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Comic Book / Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist

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Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist is a Comic Book adaptation of the Flash Gordon franchise. Set before World War II at the time the comics were originally written and taking elements from most of the various versions of Flash out there, it's a tribute to all iterations of Flash Gordon while employing new twists and turns.

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.
  • Alien Space Bats: World War II now has the Nazis using Ming's technology.
  • Aliens Speaking English: If the Nazis or anyone in Zarkov's flashbacks talks, their speech will be in brackets with a text box explaining it's translated from German/Russian but aliens speak English with no explanation.
  • Amazing Technicolour Population: The previously human-like natives if Mongo now have gold skin.
  • Barrier Warrior: When Flash attacks Ming, he makes an impenetrable forcefield bubble around himself, and then his opponents but threatens to crush them by shrinking their forcefields.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Zarkov goes through one in issue 8.
  • The Cameo:
  • 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 ends with a Teleporter Accident making Flash, Ming and apparently Hitler disappearing with Dale and Zarkov wondering if they'll ever see Flash again or get back to Earth.
  • 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 and all its numerous different adaptations, 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.
  • Mage in Manhattan: Ming starts laughing maniacally when told he'll be took to stand trial on Earth, implying he wanted a situation like this. He gets here eventually but a Teleporter Accident causes him, Flash and co. to disappear shortly after.
  • Multiversal Conqueror: Mongo is in Another Dimension in this continuity with Ming invading planets in other universes.
  • 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.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Zarkov can't find plans for the Interdimensional Travel Device to get them back to Earth, with it explained that different scientists worked on different parts. Both Ming and Klytus offer a chance to get home if they're freed. It turns out there was one last siege projector hidden on an asteroid.
  • Patchwork Fic: While not fanfiction, it takes elements from many versions of Flash.
  • Piggybacking on Hitler: Ming recruits Hitler as his representative on Earth and backs the Nazis with alien technology.
  • 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.
  • The Starscream: Klytus tries to get Flash and Aura to work with him against Ming. Ming later admits he knows Klytus would do this and wouldn't think him worthy to work for him if he didn't.
  • 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.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Ming-assisted Nazis are featured as secondary antagonists in the subplot focusing World War II on Earth, while the main plot focus on Mongo.
  • Teleporter Accident: At the end a siege projector overloads, sending Flash, Ming and Hitler to God knows where.
  • 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.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: The machines that let Ming's forces invade other universes get destroyed leaving Flash, Dale and Zarkov stranded on Mongo.