In my own mind, Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon was always the part of a slew of science fiction concepts, encompassing a Gulliver-like adventure where the ordinary man and intergalactic peculiar collide head-on. Technically, the 30s comic book appearance came after Buck Rogers, but I'd also say they both were heavily influenced by the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and specifically John Carter Of Mars.
But, as well syndicated as the Flash Gordon comic strip was, it was the three serial films starring Buster Crabbe as Flash, the first appearing in 1936, that really lit the rocket on this particular character. The amazing longevity of these serials meant that I saw them as a child in Saturday morning cinema screenings, and they regularly appeared on
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