The year is 1934, a time of two-fisted swashbuckling, of fearsome threats and wild adventure-and of ever-growing threats on the horizon.
Three valiant humans — Flash Gordon, Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov — are plucked from the Earth, traveling to the distant planet Mongo. Their exploits are legendary, battling the machinations and terror schemes of the dreaded emperor Ming, the All-Seeing Ruler of Mongo. But they did not fight alone...
This comic contains examples of:
- Alien Invasion: Ironically, while every version of Flash Gordon starts with Ming trying to invade Earth, this is one of the few versions where he succeeds in getting troops and equipment here and physically attacking.
- Alternate History: World War II.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Zarkov goes through one in issue 8.
- Canon Immigrant: Klytus, Ming's assistant from the movie, is a major character.
- Cliffhanger: While the main plot has been resolved by the end of the series, it still ends on a big new cliffhanger.
- Cool Gate: Ming sends his troops through portals to Earth.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Dr. Zarkov has one involving childhood bullies and Stalin's purges.
- Darker and Edgier: The miniseries is an alternate retelling of the original comic strip / TV serial movies, but made even darker by having it take place simultaneously with World War II, and tying its storyline to it.
- Eviler Than Thou: Ming the Merciless to Adolf Hitler, of all people.
- Facial Horror: It turns out the reason Klytus wears that mask is that his face was horribly disfigured in a lab accident.
- Fish People: The Shark Men play a bigger role here than in most versions.
- Greed: According to the author, Ming represents insatiable greed itself.
- The Multiverse: In this version, Mongo is at the "center of the known universes" and Ming uses Cool Gates to attacks worlds in other dimensions.
- Patchwork Fic: While not fanfiction, it takes elements from many versions of Flash.
- Reluctant Mad Scientist: In his sad backstory, Zarkov desperately wants to avoid having to build weaponry for Stalin.
- Shout-Out: To Defenders of the Earth, when Mandrake the Magician and The Phantom each get a one-panel cameo showing them helping defend Earth from Ming.
- Start of Darkness: Ming gets his own miniseries, Merciless: The Rise of Ming, telling his backstory. Turns out he's pretty much been an evil jerk all his life.
- Those Wacky Nazis: They are featured as secondary antagonists in the subplot focusing World War II on Earth, while the main plot focus on Mongo.
- Token Evil Teammate: Near the end of the series, the heroes are reluctantly prepared to recruit Klytus into their ranks, because he does know how everything is run on Mongo. Ming laughs when he learns this, and silently compliments him on having manipulated them.
- We Didn't Start the Führer: Turns out that the Nazis were backed by Emperor Ming and Adolf Hitler was supposed to take over the world and rule in his name.