MASTER OF KUNG FU is one of the lost masterpieces of the Bronze Age. Written by Doug Moench and pencilled most by Paul Gulacy, Mike Zeck and Gene Day, it was philosophical exciting, full of love, loss and danger, weird, very much of its time (1974-1981) and yet timeless. Despite the memorable work on the title, it cannot be reprinted because the main character, Shang Chi, was supposed to be the son of Fu Manchu, the pulp villain created by Sax Rohmer, and owned by the Rohmer estate. Supporting charactaer Denis Nayland Smith and Fah Lo Suee from the books were also in the comics. So unless an agreement with the Fu Manchu owners is made, the comics can only be seen in scans and my own treasured, coupon clipped back issues. Shang Chi has come back a few times—most recently early last year, but shorn of his nefarious paternal connections.
But Shang Chi IS Coming back, as is the title Master of Kung Fu…as part of Secret Wars Battleworld, Shang Chi is back and he has a whole new origin—which is Iron Fist’s but…who is counting. Also, he’s now…an X-man? Haden Blackman and Dalibor Talajic are the creative team, and Francesco Francavilla does the covers.
Can one man defeat an entire empire? Find out this May, as fists fly on the surface of BATTLEWORLD and a victor will be crowned in MASTER OF KUNG-FU #1, a new 4-issue limited series launching during Secret Wars! Fan-favorite creators Haden Blackman (Elektra) and Dalibor Talajic (Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe) team to take you inside the mystical land of K’un Lun for a series of brutal trials by combat!
Welcome to K’un Lun, a land where the study of martial arts reigns supreme. In a world where everyone is a master of their craft, what becomes of the drunken, drop-out failure? Shang-Chi was the most prized student at the most prestigious of K’un Lun’s many martial arts schools. Now he’s a washed up has-been living on the streets.
Cast out and forsaken by society, Shang-Chi will join other outcasts like him in a bid to dethrone the harsh and evil Emperor Zu. One problem – Zu is Shang-Chi’s father! Things are going to get messy.
“I’m really looking forward to portraying Shang-Chi in ways that we haven’t seen before,” says Haden Blackman in an interview with Marvel.com. “He begins the story very down and out, an exile and an outcast himself, which was very fun to write. I’m also hopeful that the interactions with some of the supporting cast will show us different sides of Shang-Chi, who finds himself a reluctant mentor.”
This May, can one beaten-down man become a MASTER? As Secret Wars begins, step in to the arena and prepare to find out in MASTER OF KUNG-FU #1!
MASTER OF KUNG-FU #1
Written by HADEN BLACKMAN
Art by DALIBOR TALAJIC
Cover by FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA
Coming May 2015!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.