Flash Gordon is the hero of a space opera adventure comic strip created by and originally drawn by Alex Raymond. First published on January the 7th, 1934, the strip was inspired by, and created to compete with, the already established Buck Rogers adventure strip.
The Flash Gordon comic strip ran as a daily from 1934 to 1992, with the Sunday strip continuing until 2003. Reprints are still being syndicated by King Features Syndicate.
The comic strip follows the adventures of Flash Gordon, a handsome polo player and Yale University graduate, and his companions Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov. The story begins with Earth threatened by a collision with the planet Mongo. Dr. Zarkov invents a rocket ship to fly into space in an attempt to stop the disaster. Half mad, he kidnaps Flash and Dale and they travel to the planet. Landing on the planet, and halting the collision, they come into conflict with Ming the Merciless, Mongo’s evil ruler.
On Mongo – 7th January 1934 (first comic strip)
Above: Alex Raymond original Sunday comic strip artwork for Flash Gordon #1 – the origin and first appearance, published January 7, 1934.
Drawn in pencil and ink, the art measures 28.25 x 23 inches and is illustrated on board.
Signed “Alexander Raymond” beside “No 1” in the lower left panel.
On the top margin in blue pencil is written “Flash Gordon Page #1 By Alexander Raymond” and “No. 1” written again on side and bottom margins.
Sold in April 2020 for $480,000 USD.