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Friday, April 30, 2021 

Flash Gordon comic strip made superhero fare possible

The Canton Repository interviewed a specialty store owner who cited artist Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon strip as a prominent influence for many superhero and adventure fares to follow:
Tom Mattevi, owner of the comic book shop, admitted that while Flash Gordon is relatively obscure in the world of modern comics and fantasy characters, the trailblazing space adventurer still resonates from a bygone age when humans could only fantasize and speculate as to what existed in outer space.

Excitement gripped the voice of the longtime comic book aficionado when he spoke of Flash Gordon's legacy. And Mattevi perked up even more when promoting Saturday's scheduled appearance of actor Sam J. Jones, who played the lead role in the 1980 cult classic "Flash Gordon" movie.
But the downside, as he notes, is that FG suffers from the curse of being looked upon as outdated:
"Part of the problem is his genre, if you will, is outdated," Mattevi said when asked why another "Flash Gordon" movie hasn't been made since 1980 and why the legendary character is a rarity within the heaps of comics and memorabilia in his shop.

"Back in the 1930s, rocket ships flying to distant planets, that was just something people dreamed of and that was great, but in 2021, knowing the limitations of space travel and because we've been to the moon and we're sending missions to Mars and beyond, it's not so fantastic," he said.

However, "without comic strips, there wouldn't have been comic books."
Very true. That's how the whole medium began, after all, in newspapers. But it's not merely a problem of inability to suspend disbelief in a modern age that leads to discouragement. It's also a problem of obsessively ramrodding partisan politics into modern comicdom, especially in mainstream superhero fare, that's led to discouragement from reading these classic creations. To which we could add the crisis of indoctrination in leftist schools and universities to see racial discrimination around every corner, and failure to encourage people to suspend their disbelief at surreal situations. The John Carter movie adaptation from a decade ago suffered badly at the box office from such mentality (it was also very costly at the time, with a $350 million budget). There have been more modern comics based on FG, from companies like Dynamite, but the problem of audience lacking interest in such early sci-fi products still prevails, and the PC mentality of recent will surely victimize FG's girlfriend Dale Arden to boot.

It's a shame that early classics in the space faring adventure genre often end up the biggest victims of political correctness, but let's remember that's because modern ideologues in education don't encourage people to leave their politics at the door and try to enjoy these tales for what they are, and recognize that without classics like Flash Gordon, we wouldn't have a lot of the later sci-fi creations to follow. Yet this should serve as a sad sign of what's bound to come: Stan Lee-created superhero adventures like Fantastic Four could one day fall victim to the same situation as FG, because the vision Lee and Jack Kirby built the FF upon will be viewed as equally outdated. Such a fate will doubtless await the rest of the Marvel universe too, and education-based ideologues will only precipitate how the public ends up viewing them.

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Speaking of Flash Gordon, think you can do a post on George Lucas's AMC appearance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxl3IoHKQ8c I will warn you, you might not appreciate Lucas's admission that he modeled the "good guys" after the Vietcong and terrorists (not to mention communists). As I said in prior posts, that's pretty much the reason I root for the Empire now instead of the Rebels. They're as bad as the Smurfs.

Thanks, I'll see what I can write about the subject in time.

I really dislike reading modern ('woke') takes on classic characters. In a recent DC version of Thunder Agents, the Warlord's people are oppressed minorities. And so it goes. With Spirit (Ebony is problematic), Mandrake (Lothar is problematic), Flash Gordon (Ming the Merciless is problematic). If the modern comic 'talent' can't handle them, make up their own characters and leave the classics alone.

"I really dislike reading modern ('woke') takes on classic characters. In a recent DC version of Thunder Agents, the Warlord's people are oppressed minorities. And so it goes. With Spirit (Ebony is problematic), Mandrake (Lothar is problematic), Flash Gordon (Ming the Merciless is problematic). If the modern comic 'talent' can't handle them, make up their own characters and leave the classics alone."

You got that right. Probably the only thing worse than classic characters being made "woke" by modern writers is if the actual original creators of said classic characters were the ones responsible for changing them to be woke, like what happened to Willow in Buffy, or what happened to Claire Bennet in Heroes, or heck, what happened to Alex Danvers in Supergirl.

It isn't the talent that is pushing for the revamp. The copyright holding corporations want to keep making money off the characters, which means they have to put out new stories that don't offend people with stereotypes and have a contemporary feel. And then there is the boredom factor; you can't just repeat the same old story ad nauseum.

Ebony was problematic and controversial even when he first appeared. I don't think Willow ever became woke; it is not like she started running for political office. She fell in love with a girl, which is not the same thing.

"Ebony was problematic and controversial even when he first appeared. I don't think Willow ever became woke; it is not like she started running for political office. She fell in love with a girl, which is not the same thing."

Ah, yeah, actually, that IS the same thing, especially when for three seasons and even up to the first part of the fourth season she was depicted as straight, having an unrequited crush on Xander, and dating the werewolf Oz, and changed her to be a lesbian for no real reason.

Let me put it another way, they should have made her a lesbian from the very start of her series if they wanted her to be that. Like General Blue from Dragon Ball:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_y-c73Wz4Yo

Granted, I'd argue they should have done a better job unveiling his homosexuality (ie, instead of deducing it just because he was unreceptive to Bulma's attempts at seducing him, they should deduce him being that from both rejecting Bulma AND outright flirting with Krillin). But at least there, we definitely knew he was gay from that. No, their changing Willow to be gay was pure wokeness, since she was NEVER gay before that period, being explicitly straight.

On Willow, it is not unusual for a girl to date guys before going into a relationship with a woman; and I think the point was that WIllow was bisexual, not exclusively lesbian. It was an evolution of the character, not a betrayal. And no, it didn't mean she became woke; it might mean that Joss became woke, which is not the same thing. (Lesbians, by the way, tend to be more fluid in their sexuality than gay guys.)

Portia de Rossi was married to a guy before she met Ellen; Margaret Mead was married to three different men but also had romantic relationships with women. You can make a long list.

"On Willow, it is not unusual for a girl to date guys before going into a relationship with a woman; and I think the point was that WIllow was bisexual, not exclusively lesbian. It was an evolution of the character, not a betrayal. And no, it didn't mean she became woke; it might mean that Joss became woke, which is not the same thing. (Lesbians, by the way, tend to be more fluid in their sexuality than gay guys.)"

Yeah, sorry, don't buy it. Even if she were meant to be bisexual, I'm pretty sure they would have made her such from the get go if that was their intent. And it's still woke overall, just as Alex Danvers abruptly becoming a lesbian by Season 2 was her becoming woke as well.

"Portia de Rossi was married to a guy before she met Ellen; Margaret Mead was married to three different men but also had romantic relationships with women. You can make a long list."

Yeah, and Elton John married a woman and even had duets with said woman before he came out as gay and married a guy, your point?

...you honestly don't seem like the anime/manga loving type eotness.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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