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''Flash Gordon'' is a classic science fiction comic written and drawn by Alex Raymond in the year 1934 and published by Creator/KingFeaturesSyndicate. It tells the story of Flash Gordon, an athlete who travels with reporter Dale Arden and Dr Hans Zarkov in a rocket Zarkov built to the planet Mongo, ruled by [[YellowPeril Ming the Merciless]] (Literature/FuManchu [[AC:[[RecycledINSPACE IN SPACE]]]]). Flash sets to incite revolution. But wait! Dale is in love with him, and so is [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter Princess Aura!]] They are aided by Prince Barin of Arboria, Prince Vultan of the Hawkmen and Queen Desira of Tropica. Later stories featured Flash and company traveling to other planets, but the Mongo story arc is by far the most famous.

Although originally a comic strip, [[Franchise/FlashGordon the franchise now extends across multiple media]].

Trope codifier for SpaceOpera and RaygunGothic, along with ''ComicStrip/BuckRogers'' of course.

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!!The classic comic strip provides examples of:

* AbusiveParents: Ming threatens Aura with various punishments for defying him, from conscription in the army to having her [[ATasteOfTheLash whipped bloody]]. From the way he treats everyone ''else'', he is very probably serious about it.
* ArtEvolution: Alex Raymond's method of drawing notably evolved and improved as the series progressed. For a time he used a dry-brush drawing style with lots of hatching, as was common in PulpMagazine black-and-white interior illustrations. Later, he switched to a clearer line style, used in conjunction with ComicStrip/PrinceValiant-esque still images that mimicked paintings.
** When the strip began, the people on planet Mongo all had [[YellowPeril yellow skin]] ([[OffModel most of the time, anyway]]). Plus, Princess Aura was a redhead, and Prince Barin was bald. A few years in, the yellow skin-tone was dropped and the humanoid denizens of Mongo [[RaceLift started being drawn as white]]. At the same time, Aura became a blonde and Barin suddenly sprouted a full head of black hair (which the strip lampshaded as him defying Ming's decrees on proper court fashion).
* AndNowYouMustMarryMe
* BadassNormal: All the humans on Mongo: Flash, Zarkov and, yes, even Dale (though she is ''relatively'' less impressive than the men).
* BaldOfAwesome: Barin (until he defies Ming's fashion decrees by growing his hair out)
* BaldOfEvil: Ming
* BatheHerAndBringHerToMe
* BareYourMidriff
* TheBaroness: Aura, when she feels like it. Being royalty, she appears to hold some sort of commission in her father's army, and sometimes dresses in their stylish uniforms. Her personality also fits the type.
* BeardOfEvil
* BeastMan: Several races of Mongo, including Lion Men, Hawk Men, Fang Men, Ape Man (red and not), Blue Dragon men, Panther Men and so on.
* [[BeneathTheEarth Beneath Mongo]]: The Cavern World of Syk.
* BettyAndVeronica: Dale Arden and Princess Aura, both of whom love Flash.
* BigDamnHeroes
* BigFun: Vultan's got a belly on him.
* BoisterousBruiser: Vultan
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Vultan of the Hawkmen is generally thought of as Flash's heroic ally by the fans (and most adaptations), albeit in a ProudWarriorRaceGuy sort of way. In the original series, he is introduced as one of Ming's semi-loyal vassals, and arguably even more sadistic and murderous than the Emperor himself, with his ''onscreen'' atrocities including [[DomesticAbuse beating]] and sexually abusing Dale.
* {{Cliffhanger}}: Every single strip
* DamselInDistress: Dale
* DarkActionGirl: Aura
* DistressedDude: Flash, especially when the captors are women.
* {{Egopolis}}: Mingo City
* TheEmperor: Ming the Merciless.
* TheEmpire: Mongo.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Aura, among others
* EvilLaugh
* FemmeFatale: Aura, though she does a HeelFaceTurn.
* FiveManBand: In the first volumes at least, there's the following scheme:
** TheHero: Gordon
** TheLancer: Barin
** TheSmartGuy: Zarkov
** TheBigGuy: Thun
** TheChick: Dale
* GameChanger: Flash Gordon is the game changer in his series: before he arrived on Mongo, various worlds under Ming's thumb were fighting each other. Flash slowly convinced the various worlds to set aside their differences and concentrate instead on overthrowing Ming the Merciless.
* GladiatorGames: Flash is often forced into these.
* GoodHairEvilHair
* GreenEyedMonster: From the hawkmen's king's wife, when he decides to add Dale to his harem
* GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe: Yellow-skinned, here. For the first several years at least.
* HardHead: Thun. Flash can even confidently assert he'll come to in a few seconds.
* HeelFaceTurn: Vultan, Aura, Azura... actually, a ''lot'' of Flash's allies started out as antagonists.
