Universalís Flash Gordon (1936) extended the New Deal eraís aerial emphasis. The first great air serial was Mascotís Mystery Squadron (1932), and following the smash successes of UniversalísTailspin Tommy (1934) and its sequel Tailspin Tommy and the Great Air Mystery(1935), the studio decided to catapult the aviation cycle into outer space. Science fiction magazines had gained a strong foothold in the newstands of the early 1930s, Buck Rogers had appeared as a daily strip in 1929, and Flash Gordon (created in 1934 to compete with Buck Rogers) was just reaching its peak by 1936. Artist Alex Raymond (who also drew Jungle Jim, Secret Agent X-9, and Rip Kirby) provided fantastic drawings that evoked an action-filled world of strange beasts, winged men, lustful passions, and futuristic cities. Universal bought the rights to Raymondís strip and armed with a $350,000 budget aimed to make a serial to top all others.
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