He saved every one of us — and now he’s back for more. Starting Sunday, a genuine comic icon returns to the newspaper page with new adventures, just in time for his 90th birthday next year. Yes, Flash Gordon is coming back after 20 years.
As announced by the Washington Post, Flash Gordon is being resurrected as a newspaper strip for the first time since 2003, with writer/artist Dan Schkade responsible. The creator, who won a tryout earlier this year to work on the new strip, said that the secret to making the strip work is that it’s about far more than just its title character: “I like Flash Gordon the man a lot, but it just can’t be about him. He’s supposed to be the meatsuit that you’re running around the fiction in. It’s the other characters who make this lush,” he’s quoted as saying, adding later, “The gem of the whole thing is built around finding community in the face of injustice.”
Flash Gordon debuted in January 1934, created by Alex Raymond for King Features Syndicate. The daily strip ran for almost six decades, ending in 1992, while the Sunday strip continued through 2003; additionally, the character appeared in a number of movie serials, television series, comic books, and, of course, the beloved 1980 movie with that killer Queen soundtrack.
The new newspaper strip takes the character back to basics, running both Sunday and daily strips, beginning this weekend. It’s the start of a renaissance for the character, with a new Flash Gordon comic book series — unrelated to Schkade’s efforts — launching from Mad Cave Studios in 2024. As King Features editorial director for comics Tea Fougner explains, “There’s been a real surge of interest in Flash Gordon, as we’ve been seeing through our publishing partnership with Mad Cave. The story of Flash and his allies — a story of ordinary people from wildly diverse backgrounds learning to work together against seemingly insurmountable odds — is perennially relatable.”
The new Flash Gordon will debut in newspapers Sunday.
We marked the end of the Flash Gordon newspaper strip back in March.