There have been cinema villians who threatened cites, threatened countries, even threatened whole planets!
But only one has ever proclaimed that not only did he rule the Universe, that he was the Universe!
Conceived in 1934 as the antagonist of the brand-new Flash Gordon newspaper comic strip, Emperor Ming of Mongo was a futuristic version of the "Yellow Peril" menace popularized by Sax Rohmer's insidious Fu Manchu and the Han, conquerors of Buck Rogers' 25th Century America!
When Universal Studios adapted Flash Gordon into a 13-chapter movie serial in 1936, they defied movie convention by keeping Ming as the villain and faithfully adapting the strip's plotline.
(Studios usually made radical changes to comic strip and pulp characters they used, most frequently replacing the original pulp and comic villains with the studios' own creations.)
With handsome Olympic athlete-turned-actor Buster Crabbe as the embodiment of an all-American hero, who could portray the ultimate villain to oppose him?
Charles Middleton, who could not only chew the scenery, but spit it out like toothpicks, got the role, and certainly made the most of it...
...making Ming the most hissable foe any movie hero ever faced!
When not plotting to destroy and/or conquer Earth, and lusting after Dale Arden, Ming also had to keep an eye on his own daughter, Princess Aura, who lusted after Flash Gordon, and kept saving him!
And that was the end of the man called "Merciless", right?
Be back here...tomorrow...for the answer to that, and many other questions!
And for more villains than you can boo and hiss at, see the other contributors to...
by clicking HERE!