Look, don't you understand, its different now, it's me!
Logan 5, Logan's Run
I remember Logan as a hero who comes to terms with the reality of life in the Smart City and the horrors of Carousel, bravely making it through the Run to the Outside and then returning to the city as a liberator. But it really isn't like that. Watching him like Van Helsing surveils a vampire he is about to slay lets face it Logan is arrogant, maniacal, bloodthirsty, condescending, selfish, treachorous, bred for superiority with destruction as his purpose. Right at the end of the film he outright murders his best friend Francis 7, repeatedly hitting him on the back with a spear to make sure he is dead. Watch it yourself, its clear Francis 7 is downed, Logan 5 could easily have grappled him, tied him up and reasoned with him about the Outside. Did he know, for sure, that Francis 7 was beyond any reason or was Logan 5 just a bloodthirsty maniac whose killer instinct took over? Did he murder Francis 7 because in his pursuit of Logan 5 Francis 7 had inadvertantly become a Runner himself??? Upon Logan's return he destroys the AI and the Smart City with it plunging probably hundreds of thousands of people into a world they have never known and have no idea how to survive in while telling them There is No Sanctuary. Thanks..? Cut to one month later, half of them are dead from disease, starvation, eaten by wolves, murdered each other, etc one of the survivors may have pointed to that ruined Necropolis they just left and said ''I think that might have been Sanctuary.'' As Jessica 6 says to Logan: ''I hate Outside.'' Cvilization always comes with a price in personal longevity, one way or the other, but improves the lot of the average.
Likewise Flash Gordon does not in any real sense ''save the Earth''. Let me explain. When Ming confronts him in Birdpersonworld before the final battle he offers him rulership over his planet and its incorporation into the Mingverse. He tells him that the people of Earth will not be the same as the people he left, the travails of endless global disasters over the course of the movie making them more amenable to servitude. Flash turns him down, the idea being that better dead than a slave. With only seconds left on the clock when Flash finally triumphs, and the disasters having been ongoing until that point, how many ''free men'' does he finally truly save. Like one? The heroes even seem quite sanguine about it in the end but maybe upon their return, like Logan, all they will find is one man sitting in the ashen ruins, babbling at cats.
Lets face it, Flash was already in league with Vultan and Barin, he had the love of Aura, he was in a very strong position to save the planet first and then betray and kill Ming and free everyone shortly thereafter. I know it wouldn't make as dramatic cinema and I take no pleasure in trashing our cult heroes but I am trying to be as picky as I can here because out of all of them, Flash Gordon is possibly the most beguiling of the false heroes being sent our way because of the Righteousness and the Good Guyness about almost everything he does. Honestly, and maybe this is a personal character flaw, I am very wary of these good guy white knight quarterback types, was he really trying to save the Earth or was he just trying to make sure that Ming didn't get his dick in Dale? You kind of have to put yourself in the position of a groundling backlit by an erupting supervolcano triggered by Mings directed energy weapons as you ''Go, Flash, Go'' in unison with everyone else next year to maybe get where I am coming from.
And who really is Ming the Merciless, with his fiery beams of destruction, this enimgatic emperor of mystery? The Annunaki? Putin? Xi Jinping? Klaus Schwab? Well all I would say is in that skullcap he is a dead ringer for Merlin... both work with fire breathing dragons, both obssessed with kingship, both classically trained actors...
Personally, I would rather face Logan on a city busting rampage than I would face Merlin the Merciless in a dragon conjuring frenzy. Choose your enemies wisely, and use the same abundant caution when it comes to picking your heroes...
Flash Gordon: I'm not a stranger exactly. You know my name.
Dale Arden: Who doesn't? Number one draft pick. Cover of people magazine. What'd the Giants sign you for? 89 million? Big deal!
Flash Gordon, 1980