restored editions, collecting his ongoing adventures on the mysterious planet Mongo. In this volume, the battle between Flash and the devious Ming the Merciless reaches its thrilling climax-but can Earth's fearless hero bring everlasting peace to a chaotic planet?
"The Fall Of Ming" reprints all of Alec Raymond's Sunday strips from January 19, 1941 to August 13, 1944 and includes an extensive essay examining his final years on the series by writer Doug Murray.
Alex Raymond created Flash Gordon and his first adventure began on January 7, 1934. In this volume, "Flash Gordon: The Fall Of Ming" Flash's adventures had already been running for quite a while and had given birth to three movie serials with Flash portrayed by Buster Crabbe. This series made such an impression that when Producer George Lucas wanted to do a Science Fiction film he originally wanted to do a new Flash Gordon but could not acquire the rights so he created Star Wars instead. "Flash Gordon: The Fall Of Ming" gives us Flash's adventures on the planet, Mongo, from 1941 until 1944 and they are action-packed adventures. This is the way I like my science fiction: flying spaceships, death rays, a completely evil despotic ruler, a wonderfully brave hero and romance-the ever faithful Dale Arden. With six panels every week Alex Raymond managed to get Flash out of the jam from the week before, progress the story and get him into a jam for the next week. And what jams Flash got into. Some of these death traps are so incredible you can hardly wait until you can get to the next page to see how he does survive. Alex Raymond's artwork is impressive. Combined the art propels the story and the story is contained in the art. "Flash Gordon: The Fall Of Ming" is a book that is to be savored, take your time, read the words, enjoy the art, you will be glad you did. This is a wild ride read and I recommend it highly. This is a high-octane series and I am so glad that Titan Books is bringing the whole series back. I am really looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Titan Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."