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SYFY WIRE Flash Gordon

Exclusive: Stan Lee on Flash Gordon's superhero status in 'Life After Flash' documentary

By Christian Long
Life After Flash documentary

The new documentary, Life After Flash, casts a wide net in terms of looking at the classic character of Flash Gordon, the 1980 big screen rendition, the questions about a sequel, and the life of its star, Sam J. Jones

When creator Alex Raymond first published Flash Gordon in 1937, his square-jawed hero was a star polo player. For the film, he was the quarterback of the New York Jets. But in every iteration of the character, he was just a man... with a man's courage. 

In this new exclusive clip, the late Stan Lee discusses whether or not Flash Gordon counts as a 'superhero,' since he has no traditional superpowers. 

In the clip, Lee is seemingly reverent about the character, but despite the influence that Flash Gordon had on costumed heroes, and comic books in general, it appears Lee had some... controversial thoughts on whether the character counts as a superhero himself: "You can't be a superhero without a superpower."

This is met with immediate debate from the likes of Mark Millar and Alex Ross, who each argue that the moral purity of Flash Gordon is enough to count him as a superhero. Not to mention the fact he single-handedly stops Ming's army with nothing but his athletic prowess. 

Additionally, author Rich Fulcher and producer Jason Lenzi also weigh in, adding the obvious argument that by Lee's logic, characters like Batman wouldn't be considered superheroes either. 

Obviously, there's no one right answer here, though it is impossible to deny the massive impact that Raymond's creation had on pop culture beyond the pages of a comic book. We'll also be getting another chance to see the savior of the universe on the big screen, with Overlord director Julius Avery helming a reboot

You'll be able to see this conversation and many others for yourself when Life After Flash hits VOD on Feb. 26, or on DVD on March 26. 

Do you think Flash Gordon counts as a superhero, despite his lack of superpowers? Let us know in the comments!

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