Thursday, September 06, 2007

Self-indulgent comics blogging

One of the first comics I ever read as a kid was Master of Kung Fu #17. A couple of years ago, I started tracking down other Shang Chi comics and bought Special Marvel Edition #16, which was the issue right before the one I'd read (the title having changed with #17).

It's a cool comic and I especially liked how Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin created a real threat for Shang Chi. His real nemesis was still going to be Fu Manchu, but no one ever thought that Shang Chi and Fu Manchu were going to duke it out once and for all. So, we got Midnight, Shang Chi's adopted brother who was still loyal to Fu Manchu and almost as good as Shang Chi was.

He and Shang Chi liked and respected each other, so Midnight would've made a great recurring villain in the series as each fighter tried to bring the other over to his point-of-view. Unfortunately, he died in the same issue he first appeared in.

Except not really. Apparently, Ron Marz brought him back briefly in Silver Surfer as sort of a Kree-created zombie and left him hanging out with the Inhumans on the Moon. Where he still is, waiting for his guest-appearance in Heroes for Hire where Shang Chi's currently hanging out.

What do you say, Zeb Wells?

Mostly unrelated (except that this is also about comics characters no one cares about but me), Alpha Flight #6 (from John Byrne's run) was one of those wacky Assistant Editor Month books that used to try some daring things, often to humorous results. In this particular comic, Snowbird fought a weather-controlling Great Beast who called in a blizzard to help unbalance the fight in his favor. You've heard the old gag about leaving a blank piece of paper and calling it a picture of a polar bear in a snow storm. That's pretty much what Byrne did with this issue, so the whole fight is nothing but blank panels with some word balloons and sound effects. It was nuts, but it was fun too and I never felt cheated.

I tell you all that to tell you that someone's come up with a dang clever way of using that book to collect convention sketches (you gotta scroll down a bit to see). I'd love to see scans of the whole thing when it's done.


googum said...

Thanks for the link! Steve Englehart brought back Midnight Sun in Silver Surfer, but Marz dropped him off at the Inhumans' doorstep.

I haven't read a ton of Master of Kung Fu, although I think I have the last issue around somewhere. Aside from Fu Manchu, he didn't get a lot of recurring villains, did he? Zaran, the Cat maybe, maybe Razorfist? Not so good.

Michael May said...

I've only read the early issues so far, so I don't know about the later stuff. But you're right that except for Fu Manchu, there aren't a lot of villains who immediately leap to mind when you think of Shang Chi.

I'd love to see that change though.


Related Posts with Thumbnails