D. J. David B. is back in a Flash with the second installment of his Tuesday comics music column.
Wow, is it Flash Gordon time again? My watch must have stopped.
Flash had his heyday in the 1930′s with his seminal comic strip beautifully illustrated by the often-imitated, never-duplicated Alex Raymond, who along with Milt Caniff inspired the careers of just about every comic book artist who came after.
By 1936 Flash was in the movies with a thrill-packed serial starring Buster Crabbe. In 1954 it was once again time to bring back Flash, in this case as a TV series with Steve Holland in the title role. An animated series followed in 1979, and a somewhat embarrassing feature film adaptation in 1980. Of course, that pales in comparison to Flesh Gordon, the soft-core porn flick (always spelled in lower case) that thoroughly embarrassed movie-goers in 1974.
That brings us up to 2007, with a brand new Flash Gordon TV series on the Sci-Fi Channel! I guess Flash Gordon is one of those characters that just keeps coming back, like yo-yos and herpes.
But now, flashback to the halcyon days of 1966 when Flash Gordon didn’t have a big comeback. The Batman TV show had taken the nation by storm and programmers reasoned (incorrectly) that the time was right for all kinds of costumed super-dudes to have TV series. Enter The Green Hornet, exit super trend. Jumping on this bandwagon were dozens of would-be millionaires hoping to cash in on the super-hit gravy train begun by The Batman Theme (more on that in the weeks to come). One enterprising record label released a fairly listenable LP with songs about Batman, Tarzan, The Phantom and Flash Gordon, just to make sure all bases were covered. Listen!
— C. Yoe (in the funny papers)