* IfICantHaveYou: Aura's reaction, when Flash finally makes clear that he prefers Dale to her, [[EntitledToHaveYou even after she]] saved his life twice. Then subverted, as she finds that, for all the indignities and troubles she has suffered for his sake and her grief over his rejection, she [[ActOfTrueLove still can't bring herself]] to kill her fugitive beloved.
** And ''then'' [[DoubleSubversion double-subverted]], as she settles for just [[ElectricTorture torturing]] him, instead.
* IGaveMyWord
* InevitableWaterfall: When Flash, Dale, and Thun are swept away in an underground river.
* ItsUpToYou: Only a wayward athlete can save the earth.
* {{Kaiju}}: Mongo just wouldn't be Mongo without giant monsters ''everywhere.''
** In one istance, Gordon gets randomly attacked by a giant snake while walking around with Azura.
* LizardFolk: The Lizard Men. They try to capture and cook Gordon, but are quickly dispatched by the Hawkmen.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Flash starts declaring his love for Dale very early on, after maybe a few hours, and practically no conversation or time to breathe. Ming also wants to marry her on sight, but that's a different trope...
* LoveDodecahedron: Flash loves Dale, Dale loves Flash, Aura loves Flash, Barin loves Aura, Ming lusts after Dale. (Aura eventually switches to Barin, though)
* MadScientist: He's a nice guy, but Zarkov's got more than a touch of this, at least in the beginning.
* MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter: Not so much Mad Scientist as Emperor, but still a major influence.
* MenActWomenAre: The caption for the very first panel Flash and Dale appear in:
-->''"Aboard an eastbound transcontinental plane we have Flash Gordon, Yale graduate and world-renowned polo player, and Dale Arden, a passenger."''
* MirrorMoralityMachine: Azura brainwashes Flash for a while.
* MixAndMatchCritters
* MsFanService: Aura
* MulticulturalAlienPlanet: Because the comic is set entirely on Mongo and doesn't do any standard planet hopping (at least, not until the strip's later years), Mongo is an incredibly diverse planet.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: The king's favorite toward Dale in the city of the hawkmen
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Ming the Merciless.
* PettingZooPeople: Lion Men, among others.
* PlanetOfHats
* PlanetaryRomance: For one thing, Aura and the various moons of Mongo.
* PowerTrio: Flash, Dale and Zarkov
* ProtagonistTitle
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Lots of them, but Thun's probably the most notable.
* PunyEarthlings: [[YouHaveNoChanceToSurvive Who can save you now?]]
* RandomEventsPlot: Unsurprising, in view of the need for a cliffhanger.
* RaygunGothic: The ''entire concept'' of ''Flash Gordon'' embodies the trope.
** {{Retro Rocket}}s: Your classic cigar-shaped rockets with tail fins. In the film serials, they actually puff smoke!
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: ...and as UsefulNotes/WorldWarII creeped even closer, [[spoiler: Ming the Merciless got mercilessly and unceremoniously killed off so that Flash and friends could return to Earth and lend a hand in the war effort.]]
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves
* RobinHood: The obvious visual inspiration for Barin and the Arborians.
* SchizoTech: Ming's armies can be portrayed as everything from highly futuristic to medieval. Justified to some extent, in that the swordplay and pageantry are usually part of highly ritualized and symbolic trials of combat, not serious, "real" warfare (for which they break out the spacecraft, ray guns and heavy armor). And, of course, by RuleOfCool.
* ShockAndAwe: Part of the arc in the Snow Kingdom is dedicated to hunting down a colossal monster that blows people up with his electrified tentacles.
* SpaceOpera: TropeCodifier.
* StrawMisogynist: Vultan, who keeps his wives captive in a harem and is violent and abusive toward both them and Dale (and bashed for it in turn by Flash). Surprisingly averted with Ming, who has no problem with female soldiers and seems even to encourage Aura's ActionGirl tendencies.
* TapOnTheHead: Aura uses one on Flash to let her father carry off Dale.
* ThickerThanWater: Even after Aura was married to Barin, and so more or less became one of the good guys, she did not want her father to be killed by them, and warned him of Flash's impending surprise raid on his field headquarters.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: Prior to WWII, there was no date given. Following WWII, they were set "ten years into the future".
* UnderwaterCity: Corallia
* TheVamp: Queens Azura and Desira.
* WeAREStrugglingTogether: This is why Ming isn't overthrown; the races of Mongo are busy fighting amongst themselves.
* WeirdScience
* WhiteAngloSaxonProtestant: Flash Gordon is a Yale man and champion polo player.
* WouldNotShootACivilian: Flash objects at the notion of killing an unarmed Aura.
* WingedHumanoid: The Hawkmen, although not the delicate beings you'd expect...
* YellowPeril: Ming.
* {{Zeerust}}
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