Aside from World War II and the War of the Worlds broadcast, there were other haps in the 1930s and 1940s that informed my Dad’s interests and personality. For example, as he told me numerous times, his favorite comic strip of the era was Flash Gordon. Flash was big at the time. Dad loved Flash so much, it was even his college nickname!
As I reviewed the original comic strip in preparation for this post, I was struck by how much it resembles Star Wars of my generation. The action takes place on the planet Mongo, locale of kingdoms like Arboria (forests) and Frigia (ice). Kings and Queens galore! And the villain? A bad guy with interesting headwear!
Meet Ming the Merciless!
When looking at the above image of Ming, I am not sure if Darth Vader was ever so similar a lady killer. Well, the young Jedi Anakin certainly was, in the prequels. Unfortunately, he lost his man parts — GOP Presidential candidates please take note — on the lava planet (or moon, whichever) after losing the sword fight to Obi Wan.
On the other hand, what Flash didn’t have was the tiresome drama of Luke and Leia playing “who’s your daddy?” Who needs parents anyway? That’s right, you heard it asked here on the Bernard Olcott Story blog!