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Characters / Flash Gordon (serial)

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Flash Gordon

Played by Buster Crabbe
  • Action Survivor: He starts the story by just barely surviving a plane crash with Dale, and ends up later fighting aliens and thwarting the plans of a mad tyrant to take over the the Universe.
  • Chick Magnet: Flash is so handsome that an alien princess and a Martian queen fall for his charms.
  • Determinator
  • Distressed Dude: He still needed his life being saved on a few times, such as from the fire dragon, the octosak and the orangpoid.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: His clothes are destroyed and he is forced to change for a Imperial uniform, it leads into a misunderstanding against Lionmen, who are also Ming's enemies and mistake Flash for another one of his soldiers.
  • The Hero
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
  • Master Swordsman: Skilled enough in fencing to duel with the best swordfight in Mongo who is actually Barin disguised.
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  • Mr. Fanservice: The first serial had his uniform baring his legs. And he was occasionally shirtless in a few chapters.

Dale Arden

Played by Jean Rogers in Flash Gordon and Trip to Mars and by Carol Hughes in Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe.

Dr. Alexis Zarkov

Played by Frank Shannon

Emperor Ming the Merciless

Played by Charles B. Middleton
  • Arch-Nemesis: To Flash Gordon.
  • Bald of Evil
  • Big Bad: Of all serials. During Trip to Mars, he shares the spot with Queen Azura of Mars. until he turns on her and takes the single Big Bad mantle for himself.
  • Evil Overlord: One of the most iconic.
  • The Emperor: Of planet Mongo.
  • Faking the Dead: At the end of the first serial movie, he walks inside the Great Temple of Tao while trying to escape the heroes and disappears into a cloud of steam. According to the High Priest, no one who goes inside the Temple returns alive and convince everyone that Ming is dead for real, but he clearly lied since he is loyal to Ming and tries to get the Earthmen killed when they depart Mongo.
  • Galactic Conqueror: Ming already rules Mongo with iron fist and intends to conquer Earth. He tries to rule Mars himself after disposing of its previous queen but fails.
  • I Am the Noun: I AM THE UNIVERSE.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: He desires Dale Arden for himself.
  • Human Aliens
  • Joker Immunity: Ming has an annoying tendency of not staying dead. At the end of the first serial, he runs into the Great Temple of Tao, from where no one returns alive and disappears into a cloud of steam. Judging from the looks he exchanged with the High Priest, he faked his death and had him convince the heroes of Ming's demise. In the second serial, Ming is locked inside a room and subjected to devastating rays. This time, while the viewers don't see his corpse, the heroes do and are certain he is dead this time. He returns again for the third serial to cause trouble and it takes Flash crashing his ship into Ming's palace with him locked inside it to finish him off for good.
  • The Usurper: He overthrew and exiled Barin, the original rightful ruler of Mongo. After backstabbing Azura, he attempts to take the Martian throne for himself, and does it again when he takes back Mongo's throne from his daughter.
  • Yellow Peril: His appearence is evocative of this.

Princess Aura

Played by Priscilla Lawson

Prince Barin

Played by Richard Alexander

Prince Thun

Played by James Pierce

King Vultan

Played by John Lipson
  • The Big Guy
  • Fat Bastard: He get better.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He starts out as a villain that tortured Flash, place him, Barin and Thun as slaves to work in mines and tried to hit on Dale. After Zarkov saves his city, Vultan befriends the heroes and even gets imprisoned on their behalf.
  • Human Aliens: Except for his wings, he looks like a normal (albeit fat) human being.
  • I Gave My Word: He promised to spare Flash Gordon's life and free his friends after Zarkov saved their city.
  • Winged Humanoid

Queen Azura

Played by: Beatrice Roberts
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Ming in Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: She is Ming's accomplice into conquering the galaxy, tried to destroy Earth and rules Mars with iron fist and her cruel magic.
  • Green Lantern Ring: The white sapphire stone she wears is the source of her powers. The black sapphire Ming has counters her powers.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: She eventually realizes Ming's treachery and switches teams, but is mortally wounded by her own soldiers. Just before dying, she gives Flash her magic gem and explains how to revert the Clay People back to normal.
  • Lady of Black Magic
  • Mind over Matter
  • Ship Tease: She shares some of these moments with Flash and even tries to spare his life from Ming.
  • The Usurper: She used her magic to turn the original Martian King into a Clay Man and exile him.

The Clay King

Played by: C. Montague Shaw

Officer Torch

Played by Earl Askam
  • The Dragon: To Emperor Ming. He is the Emperor's top enforcer and his head advisor.

High Priest of Tao

  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Had the High Priest chosen to not have gloated about putting a bomb on Flash's ship while he was near Aura and her friends, they wouldn't have warned Flash at the last second and he would have surely died with no one being the wiser.
  • Dragon Their Feet: At the end of the first serial, he places a bomb in Flash Gordon's ship as he and his friends return to Earth after Ming has seemingly died.
  • No Name Given
  • Wild Card: His loyalty is... Uncertain to say the least. He is loyal to Ming, but he indirectly saves Flash's life during the Tournament of Death when he reveals to Aura the secret to defeating the orangopoid. There is no discernible reason why he would tell Aura that if his master wanted Flash dead.


Played by: Anne Gywnne

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