Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Flash Gordon 1: The Lion-Men of Mongo

Flash Gordon 1: The Lion-Men of Mongo
by Con Steffanson (Ron Goulart)
1974 Avon 

Flash, Dale, and Dr. Zarkov are separated as they crash land on planet Mongo. They do capture/escape routine several times, fighting slavers, mermen, and tiger men in gladiator pits, before running afoul of Ming the Merciless.

Not as much action as I expected, with most of the page count either travelling or talking about travelling. Goulart does a good job of respecting the source material without slipping too far into camp, keeping everything light.

The main issue I had is with the back story. In the original comic strip, like the movie, Ming is attacking Earth with advanced technology, with Flash fighting impossible odds for all humanity.  In this series, Flash and company are interplanetary explorers who find Mongo, a primitive backwoods planet. Humanity is far advanced technologically.  By the end of the story they could leave Mongo at any time, but stick around to fight Ming just for kicks. This lowers the stakes and takes away most of the emotional drive of the original.

Paperback from AbeBooks

Check your library for the Audiobook on Libby and Hoopla.

1 comment:

  1. I never got round to these and Ron Goulart is not much of a draw. I am kinda glad I skipped them reading your description of the basic modification of the setting. It really seems like it would have been a good idea to set them in period. After all the Doc Savage, Shadow and other pulps were selling well in paperback.