Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Fu Manchu 1, Dr. Doom 0

Given that my blog's title is taken from an issue of Master of Kung Fu (or to be complete: The Hands of Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu...phew, and I thought Countdown tie-in titles were long...), I've spent precious little time actually blogging about MOKF.

And since, due to rights issues, we're never going to see Essential MOKF or MOKF omnibi, then I guess I'd damn well better pick up the torch and start proselytizing for this series (while coincidentally driving up demand, and hence the value, of my recently completed run...hee hee).

I'll get more in depth later, but right now I want to focus on the very real irony that the reason we'll never see MOKF collections is one of the same reasons that the series was so friggin' cool--Fu Manchu.

Much scarier than the moustacheYou see, Fu Manchu and Sir Denis Nayland Smith (the original Fu Fighter, as it were) were characters from the works of Sax Rohmer, and Marvel no longer has the rights to his material (PRO-TIP: Open the wallet and buy those damn rights, Marvel!). And since those characters were in about 96.2% of the issues, well, there's obviously not much to reprint.

But Fu Manchu, as presented in MOKF, was one of the best villains EVER. Doctor Doom wishes he were as evil as Fu. The Mandarin? Sad, pathetic imitator. Pick your evil overlord, and Fu will trump him.

For evidence, allow me to present a panel from Special Marvel Edition #15 (or, technically, Special Marvel Edition Featuring The Hands of Shang-Chi Master of Kung Fu #15...phew), Shang-Chi's debut, as presented by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin(!!). This panel says it all:

As cool as Shang-Chi fighting a shark? You decide!Oh, the fight scene is insanely cool enough...I mean, Shang-Chi is fighting a gorilla, for god's sake. If your mind hasn't exploded yet, well, why are you hanging around here?

But for the true villainy, let's blow up this caption:

The best, but most pointless, evil plan EVERThink about it. Fu Manchu experimented on a gorilla to make it more intelligent. Why? Just so he could drive it insane. Why? Just because he thought an insane gorilla would make a great guard. Now stop and re-read this paragraph. Ladies and gentleman, that is pure EVIL.

In your face, Doom.

Works best if yhou imagine Darth Vader's scream from Episode IIIMore MOKF posts to follow irregularly...


Captain Infinity said...

My mind is officially blown.

Khairul H. said...

MOKF is now the second title in my list of "Books I want to see reprinted in an ESSENTIAL/SHOWCASE PRESENTS format so I can read them cheap but probably will never happen because of copyright issues".

The first book on that list is ROM.

inkdestroyedmybrush said...

I've gone on and on about moench and gulacy (specifically) and the greatness that is MOKF and haven't even touched upon the starlin issues that open up the series.

Shang kicked such ass its hard to keep track of how many skulls got busted up. Superb comic.