Dynamite Entertainment Expands King Features License

Official Press Release

Dynamite Entertainment, under license from King Features Syndicate, returns Flash Gordon, Mandrake the Magician, and The Phantom to comic books, and all under the Dynamite publishing umbrella.

The Last Phantom was previously announced to ship this August with Alex Ross at the creative helm, Scott Beatty scripting and Eduardo Ferigato on art in the ongoing series.  But with this newest arrangement, the relationship between Dynamite Entertainment and King Features becomes even further solidified with Flash Gordon and Mandrake the Magician!  The last time these three iconic heroes were under one publisher was 43 years ago, during the period between 1966  and 1967 under the King Comics imprint.  Through the years, different publishers have published each of the characters, with none having all three prime heroes together.  Dynamite has changed that.

"Flash Gordon and Mandrake the Magician are two great additions to the iconic characters we currently publish: Green Hornet, The Phantom, Buck Rogers, Zorro, Project Superpowers, The Black Terror, Death Defying 'Devil, Masquarade, The Lone Ranger and all of the titles we are proud to publish," says Dynamite President and Publisher Nick Barrucci.  "We promise to devote the same passion to these King Features properties as we have done so consistently throughout our publishing history, beginning with The Last Phantom".

Flash Gordon is the hero of a science fiction adventure comic strip originally drawn by Alex Raymond, which was first published on January 7, 1934. The strip was inspired by and created to compete with the already established Buck Rogers adventure strip. Also inspired by these series were comics such as Dash Dixon (1935 to 1939) by H.T. Elmo and Larry Antoinette and Don Dixon and the Hidden Empire (1935 to 1941) by Carl Pfeufer and Bob Moore.  The adventures surrounded Flash Gordon, a handsome polo player and Yale graduate, and his companions, Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov. Dynamite's comic book story begins as Earth is bombarded by fiery meteors. Dr. Zarkov believes the meteors are from outer space and invents a rocket ship to locate their place of origin. Half mad, he kidnaps Flash and Dale, whose plane has crashed in the area, and the three travel to the planet Mongo, where they discover the meteors are weapons devised by Ming the Merciless, evil ruler of Mongo.

Mandrake the Magician is a syndicated newspaper comic strip, created by Lee Falk, which began June 11, 1934 and has been distributed by King Features Syndicate since its inception. Phil Davis soon took over as the strip's illustrator, while Falk continued to script. Mandrake is a magician whose work is based on an unusually fast hypnotic technique. As noted in captions, when Mandrake "gestures hypnotically," his subjects see illusions, and Mandrake used this technique in his battles with a variety of gangsters, mad scientists, extraterrestrials and characters from other dimensions.

The Phantom made its 1936 debut as an adventure comic strip also created by Lee Falk and syndicated by King Features. Through the years, King Features adapted the popular feature into many forms of media, including television, film and video games. It stars a costumed crime fighter operating from the fictional African country, Bengalla.  The Phantom is the 21st in a line of crime fighters that originated in 1536, when the father of British sailor Christopher Walker was murdered during a pirate attack. The only survivor of the attack, Christopher was washed ashore on a Bengallan beach, and swore an oath on the skull of his father's murderer to dedicate his life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice, with his sons and their sons set to follow him. Making a costume based on the image of an old jungle idol, he became the Phantom. When he died, his son took over the role of the Phantom. So the mantle would be passed down to new generations, leaving the people, who believed him to be immortal, to give the mysterious figure nicknames such as "The Man Who Cannot Die," "Guardian of the Eastern Dark" and "The Ghost Who Walks." Unlike many fictional costumed heroes, The Phantom does not have supernatural powers of any kind, but relies on strength, intellect and his reputation of being an immortal ghost to defeat his opponents.

Look for more news about Flash Gordon and Mandrake the Magician comics, as well as upscale collectible figurines, resin statues, bookends, snow globes, mini-busts, trading cards, ithographs and fine art!

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DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT, the publishing division of DYNAMIC FORCES, INC., was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including Red Sonja, Project Superpowers, The Boys, Army of Darkness, Battlestar Galactica, The Lone Ranger, Zorro and more!

In addition to its critically-acclaimed titles and best selling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Michael Turner, Jim Lee, Michael Avon Oeming, Brian Reed, Mel Rubi, Marc Guggenheim, Stephen Sadowski, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner and a host of up and coming new talent and fan favorite creators!

DYNAMITE is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their more recent launches - including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger's PROJECT SUPERPOWERS - have debuted in the Top Ten lists calculated by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005 Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%). The company has also been nominated for several industry awards, including the prestigious Eisner Award.

Aside from its monthly periodical publishing program of new comic book series, DYNAMITE also produces highly regarded and well received collections of newly remastered, classic comics material like Tim Truman's SCOUT, Carlos Trillo and Eduardo Risso's BORDERLINE and TALES OF TERROR, Jim Starlin's DREADSTAR, as well as archival compilations of reprinted RED SONJA tales.


King Features Syndicate is a member of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication Group, which combines Hearst Corporation's cable network partnerships, TV programming activities, newspaper syndication and merchandise licensing operations. King Features is the world's premier distributor of comics, columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games, distributing in print and online some 150 features to nearly 5,000 newspapers and other outlets around the globe. Among the popular brands it represents are Flash Gordon, Zits, Hagar the Horrible, Popeye, Betty Boop, Hints from Heloise, and the You Docs. For more information, please visit http://www.kingfeatures.com

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