Master Of Kung Fu #123
Marvel (April, 1983)“The Sins Of The Son!” WRITER: Alan Zelenetz PENCILER: William Johnson INKER: Mike Mignola COLORIST: George Roussos LETTERER: Rick Parker EDITOR: Denny O’Neil
Shang-Chi meets up with his mother in New York, or at least planned to. He arrived to find her apartment empty and trashed before being attacked by a Si-Fan, an assassin employed by his late father, Fu Manchu. More assassins attempt to kill Shang-Chi, one even using her own son to trick him into a trap. Eventually he learns that his mother is in Chinatown not as a prisoner but as their new leader. They’ve convinced her that it is his fault she doesn’t have access to the elixir of life and now she has taken over the Si-Fan with orders to kill her own son.
What they got right: It’s only in recent times that I have at least some knowledge of Shang-Chi’s history that I can truly appreciate the story but even when I got this in one of those multi-pack bags I could follow what was happening and enjoyed it. The action was well drawn and the story well written.
What they got wrong: What’s his mother’s name? It’s not mentioned here.
Other notes: This is one of those comics that won’t be reprinted by Marvel, and it comes down to making Fu Manchu, a fictional character from another series, the father of Shang-Chi. Although I don’t think this would look as good in a black-and-white “Essentials” collection anyway.
Recommendation: I would love to get the rest of this story arc and see where it was headed. This issue, however, is rather good and I recommend it. I see why some of my fellow bloggers and at least one fellow cartoonist I know of consider this a great comic if this is typical of the series.