Marvel Comics is taking out all of the stops bringing back classic, vintage, and forgotten characters of yesteryear. Unfortunately Shang-Chi, a character I sadly have never heard of, doesn’t receive the comeback treatment in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1 I assume he deserves.
Now since I had no previous frame of reference for Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, I, being the curious comic book reader I am did some research and found that this book, whether it was written well or not, looked bad ass. It looked the way Kung Fu books were meant to look, foes being beaten through walls, boards being broken, high flying kicks being flung like kung fu flicks busting out of every page. The revitalized Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1 is none of this. Really though, look at the above cover then look at one below from 1975.
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1 was just brimming with potential, I read every page waiting to see those over the top Kung Fu antics I watch in those low budget grindhouse flicks, but they never came. All I got was Mike Benson giving me some Bond-esque MI6 robot like beat down machine. Even Bruce Lee showed more emotion, and don’t get me started about the art.
Ok, I lied, lets get started about the art. Tan Eng Huat shadow heavy art comes in and does little to help Deadly Hands of Kung Fu‘s case. While I think his attempts to make the book look as action packed as possible is noble, it still just came across bland and forgettable. Marvel needs to bring this book closer to its roots if it wants it to be at all popular. They should be looking at IDW’s Black Dynamite, that book’s dripping with classic Kung Fu cliche goodness.