Just a ManWritten by: Jeff Parker
Artist: Jesse Hamm
Colors: Grace Allison
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: November 2, 2016
Review by: Ryan Douglas
Check at Ryan's Podcast HERE
**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**
First, we catch up with The Phantom and Jedda Walker at a movie theater where the news is being shown. There we get a short recap regarding Ming the Merciless being exiled and believed to be killed after attempting to invade Earth. We find the Phantoms bust in to arrest a man who was found guilty of poaching lions in the fictional African country Bangalla. By Phantom law, Jedda punches the man and leaves the Phantom mark on his forehead. Right after an earthquake starts to shake the theater.
Walking out of the theater the Phantoms mind gets invaded by Mandrake to inform them the earthquakes are worldwide. The Phantoms are asked to come to his mansion Xanadu which seems to be an hour from their location. There they are informed along with the earthquakes are tidal waves hitting the coasts. Not being able to use a ship to travel by sea, Mandrake decides to call Professor Zarkov for help.
Zarkov is quite busy at the moment being held hostage by the Russian gorilla army in his lab. Zarkov isn't worried and continues to grab his bottle of whiskey to sip on. Zarkov at some point is able to use a silent signal to call on Flash Gordon. Flash Gordon comes in to save the day and kick some Russian butt. We get a great action scene of Flash using a body as a human shield from gunfire, using a machete to cut off a guys hand and cutting his throat. He evens uses a chair as a way to snap a guys neck.
While it's not as bloody as you would think. You get a feel for the gravitas in these panels. Arriving shortly after is Dale Arden with her own small army too late for the party. While standing in the lab the calls come in from Mandrake asking Zarkov is his rocket was ready to fly.
Now the squad is all together crammed in this rocketship flying over the Pacific Ocean. While flying over this island there are monsters attacking navy ships. Out of nowhere, the ship is attacked leaving the team crashing into this island which turns out to be the Mongo. There a giant hologram of Ming the Merciless is telling Flash since being exiled he has learned to transport a whole region onto Earth. With no other choice the team has to crash land into Mongo.
Jumping into this book you may feel cause there are quite a few subtle mentions of things that happen previously. It almost felt like an inside joke that you weren't apart of. I enjoyed seeing these characters come together to venture off to investigate the cause of these tidal waves. The art which I really enjoyed stays true to the comic strip feel. I personally enjoyed this first issue enough to want to go back and catch up on the previous series to not feel left out.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue set ups the return of the Defenders of the Earth teaming up to explore the cause of the earthquakes that are occurring around the world. For new readers, you may feel lost with the subtle references regarding the previous storyline. But there is enough in this first issue that may intrigue you to continue this new series.