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Old 05-03-2020, 05:28 AM
Levolor the Blind is offline
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Whatever Happened to Ming the Merciless? (Flash Gordon Comic Strip)


I've researching Ming the Merciless ahead of using him in a tabletop RPG but the last reference to him online is " Flash arrives at Bravorís headquarters and quickly overpowers Ming" whereupon Flash, Dale, and Zarkhov return to Earth to battle Red Sword fascists.

Did Ming die, or is he imprisoned like a common Firelord?
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Old 05-03-2020, 06:53 AM
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As i understand it he was recruited by the Intergalactic Revenue Service as an auditor. Received several commendations.
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Old 05-03-2020, 06:54 AM
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Wow, that's a big question with multiple answers.

I know in the serials he died from one of his own death inventions. I believe he was disintegrated. Ditto some of his other media appearances.

But the fact is, he's a tricky one. He always comes back. Even in the 1980 movie - his last big screen appearance, I believe, he took a spaceship through the chest and was hinted at coming back in the very end.

So your options are endless, literally. Ming is filling the 'evil intelligent alien warlord' space and he'll always have some sort of backup get-out-of-jail-free plan. You can safely tell your players any tale you want wherein he escapes death by the thinnest of margins due to his ability to plan and begin plotting again.
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:23 AM
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In comic books, he appears sporadically--most recently six years ago--as the main antagonist of Defenders of the Earth, a.k.a. Kings Watch, a super team composed of Flash Gordon, Mandrake and the Phantom. It's not that Phantom and Mandrake have no recurring villains, it's just that none of them has Ming's marquee value.
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Old 05-03-2020, 08:28 AM
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With the possible exception of Uncle Ben, no one in comic books is ever permanently dead.

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Old 05-03-2020, 02:07 PM
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The rule used to be "nobody except Uncle Ben and Bucky Barnes". And look how that turned out.
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Old 05-03-2020, 04:14 PM
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In the original comic strips, he was overthrown, but not killed. He built a mind-control machine. Flash managed to turn the tables. Under the influence of the mind control, Ming declared a republic, then went off into exile.

I remember one storyline from the 1970s, in which Ming returned to Mongo, and started to build a personality cult among disaffected youth. (A stand-in for the Hitler Youth, or the Chinese Red Guards, depending on your politics.)
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Old 05-03-2020, 04:33 PM
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So, according to the Alex Raymond strips, Flash Gordon deposes Ming the Merciless in 1941. After escaping from the chambers where he was in a coma due to the effects of an hypno-ray (not making this up), Ming tries to assassinate Flash, but the hero manages to punch his lights out and that's the last we see of Ming in the Raymond canon.

After Flash comes back to Earth so he can use the advanced Mongo technology to defeat the nazis (again, not making this up) and, unable to enjoy boring earthly life again, he decides to return with Zarkov and Dale to the alien planet. After a couple misadventures, he reaches Mingo City where his friend Barin was supposed to be the ruler, only to find that an until then unheard of son of Ming, Kang, has managed to take over.

Kang wants to kill Flash to "avenge" his father. Which makes me assume that he was executed at some point during Barin's reign.

Last edited by Go_Arachnid_Laser; 05-03-2020 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:47 PM
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He fled to Planet Porno, adopted the name Wang, and founded a new empire of perversion.
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Old 05-04-2020, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N9IWP View Post
With the possible exception of Uncle Ben, no one in comic books is ever permanently dead.
Yes, the Checkered Demon will never die. Yikes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
He fled to Planet Porno, adopted the name Wang, and
founded a new empire of perversion.
Wang the Wignificant, or Wang the Wigless? Ah, you're channeling Flesh Gordon. Anyway, I see possible involvement with the star ship Intercourse thrusting through the galaxies.
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Old 05-05-2020, 07:05 AM
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In the Sundays-only Flash Gordon comic strip, Ming put in an appearance as recently as last month.
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Old 05-05-2020, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horatio Hellpop View Post
In comic books, he appears sporadically--most recently six years ago--as the main antagonist of Defenders of the Earth, a.k.a. Kings Watch, a super team composed of Flash Gordon, Mandrake and the Phantom. It's not that Phantom and Mandrake have no recurring villains, it's just that none of them has Ming's marquee value.
* In the Bandar tongue.
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:03 PM
Levolor the Blind is offline
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Thanks for the replies. I hadn't realized the Flash Gordon strip was still being written. Lots of catching up to do.
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
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He fled to Planet Porno, adopted the name Wang, and founded a new empire of perversion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
Wang the Wignificant, or Wang the Wigless? Ah, you're channeling Flesh Gordon. Anyway, I see possible involvement with the star ship Intercourse thrusting through the galaxies.
His A**holiness, the Emperor Wang the Perverted, of course!
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I'm Prince Precious, rightful heir to the throne of Porno. Years ago, this planet was a veritable paradise. But Wang, a maniacal botanist whose organ was devoured by a crazed Penis Flytrap, could not tolerate the existence of so much pleasure, and so, banding together an army of the impotent and frustrated, and armed with a small but effective sex ray, plunged my palace into carnal chaos, and took it over.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:00 PM
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The rule used to be "nobody except Uncle Ben and Bucky Barnes". And look how that turned out.
That sounds awfully Marvel-centric. Predating them we have Jor-el and Lara, Superman's parents and Thomas and Martha (?) Wayne

Last edited by OldGuy; 05-16-2020 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:08 AM
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All of whom have come back.
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