Flash Gordon, Mandrake Return From Comic Book Limbo

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Finally, now you can start hoping for that Defenders Of The Earth reunion: Comic publisher Dynamite Entertainment has announced that it now has the rights for Flash Gordon and Mandrake The Magician in addition to The Phantom, bringing the characters under the same publisher for the first time in over forty years.

The three characters all got their starts in the mid-1930s as newspaper strips distributed by King Features Syndicate (Flash and Mandrake in 1934, with Phantom joining them in 1936). In addition to their long-running newspaper adventures, each has been individually into movies, television shows and cartoons, as well as their 1986 team-up in Marvel’s Defenders of The Earth animated series and comic book.

(What, me relive my childhood through the wonders of blogging? Never.)

Dynamite – known for its Lone Ranger and Red Sonja comics, as well as series based on Robocop, Buck Rogers, Zorro and other television and movie properties – acquired the rights to The Phantom in 2008, but only recently announced their plans to relaunch the character (as redesigned by Kingdom Come and Marvels artist Alex Ross) in a new series called The Last Phantom that launches this summer. Until recently, Flash Gordon has been appearing in a comic published by small independent company Ardden Entertainment, with the lesser-known Mandrake remaining relatively obscure in recent years.

The official press release about the announcement doesn’t mention launch dates or creators for any new series, but prepare for an assault on multiple fronts as the company aims to push these characters into the forefront of your pop culture consciousness; it ends promising “more news about Flash Gordon and Mandrake the Magician comics, as well as upscale collectible figurines, resin statues, bookends, snow globes, mini-busts, trading cards, lithographs and fine art!”

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