The iconic legend Flash Gordon made his dynamic splash back into comics with Dynamite Entertainment with Flash Gordon – Zeitgeist! Spinning off from that series is the prequel comic book series, Merciless – The Rise of Ming #1, which is written by Scott Beatty and drawn by Ron Adrian, with an incredible cover from Alex Ross and is in stores April 2012! In issue #1, Prince Ming begins his rise to dominion over the entirety of Mongo! But who (or what) was Ming before he was ‘Merciless’? Find out here as the origin of one of science fiction’s preeminent villains is presented in all its diabolical details! Be sure to get Merciless – The Rise of Ming #1 in April 2012!
“In most heroic fiction, we (the readers, that is) never really question why the villains do very bad things. It’s always just assumed that evil is as evil does,” says writer Scott Beatty. “Ming is one of the great antagonists of science fiction. In many ways, he’s archetypal and the model for all intergalactic despots to follow. But he’s not just Ming. Everybody knows he’s Ming the MERCILESS. And he’s successful at being just that. Ming has a plan. For EVERYTHING. Readers of FLASH GORDON can think of MERCILESS: THE RISE OF MING as “required reading” for the series’ central conflict. It’s a primer that reveals not just who Ming the Merciless is–well before he ruled all of Mongo–but just what he did to get there… and WHY he did it.”
“Scott [Beatty] has taken the groundwork laid by Eric [Trautmann] and Alex [Ross] in Flash Gordon and gone back in time to tell the tale of the Rise of Ming,” states Dynamite Editor Joe Rybandt. “This is the direct precursor to the story in Flash Gordon and presents the definitive origin of the universe’s most merciless dictator.”
Flash Gordon is the hero of a science fiction adventure comic strip originally drawn by Alex Raymond. First published January 7, 1934, the strip was inspired by and created to compete with the already established Buck Rogers adventure strip.
The original Flash Gordon comic strip follows the adventures of Flash Gordon, a handsome polo player and Yale graduate, and his companions Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov. The story begins with Earth bombarded by fiery meteors. Dr. Zarkov invents a rocket ship to locate their place of origin in outer space. Half mad, he kidnaps Flash and Dale, whose plane has crashed in the area, and the three travel to the planet Mongo, where they discover the meteors are weapons devised by Ming the Merciless, evil ruler of Mongo.
For many years, the three companions have adventures on Mongo, traveling to the forest kingdom of Arboria, ruled by Prince Barin; the ice kingdom of Frigia, ruled by Queen Fria; the jungle kingdom of Tropica, ruled by Queen Desira; the undersea kingdom of the Shark Men, ruled by King Kala; and the flying city of the Hawkmen, ruled by Prince Vultan. They are joined in several early adventures by Prince Thun of the Lion Men. Eventually, Ming is overthrown, and Mongo is ruled by a council of leaders led by Barin. Flash and friends return to Earth and have some adventures before returning to Mongo and crashing in the kingdom of Tropica, before reuniting with Barin and others. Flash and his friends would travel to other worlds and frequently return to Mongo, where Prince Barin, married to Ming’s daughter Princess Aura, has established a peaceful rule (except for frequent revolts led by Ming or by one of his many descendants). The long story of the Skorpii War takes Flash to other star systems, using starships that are faster than light.
Scott Beatty has worked extensively for the popular comic book publisher DC Comics since the mid ’90s. He is perhaps best known for his work on several encyclopedic guides to superheroes. He has also worked writing comic books, recently contributing to the Wildstorm reboot World’s End with the series Wildstorm: Revelations and Number of the Beast. Other projects include Buck Rogers, The Last Phantom, and Merciless – The Rise of Ming for Dynamite Entertainment.
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About Dynamite Entertainment:
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, Green Hornet, Vampirella, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, Game of Thrones and more!
In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and best selling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Michael Avon Oeming, Mel Rubi, Marc Guggenheim, Stephen Sadowski, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner and a host of up and coming new talent!
DYNAMITE is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s PROJECT SUPERPOWERS – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. Several of their titles have also hit The New York Times Best-Sellers list: The Boys, Vampirella Archives, Robert Jordan’s New Spring and Wheel of Time graphic novels. In 2005 Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%). The company has also been nominated for several industry awards, including the prestigious Eisner Award.