Created in 1934 in the comic strip by artist Alex Raymond, Flash Gordon, savior of the universe, was rocketed to the planet Mongo to save the Earth from the evil Emperor Ming the Merciless. Leadership comes easily to the athletic, charismatic Flash, who shows the oppressed and divided kingdoms of Mongo how to unite and combat Ming’s tyranny. Over the decades, Flash has been the star of comic strips, comic books, novels, movie serials, animation, TV shows, and a well-loved 1980 film starring Sam J. Jones.
Sam J. Jones’ cinematic Flash served as inspiration for this version’s costume, and I lifted his FLASH-branded ringer t-shirt, tan pants, and Nike sneakers (the pants and shoes have been updated from 1980 fashions). I didn’t try to capture Jones’ likeness, instead looking at Alex Raymond’s original drawings of Flash, but I did take some inspiration from 1930s live-action Flash actor Buster Crabbe’s distinctive finger-wave hairstyle. This sculpture was made with Super Sculpey and Aves Apoxie over an aluminum wire and foil armature, and is 1/6th scale and is approximately 12″ high. It’s painted with acrylic and enamel paints, gold leaf, and the sword is hand-made from aluminum tubing (lots of hammering, filing, and sanding!). For Ming’s image and Flash’s logo, I did simple vector drawings in Adobe Illustrator and printed them on Lazertran inkjet decal paper. This was my first time using this paper and I was really pleased with the results.
As you can see, I’ve updated Flash a bit for the 21st century: he was originally a polo player.