This joke has been running round our heads for a while now, but we needed a good villain to pull it off. It needed to be precisely the sort of malefactor who would not only maintain a harem of slave girls, but also be inclined to drop them through a trapdoor at the slightest provocation. When we adopted Max Von Sydow’s Ming The Merciless for our season 2 comic, “The Unusual Suspects“, the choice of villain became obvious.

We took the opportunity to reuse our background from “Rings of Mongo“, modified to add a nice dais for Ming’s throne. And what a throne it is! It’s modelled after the shape of the one used in the old Buster Crabbe serialisation (which was re-run on Saturday morning kids TV when we were growing up). That throne, in turn, is a close match for the version in the Alex Raymond’s original Flash Gordon comic strip – although we don’t have a copy of the original strip for reference, so our colour scheme has instead been inspired by the reds and golds of the 1980 film, bringing us full circle back to Max Von Sydow.

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This comic is also available in French

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↓ Transcript
Handyman: Emperor Ming, I have done as you have asked. The trapdoor in the imperial bedchamber is now connected to the computer network.

Ming: Excellent! So as soon as I drop one of my slave girls into the pit of doom…

Handyman: …the 'Relationship Status' on your Facebook page will automatically change to 'Single'