Flash Gordon Foreign Reprinter Rips-Off X-Men: Apocalypse

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A new foreign reprint of classic Flash Gordon comic strips from 1977 and 1978 has an unexpected villain on the cover. He's especially unexpected because he's a character that wasn't created yet, has nothing to do with Flash Gordon or cartoonist Dan Barry, and in fact is from a film design of that character that's only a year old.

Yes, that's Apocalypse, from X-Men: Apocalypse, there on the cover of this 2016 reprint, which can be found in Turkey. When put side-by-side with the early images of Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse, it's clearly taken directly from 20th Century Fox's film.

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The actual primary villain of the 77-78 years by Dan Barry was Dak-Tula, who was essentially a "Red Baron" style character with some scifi extra abilities. The guy with the goggles there? That's Dak-Tula. He looks absolutely nothing like Fox's take on Apocalypse, the X-Men villain who only debuted in 1986, and neither does any other Flash Gordon villain or character we could find.

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(Photo: Magic Shop)

So how does something like this happen? Well it's a small, foreign-language reprint of a story that's almost forty years old. Someone probably did a google search for "comic villain" and Apocalypse came up, they slapped him on there to "spruce up" the cover, and here we are. Will 20th Century Fox go after Magic Shop, the Turkish publisher? Well, that's for copyright lawyers to figure out.

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X-Men: Apocalypse, which as far as we know doesn't cross over with Flash Gordon in any way, hits theaters May 27, 2016.