Friday, May 29, 2015

Master of Kung Fu #90 (Martial Arts in Comics)

I'm starting a new project:  "Martial Arts in Comics."

I intend to highlight some series I feel are good reads, aspects of philosophy, great art or even general/specific techniques.  Source material will be mostly American comics, however, don't be surprised if there will be entries from manhua (Hong Kong comics) or manga (Japanese comics).

Kicking (pun intended!) my "Martial Arts in Comics" project off with a page from Marvel Comics' Master of Kung Fu highlighting some philosophy.

So much Zen and Tao in this page :) Enjoy!


Master of Kung Fu was an American comic book series from 1974 to 1983. The series is alternately known as Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu or MOKF. Written primarily by Doug Moench, Master of Kung Fu featured martial arts secret agent Shang-Chi (Chinese: 上氣; pinyin: shàng qì; literally: "rising of the spirit"). He was created by writer Steve Englehart and artist Jim Starlin. Although Shang-Chi was an original Marvel Comics character, many of his supporting cast members, including Fu Manchu, Fah Lo Suee, Sir Denis Nayland Smith, and Doctor Petrie, were in fact the creation of pulp crime novelist Sax Rohmer.

In late 1972, Marvel Comics acquired the comic book rights to Rohmer's characters while they held the rights to the Kung Fu television program. Instead of producing a straight adaptation of either source, Marvel combined the two. The series began by introducing Shang Chi as a man raised by his father Fu Manchu to be the ultimate lackey for the would-be world conqueror. In Shang Chi's first mission, he kills one of his father's old enemies, Dr. Petrie, and learns of Fu Manchu's true, evil nature. Disillusioned, Shang Chi swears eternal opposition to his father's ambitions and fights him as an agent of British intelligence, under the orders of Nayland Smith. Amidst the martial arts craze in the United States in the 1970s, the book became very popular, surviving until issue #125 (June 1983)

Check out this page and wax philosophical!

Click for super larger resolution picture

Click for larger pic


Master of Kung Fu #90
July 1980
"Triumphs of the Flesh!"
Page 16

Writer: Doug Moench
Penciler: Mike Zeck

Panel 1

Shang Chi: “Finally, Chinatown lies just ahead…”

Police Officer (off panel): “Hey, you! Can’t ya read?”

Shang Chi: “What?”

Panel 2

Police Officer: “The sign! It says: Don’t Walk!”

Shang Chi: “But there are no cars. What do you say?”

Panel 3

Police Officer: “I say never mind – just obey the sign.”

Shang Chi: “Even when the sign serves no purpose?”

Police Officer: “What do you mean ‘No purpose?’ That sign’s there to protect your life!”

Panel 4

Shang Chi: “I can serve that purpose better than a sign.”

Police Officer: “Don’t get wise with me you little punk! Just obey the sign!”

Shang Chi: “If the sign said “Walk” while a car was rushing down the street - -“

Panel 5

Shang Chi: “- -would you have me walk in front of it?”

Police Officer: “Of course not! The sign can’t see when some idiot on the cross-street is disobeying the law!”

Panel 6

Shang Chi: “Yet I can see that there are no cars now. You can also see it. But the sign as you say, can see nothing.”

Panel 7

Shang Chi: “Had you not stopped me, I would now be two blocks down the street and the sign would nei
ther know nor care.”

Police Officer: “Never mind! Just get outta here – back to Chinatown where ya belong – killin’ each other!”

Shang Chi: “I belong – where I am!”

Was that great or what? 

Please let me know if you like this or not by leaving a comment. As a reminder, comments are moderated, you will have to fill a 'captcha code' to verify you are not a spambot :)

Thank you!



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