Prince Vultan

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Prince Vultan
Publication information
Publisher King Features Syndicate
Created by Alex Raymond
In-story information
Supporting character of Flash Gordon

Prince Vultan is the prince of the bird-like Hawkmen in the Flash Gordon comic strip and its adaptations. Prince Vultan starts his career as a half-villain (he resents Ming's domination but does not oppose it out of fear of reprisal) with a lecherous side (he lusts after Earth woman Dale Arden). However after Zarkov saves his city he reforms into one of Flash Gordon's greatest allies. His character fits the stereotype of the barrel-chested chieftain with more than a hint of the pirate captain or the viking reaver in it, endowed with a booming voice and a great appetite for life, food and women. In the original comic, he has several wives, one of whom tries to kill Dale, as she is jealous of her. He claims to have become King of Sky City after winning one of the Tournaments of Mongo. When Ming tries to take Flash, Vultan calls for a Tournament of Mongo. It is revealed that with Emperor Ming and King Jugrid of the Lion Men he is one of the three most powerful rulers on Mongo. When Flash is given the unconquered Kingdom of Caves by Ming,Vultan sends a party of Hawkmen under Captain Khan to help Flash conquer his Kingdom.

In the 1936 film serial, he was portrayed by Jack Lipson (1901-1947).

Allan Melvin provided Vultan's voice in the 1979 Filmation animated series. He is referred to here as King Vultan, not Prince. His Sky City is a marvel of Mongo technology, as the massive construct is suspended miles above ground by beams of polarized anti-gravity light. Unlike Prince Barin's kingdom of Arboria, Vultan's Hawkmen do not make use of airships in battle. Instead, they fly under their own power or ride giant warbirds armed with harness-mounted energy cannons.

He was portrayed by Brian Blessed in the cult 1980 film Flash Gordon. Vultan is best remembered for the lines "Gordon's alive?!", "Impetuous boy!" and "Squadron 40! Diiiiiiiiiiiive!". For the film's soundtrack by the rock group Queen, Freddie Mercury composed a song called "Vultan's Theme". At the end, he is appointed the General of the Armies when Prince Barin is revealed as the rightful ruler of Mongo.

In the 1996 Flash Gordon animated series, Vultan is a somewhat conservative leader, and reluctant to act against Ming for fear of reprisals against his people. His role as Flash's ally is taken by his teenage son, Prince Talon.

In the 2007 television series, Vultan appears as the leaders of a group of nomadic mercenaries called Dactyls (a variation of the Hawkmen). In the episode, Ascension, Vultan travels to Earth, using Princess Aura's rift key. He kidnaps a teenage boy who he claims is his son. He is played by Ty Olsson.

In a 2008 episode of the animated sitcom Family Guy called "Road to Germany", Brian, Stewie and Mort enlist the help of Vultan's Hawkman Army in a dogfight over Europe against the Luftwaffe. Blessed returns to voice Vultan briefly during the episode.