Defenders of the Earth is an American animated television series produced in 1986, featuring characters from three comic strips distributed by King Features Syndicate—Flash Gordon, The Phantom, and Mandrake the Magician—opposing Ming the Merciless in the year 2015. Supporting characters include their children Rick Gordon (son of Flash), Jedda Walker (daughter of the Phantom), Kshin (adopted son of Mandrake), Mandrake's assistant Lothar, and Lothar's son L.J. The show lasted for 65 episodes; there was also a short-lived comic book series published by Star Comics (an imprint of Marvel Comics), created by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru and John Romita, Sr.. The closing credits credit Rob Walsh and Tony Pastor for the main title music, and Stan Lee for the lyrics. The series was later shown in reruns on the Sci Fi Channel as part of Sci Fi Cartoon Quest.
The plot begins with Flash Gordon and his son Rick escaping from Ming the Merciless, who has exhausted all the natural resources of his home planet Mongo and desires to exploit Earth. Ming captures Flash's wife Dale Arden and tries to brainwash her, but she resists to the point of death; whereafter her psyche is later included in the Defenders' supercomputer 'Dynac X'.