King Features Syndicate Launches Flash Gordon Publishing Program

Flash Gordon expands publishing footprint with key partner, Mad Cave Studios, and its Papercutz imprint with new original content for Flash Gordon, Defenders of the Earth, reprints and more.

License Global

June 25, 2024

3 Min Read
Flash Gordon Comic Book, King Features Syndicate
Flash Gordon Comic BookKing Features Syndicate

King Features Syndicate, a unit of Hearst and home to some of the world’s most popular entertainment characters, is kicking off a master publishing program for the Flash Gordon comic character, in partnership with Mad Cave Studios and Papercutz, Mad Cave’s family-friendly graphic fiction imprint. 

Since the character’s debut in 1934, Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon has captured the imagination of readers worldwide with its dynamic storytelling, artwork and memorable characters. 

To commemorate Flash Gordon’s 90th anniversary this year, Mad Cave Studios unveiled a 2024 Flash Gordon publishing program at ComicsPro in Pittsburgh. New releases feature a Flash Gordon ongoing series and related works, including a “Defenders of the Earth” trade paperback (a 1980s reprint), a new “Defenders of the Earth” miniseries, Flash Gordon Quarterly, classic newspaper strip hardcover reprints beginning with “Flash Gordon: Classic Collection Volume 1” and an all-ages book, “Flash Gordon Adventures!,” from the publisher’s Papercutz imprint.

The Adventures series by the award-winning creative team of Art Baltazar and Franco is aimed at fans of Tiny Titans and Itty Bitty Hellboy. Readers can join Flash Gordon, Dale Arden, Dr. Zarkov and their allies from Planet Lexray as they battle the evil tyrant, Ming the Merciless.

In addition to the reprints and continuations, Mad Cave is launching a new ongoing Flash series, bringing the iconic Flash Gordon back to its origin in pages and panels from an all-star creative team. In the new series, Flash Gordon awakes on a secret prison planet somewhere in the galaxy. Upon learning that Dale Arden is the subject of an assassination plot, he breaks out and makes his way across the galaxy to save her. Along the way, he encounters old friends, new threats and a greater mystery about who is pulling the strings of this universe. The new series, written by the critically acclaimed animation screenwriter, Jeremy Adams, features illustrations by top DC and Marvel artist, Will Conrad, colors by 2024 Eisner Award nominee, Lee Loughridge, and letters by Taylor Esposito. The kickoff for Issue No. 1 includes Cover A by series artist, Conrad, the connecting Cover B by National Comics Award-winning artist, Frazer Irving, Cover C by Reilly Brown, a Cover D blank sketch edition and retailer incentive covers by Joe Chiodo and Dan Panosian.

“Defenders of The Earth,” an eight-part series reimagining the adventure series, is coming soon from Mad Cave Studios. Inspired by the classic “Defenders of the Earth” cartoon series, writer, Dan DiDio, best known for his 10 years serving as co-publisher of DC Entertainment and a prolific comics author, along with celebrated artist, Jim Calafiore, join forces in this groundbreaking comic. The new “Defenders of the Earth” comic is not just about superheroes; it’s about the human struggles and triumphs behind the masks – drawing inspiration from contemporary issues and timeless themes while tackling relevant topics of gender, familial expectations and the ethical dilemmas of modern heroes.

In “Flash Gordon: Classic Collection Volume 1,” Flash Gordon returns in a newly restored edition, collecting his earliest adventures with Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov on the mysterious planet Mongo. There they encounter strange landscapes, fantastic creatures, otherworldly characters and the universe’s most diabolical mastermind – Ming the Merciless. “Flash Gordon: Classic Collection Volume 1” reprints all of Alex Raymond's Sunday strips from January 1, 1934 to April 18, 1937, with additional background material and an introduction from comics industry legend, Alex Ross. “Flash Gordon: Classic Collection Vol. 1” drops July 31 and is available for preorder. 

“As King Features continues to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Flash Gordon, we’re thrilled to be collaborating with Mad Cave Studios and Papercutz to keep the legacy of Flash Gordon alive for fans of all ages,” says Carla Silva, senior vice president, general manager, head, licensing, King Features. “It’s our goal to continue bringing quality Flash Gordon content to the fans and celebrate their love for the savior of the universe.”

The new releases from Mad Cave Studios follow the character’s recent return to syndicated comic strips for the first time in two decades. The Flash Gordon daily comic strip debuted in October 2023 with Eisner-nominated cartoonist, Dan Schkade, at the helm for both new and familiar adventures with a more modern look and feel.

About the Author(s)

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