Tuesday, July 16, 2013
YEAR 1935: QUEEN AZURA
I don't have a collection of the early FLASH GORDON strips handy, but I have the general impression that Queen Azura, aka "the Witch Queen," was the first of many insidious but lustful queens who attempted to seduce Flash away from Dale Arden. Admittedly, in the first sequence Aura, daughter of Flash's principal foe Ming the Merciless, also seeks to warm the form of the hero, but Aura didn't command her own kingdom.
I did notice from one reference that just before Flash, Dale and their retinue encounter Azura, the queen of the "Blue Magic Men," Dale is fussing at Flash about their impending nuptials, which he's conveniently put off, due to the greater importance of the rebellion against Ming. Perhaps not coincidentally, after Azura's forces take the Gordon group prisoner, Azura uses a drug to make Flash forget his past, including Dale. Dale, forced to become a serving-wench, tearfully looks on as Flash allows Azura to make love to him. Since it was a family newspaper, readers could only use their imaginations to speculate as to how far the lovemaking went. Though eventually Flash got clear of Azura, somehow that wedding never did go through. But Flash kept meeting dozens of horny lady rulers, and all Dale ever got was nasty old Ming.
In the initial episode as I recall it, all of Azura's "sorcery" is of scientific origins, though I can't say the same for all of her later incarnations.