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Flash Gordon Comic Book Archives Volume 4 Hardcover – August 23, 2011
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This volume reprints the stories published by Western Publications comic book imprint, Gold Key Comics. These were issues #19-27, in the late 80s after almost 8 years since Charlton had done the series. I suspect the then upcoming Flash Gordon movie lead to them doing this new comic book series (included in the next volume)
Most of the stories had artwork by Carlos Garzon, who was an assistant of Al Williamson. So most of the issues have a sort-of Al Williamson look. The artwork is kind of sparse, many times lacking backgrounds. No idea if this was done by Garzon, or under orders of Western. The artwork is not as 'tight' as I would expect.
Overall, the writing is typical of the time. The basic premise of the series is that Flash and associates are returning to Mongo after about 3-5 years away. They had left Mongo under the rule of Prince Barin, with Ming exiled. But due to inter-kingdom issues, Ming has returned to power, with Barin and family fleeing. So for several stories, Flash & co. fight against Ming while visiting several unknown lands, before reuniting with Barin and Aura. We met their now older son, I think early teens, (in the comic strip done by Alex Raymond, he was just a baby. I do not recall if he was shown older in the strip). This lasted for one issue, but the rest of the stories again has Flash and friends traveling to other lands by themselves.
The next volume reprints the comics by Western Publications done under their "Whitman Comics" line. A note on this. The forward makes it seem like Gold Key and Whitman were separate groups within Western. Not so. The change was just in trade dress. Some of the same creators were involved. So look forward to this next volume, as it will include a 3-issue adaptation of the Flash Gordon movie.