Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blogging Austin Briggs’ Flash Gordon, Part Three - “War on Earth”

“War on Earth” was the third installment of Austin Briggs’ daily Flash Gordon comic strip serial for King Features Syndicate. Originally published between August 22 and December 13, 1941, “War on Earth” was the third story in the daily companion to Alex Raymond’s celebrated Sunday strip. The storyline is due to be reprinted in 2013 as part of Titan Books’ ambitious Flash Gordon reprint series. “War on Earth” runs on a parallel path to Raymond’s contemporaneous Sunday strip with the story opening with Flash, Dale, and Zarkov traveling from Mongo via rocketship back to Earth to deal with the dictator who has plunged their home into a Second World War. While Alex Raymond dealt with the Red Sword in the Sunday strip, “War on Earth” sees their rocketship touch down in Scandinavia where our heroes quickly befriend refugees from the ruthless unnamed dictator who has invaded their homeland. The refugees are attacked by enemy bombers. Flash perches on the edge of a cliff and easily picks the planes off with a disintegrator rifle they have brought from Ming’s armory. This act of bravery earns Flash the military leadership of the villagers. The Prussian-looking Colonel Ruvich of the Red Sword orders further bombardment by plane and tanks until the mountain pass is cleared. The siege drags out for several days with Flash successfully holding off the bombers with Mongo’s superior military technology. TO CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE VISIT THE BLACK GATE ON FRIDAY.

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