Flash Gordon was created to compete with Buck Rogers because the syndicate didn’t get the rights to John Carter of Mars from Edgar Rice Burroughs. In outer space, where cold light of science has not yet reached the imagination is free to wander.
Live models from the Walter Thornton Agency posed in action as cartoon characters for Alex Raymond’s artistic genius to transform into a grand pantheon of good and evil.
On the planet Mongo, Ming the Merciless, ruler of the universe, prepares to subject the lovely Dale to the dehumanizing machine. If she survives, Dale shall be Ming’s wife; however, Ming is interrupted by an attack on his city by a fleet of space gyros piloted by the Lion Men of Mongo. Since Ming’s daughter, Aura, emprisoned Flash in a spaceship, to defend Dale who is trapped in the city, Flash attacks the space gyros until his ship crashes by the space gyro of Prince Thun of the Lion Men. Flash and Thun enter the caverns under the city to rescue Dale where they fight the two-headed Tsak, two sacred Droks, and two soldiers, but finally enter a door that leads them to Ming’s throne room where they witness Dale’s wedding procession. Flash and Thun rescue Dale, but they are cast into an underground river that sweeps them into a whirlpool and over a waterfall, where Dale and Flash are dragged underwater and captured by the Shark Men. Kala, the ruler of the Shark Men, says he will return Dale to Ming the Merciless, and challenges Flash to moral combat. Flash wins but he is tricked into a cell that fills with water, from which he is rescued by Aura, who has escaped from the Warrior Women.