It's the clash of classic comic strip space aces in a contest for cosmic supremacy – Buck Rogers: heroic aviator who is transported to a war-torn 25th century by a freak dirigible accident with his teenage sidekick Buddy, and Flash Gordon: Yale polo star who, along with the beautiful Dale Arden, is shanghaied by the mad Doctor Zarkov to the oppressed planet of Mongo!
Of course, both of these interplanetary paragons were portrayed in Thirties serials by the same Olympic swimmer-turned-action star, Larry "Buster" Crabbe.
Now, Buck's got cool 25th century gadgets (courtesy of Dr. Huer) and a sexy female pilot (Wilma Deering) to chauffeur him back and forth to Saturn, but his arch-foe, Killer Kane, is pretty much just a hood with delusions of grandeur. Flash has a smokin' hot girlfriend (Dale) lots of weird, alien allies (Barin, Thun, Vultan), is good with fists and swords, and has as his nemesis probably the coolest galactic despot ever, Ming the Merciless.
I'm calling this one for Flash (after all, he had three chapterplays to Buck's one), though I really love the 1939 Buck Rogers serial, and think it's highly underrated. Besides, I think it's telling that when Buster showed up on the 1979 Buck Rogers In The 25th Century television series, his character was named Brigadier Gordon.
"Captain, I've been doing this sort of thing since before you were born."
"Think so, huh?"
"Son, I know so."
What do you folks say? (Remember, it's only the Buster Crabbe serial versions of the characters that we're dealing with here.)