Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist reaches its apparent conclusion this week with issue #10. Ming may have been defeated a few issues back, but that doesn’t mean he’s done. Here’s the official description from Dynamite:
In the wake of Flash Gordon’s victory, the court of Mongo pauses for a time of celebration. But Ming the Merciless has one last sinister scheme to launch, one that may spell death for Earth’s valiant defenders.
Ever since Ming’s imprisonment, the series’ script by Eric Trautmann has moved in fits and starts. In issue #10, several panels are devoted to Ming’s sentencing, but insufficient space is left to show his escape: one minute, Flash is escorting him away in shackles, the next an explosion goes off and Ming is running away, hands free, with Gordon chasing him. This disconnected story flow persists throughout the issue. The cliffhanger ending is similarly abrupt, with no sense of the story building to dramatic conclusion. And when I say cliffhanger, I do mean cliffhanger. Trautmann and co-plotter Alex Ross make a casual attempt to provide a sense of closer, but numerous plot threads are left dangling.
The art by Ron Adrian, with colors by Slamet Mujiono, is a similarly mixed bag. Some characters, Ming in particular, are well-rendered, with lots of dimension in their faces. Others, like Flash, consistently look flat. The lack of a dedicated inker seems to be the primary problem, although the colors, which are applied too evenly, also contribute to the lack of dimension. There are a couple scenes – notably one where Ming attempts to kill Gordon with flames from his launching rocket – that are so confusing that I still don’t know what’s going on. It’s hard to say whether this is a scripting problem or an art problem, although I tend to lean toward script as the culprit.
With a confusing, disjointed story and an unfulfilling ending, Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist#10 is a disappointing conclusion to series that, up to this point, has had many more hits than misses. It’s obvious the creators hope to continue the story in the future, but with no indication of when that might be, right now we’re left feeling thoroughly unsatisfied.
Zac Boone hates having to write negative reviews. Follow him on twitter to see he’s not so bad after all. (Or not.)
S#!T Talking Central