In Reveiw: Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #9

The cover: That’s one gorgeous cover by Alex Ross showing our three leads standing among of cheering onlookers. I know I shouldn’t, but looking at this cover all I could hear was Queen playing in my head. This is awesome! Overall grade: A+

The story: “Coronation” is plotted by Ross and Eric Trautmann, with the latter also providing the script. This is the penultimate issue in this series and after overthrowing Ming last issue you’d think there would be very little to do. Not so on Mongo. Every race is ready to attack the other in fear or revenge. What’ Flash to do? Talk to Ming’s Number Two man, Klytus. We get this character’s dispicable past and in the process we learn of a secret mission that could have reprecussions on everyone in this series. And Flash has a big decision to make: go with his gut or trust the left hand of the Devil. This story, essentially the aftermath of the proceeding eight issue and a conversation in a cell, felt grandiose and royal, something I haven’t felt in a comic since Walt Simonson began his Asgardian adventures. This comic felt like an epic full of the drama it needs, and the last two pages being absolutely fitting. How else could this issue conclude? Overall grade: A

The art: This isn’t just good art, it’s classy. With this book, I was reading a new story, drawn by an artist I’ve never encountered, Ron Adrian, but it made me feel as though I was looking at a comic deemed a classic decades earlier. Page 4 is the perfect visual, new yet iconic, floating somewhere in my subconscious as done by Alex Raymond or Jack Katz. Any scene with Flash, Klytus, or Ming is breathtaking. The power each of these men has threatens to swallow the reader whole–and they should, because they are that mesmerizing. I am not a fan of the pencil work used to shade the skin of the characters for depth, such as on Page 17, but this is some impressive art! Overall grade: A

The colors: This is Flash Gordon, so I expect bright and bold coloring from Slamet Mujiono. I get it in spades, but he also uses color to create mood, such as when Kyltus spins both his tales. The tale on Mongo is bright, yet uses dimmer colors to highlight the jaded past of the narrator, while the other tale is colored appropriately for its setting. Aces all around. Overall grade: A

The letters: This story doesn’t lend itself to many sound effects, but Simon Bowland is awash in a lot of dialogue which he delivers smoothly. Overall grade: A

The final line: Double checking myself, “zeitgeist” is defined as “the taste and outlook characteristic of a period or generation.” This is a moment in comics we should all take part in. Overall grade: A

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