In 2014, Mark Millar and Gorlan Parlov published Starlight through Image Comics. It is now a title controlled by Netflix. The comic was about, basically, a Flash Gordon who came home from saving the universe and wasn't believed. And now, in his dotage, his time has come again. The similarity with Flash Gordon was intentional. Initially described it as "Flash Gordon meets The Dark Knight Returns." But just before release he stopped saying Flash Gordon. Indeed he told CBR,
"Starlight" is my love letter to all the sci-fi serials I was obsessed with as a kid…. I was obsessed with everything from the Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes movies to all the old sci-fi serials. That stuff really means as much to me as superheroes. That mainstream sci-fi thing resonates on so many levels for me and I've always wanted to do something in that genre. It's one of the things that John Cassaday and I bonded over years ago: we both had all those things on DVD. I love "Buck Rogers" and "Commander Cody." I'm probably the only guy in a thousand mile radius who has every episode of "Undersea Kingdom."
But suddenly no mention of Flash Gordon. And then the artwork started changing. Young Duke was originally potrayed with a big mane of blond hair, suddenly it was turned dark. You can check the before-and-after comparison – as well as the loss of the sword fight straight out of Flash Gordon.
It looked very much like the lawyers had nobbled them.
Why bring this all up now? Well, Mark Millar has been out on the town with his new best friend, Sam Jones, best known for playing Flash Gordon in the early eighties camp classic movie.
Well, if anyone were to play an ageing Flash Gordon who few take seriously, it would be.. an ageing Flash Gordon who few take seriously.
Unless of course, it's another fakeout like Kick Ass viral video, MPH Detroit visits, Nemesis Times Square, Superior Obama, Empress Hollywood actors… and of course the Starlight fake Granny tattooed reviewer. But I don't think he is hugging a cardboard cut out.