K: Dan? Dan! DAAAN…? It’s dark, I can’t see anything. Where am I?

D: ::speaks into tin-can space-phone, with string stretching off into forever:: Don’t panic, Red. I’m sure you’ll be ok. It’s just…


D: Just that it seems you may be stuck in another dimension/planet/timespace.

K: oh

D: It’s not like I didn’t tell you not to use that break-room microwave! The damn thing had a manual dial, for god’s sake! Spill a can of ginger ale on the science oven, and who knows what could happen. Never trusted those damn things.

K: Wait, I think it’s starting to get lighter. Yeah, kind of murky, but I think I OUCH SONOVA GOD DAMMIT I STUBBED MY TOE!

D: I thought you said it was getting lighter and you could see better?

K: If I ever get home, I’m going to kill you.

D: Same old Red.

K: You work on the science, smart mouth. I’m going to rest my toe and read my copy of FLASH GORDON #1 I had in my briefcase when the science oven blew up.

::Dan does things with science that can’t- and shouldn’t- be repeated::

D: How’s the comic?

K: Awesome! This book puts the “fun” back in “comics!” Pretty sure I had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading it. I really liked the- Hey! If I’m on another planet, how is this string connecting the tin cans?

D: Er, it’s science? It’s something to do with the mrf-sckly-SCIENCE-OVEN-SPACE-TIME-ski. Also, you’re a terrible speller. Over.

K: I lost that last part. And did you say “Over?”

D: Sure did. Over.

K: sigh. Anyway, At least my boy Flash is going through the same mess I am. After halting the invasion of the Earth by the warlord Ming in the KINGS WATCH mini-series that just concluded, Flash Gordon, Dale Arden, and Dr. Zarkov are stranded on the hostile planet Mongo.

D: Cool set-up. Did someone conk Flash on the head and lock him in the attic?

K: No… They had to remove the quantum crystal in order to close the portal from Mongo to Earth. That’s how they stopped the invasion forces. But it stranded the Good Guys on enemy turf.

Heeeyyyy… This thing I stubbed my toe on. It kinda looks like my hope chest. But I can’t really see it clearly…

D: Heh. There’s no hope chest on alien planets. Heh. That’s silly.

K: We’ll see. So writer Jeff Parker kicks the story off with the pedal to the floor. Our heroes are on the run, low on fuel, and full of snappy one-liners. Unable to shake the bad guys flying over Mongo, they skip through a series of portals. A last-ditch effort to shake the bad guys, it allows Parker to give us readers a mini-tour of Mongo-occupied territories.

Flash, as always, is grinning ear-to-ear. His pals aren’t as amused.

Holy crap! These are my high-school yearbooks! What the hell, Malmon?

D: Science oven mishap transported all your crap into space with you I swear that’s it don’t come downstairs and beat me up please!

::Kate yanks on tin-can space-phone, space-phone crashes into door leading to attic::

K: ::gives a sneaky side-eye sneer:: Rising Star Evan “Doc” Shaner is the man in charge of putting Parker’s words into four color panel form. We’ve loved his stuff since Buddy Cops!

D: I miss Buddy Cops.

K: Me, too.

D: ::pages through his own copy of FLASH GORDON:: I think “fun” is the best way to describe his work. From Flash and his ever-present grin, to Zarkov and his ever-present scowl. Be it space battles, sea monsters, or alien tree grubs, Shaner lays it all down with a confidant pencil. His Dale Arden is especially wonderful. Strong and confidant, it’s clear who’s really going to save the day. Or maybe he uses a digital pencil. Who knows how these modern artists draw their funny books today. Why, I heard tell that back in the day…

K: ::walks downstairs, sneaks up behind unsuspecting Malmon:: … I heard Kirby could draw 100 pages a day all by hand and then stop bullets in his teeth.

D: YARGH! Uh, hi honey! I see you’ve, er, made it home from space! Crazy science oven mishap. Heh.

K: I fell asleep while reading on the couch. And then you locked me in the attic. Because you didn’t have dinner prepped like I asked you to.

D: Holy moly. You’re the real Dark Knight Detective. But, see? I made your favorite: meat loaf!

K: That’s not my favorite. It’s the only thing you can make.

D: That may be, but like Flash Gordon says, “I’ve got this!”

K: Flash has “got this”, because he’s a hero. You my hapless man, are a dope. Because I have the keys.