Flash Gordon is the hero of a space opera adventure comic strip created by and originally drawn by Alex Raymond. The Flash Gordon comic strip has been translated into a wide variety of media, including motion pictures, television, and animated series. The latest version, a Flash Gordon television series , appeared on the Syfy channel in the United States in — The Buck Rogers comic strip had been commercially very successful, spawning novelizations and children's toys,  and King Features Syndicate decided to create their own science fiction comic strip to compete with it. The syndicate was unable, however, to reach an agreement with Burroughs. The themes of an approaching planet threatening the Earth, and an athletic hero, his girlfriend, and a scientist traveling to the new planet by rocket, were adapted by Raymond for the initial storyline.