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REVIEW: Flash Gordon #0 - Jeremy Adams, Will Conrad, Lee Loughridge, Taylor Esposito (Mad Cave Studios)

Flash Gordon #0 - Featured Image

Free Comic Book Day, whilst a perfect promotional opportunity for Comic Book Publishers big and small, has often resulted in throw away issues that are little more than a calling card for the company that's published them. A 22 page brochure, if you will. So it's pleasing to see Mad Cave Studios yield this opportunity not only as a promotional avenue for an intellectual property sure to smash their previous records, but as a direct tie in. A neat little preview released in advance to the upcoming 5 issues of planned for release.

Flash Gordon #0 - Pages 6-7
Flash Gordon #0 - Pages 6-7

Jeremy Adams has bucked the trend of an origin story and has opted for a well mapped out story that is modern in its approach but also pays homage to the "a-ha!" villain vs hero radio drama moments which were a stable in the Flash Gordon experience.

With Emperor Ming planning to unleash The Unraveller which is really just villain speak for giant planet killing super laser, Flash Gordon hatches a plan involving his team, Ming's daughter, Ming himself and the Death of Flash Gordon. There are some truly incredible moments which play into the Flash Gordon trope such as Ming revelling in his triumph at the perceived death of Flash Gordon moments. Too busy twirling his moustache, Ming is unable to predict or conceive that Flash and his friends might have an inside man (Ming's daughter). Leading to the revival of Flash and his confrontation with Ming with sword in hand.

Flash Gordon #0 - Pages 16-17
Flash Gordon #0 - Pages 16-17

It's these final moments of Flash Gordon #0 which highlight the dynamic winning combination of Will Conrad and Lee Loughridge. From Conrad's bombastic adrenaline fueled artwork which leap from the page to the vibrant explosiveness of Loughridge's coloring which accentuate a palette of heavenly blues, pale greens and audacious yellows. Letterer Taylor Esposito navigates a balance, ensuring the narration and dialogue isn't lost in Loughridge's extremely bold mix.

Once you hit the middle staples, you'll find yourself speed reading the remaining issue which leans into the adventure as much as it does the campy 1950s science fiction tropes, which absolutely work. Adams pulls no punches as the ego of Flash Gordon proves to be his downfall when his actions to save Planet Earth are made at the expense of crippling Planet Mongo. I'm making an early call right now but this era of Flash Gordon is answering "What If... Flash Gordon, Created by HBO." He's bolder, brighter and more dangerous than ever.


Written by Jeremy Adams

Art by Will Conrad

Coloring by Lee Loughridge

Lettering by Taylor Esposito

Rating: 10/10

Genre: Adventure/Science Fiction/Fantasy

Published by Mad Cave Studios

Flash Gordon #0 was released as part of Free Comic Book Day 2024.


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