1:28pm PT by Graeme McMillan
'Flash Gordon,' 'The Phantom' and More Team Up in Dynamite's 'King' in 2015
Some of comics’ oldest heroes will return next year in King, a newly announced event from Dynamite Entertainment celebrating the 100th anniversary of King Features Syndicate, the company behind such characters as Flash Gordon, The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician.
All three of those heroes will be receiving their own mini-series as part of the event, alongside Prince Valiant and the lesser-known Jungle Jim, with the latter making his first appearance in almost half a century. Each of the five characters made their debuts as newspaper strips in the 1930s, before branching out into other media with different levels of success; Flash and The Phantom are arguably the most well-known of the five today, having featured in movies, comic books and animated series, but even Jim enjoyed a run of 16 movies starring Johnny Weissmuller in the mid-20th century.
Details about King remain under wraps, although it will apparently follow on from 2013’s Kings Watch series, which resurrected Flash Gordon, Mandrake and the Phantom, placing longtime sidekick Lothar in the role of a new Ghost That Walks. Mini-series featuring the characters launch in January 2015, leading to what Dynamite describes as “a grand crossover” in May, with creators on the five series include Thrilling Adventure Hour writers Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, novelist and comic book writer Paul Tobin and artists Ron Salas and Sandy Jarrell. Covers for the first issues of each series will be provided by Darwyn Cooke.
“This is truly an event that took 100 years to tell,” said Dynamite CEO/Publisher Nick Barrucci in a statement accompanying the announcement, calling it “the most expansive King Features crossover ever.” He also promised that King “leads to new adventures for these great heroes,” suggesting that Jungle Jim and Prince Valiant’s revivals will last beyond the May crossover. Is the world really ready for the return of a character who regards a pith helmet as an essential part of his everyday wardrobe?