Master of Kung Fu #116-118
Issue(s): Master of Kung Fu #116, Master of Kung Fu #117, Master of Kung Fu #118
He also has a clone of Shang-Chi.
That's basically the story, and i'm not going to get into all the details of how Shang-Chi and his friends stop Fu Manchu, but it's a very nicely told story with great art by Gene Day.
Fah Lo Suee, Fu Manchu's daughter, is working at MI-6 at this point. Just really admiring Gene Day's panel layouts here.
Some crazy stuff along the way, like a giant scorpion....
...Shang-Chi letting rats chew on him so they'll also gnaw off his bloody leather bond....
...a final fight with the latest poorly named Kung Fu villain, a guy named Death-Dealer.
Also, whatever the hell these guys are.
After Shang-Chi defeats those monsters, we see this scene, which i don't know the significance of (is that John Lennon? A character from part of this series that i haven't read? An artist cameo?).
Having failed to fix his Elixer, Fu Manchu ages and dies. There have been a few times that the team thought that Fu Manchu was dead during this arc, but these really are his final appearances in this series (he'll be back much later).
In context (a general sense of frustration over the resurfacing of his father, a longtime disagreement with Fah Lo Suee on methods, and the fact that she killed someone that used to be like a second father to him) i think it makes sense, but add it to the list of super-heroes hitting women.
Back to crazy stuff, like snakes...
...a giant praying mantis...
..and the fight with Shang-Chi's clone.
What amazes me is the difference in degree of sophistication between this and... every other book that Doug Moench has been writing at Marvel (with the possible exception of Moon Knight). Yes, the art makes a huge difference, but there's much more complexity to the script as well.
I have to conclude that this was Moench's baby, and most of the other stuff was hacked out to pay the bills.
You can see the growing desperation of Fu Manchu, removing his facade of always being in control, as well as a kind of corruption of Shang-Chi (also demonstrated through that shwak to Fah Lo Suee) that shows that while his father is coming to an end, it hasn't been without cost to Shang-Chi.
That said, this really is the death of Fu Manchu (at least for this series), and it is a turning point for Shang-Chi.
I like his sister's comment that he's no longer Little Spirit. The spirit has risen and advanced. And he's now able to express his affection for Sir Denis Smith.
Smith had been held captive by some of Fu Manchu's goons, and it's nice to see Leiko and Fah Lo Suee's agent Dark Angel showing up to rescue him and kicking some ass.
Quality Rating: A-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBlack Jack Tarr, Clive Reston, Dark Angel (Mia Lessing), Death-Dealer, Dr. Petrie, Fah Lo Suee, Fu Manchu, Leiko Wu, Shang-Chi, Sir Denis Nayland Smith
I'm not too broken up about Fah Lo Suee getting smacked; it's not like she never had villainous turns before(she did order Shang-Chi's death during that 6-part Moench/Gulacy Fu Manchu story).
I think "John Lennon" is just supposed to be a random blind guy.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 2, 2013 4:21 PM
Yeah, most of the complaints about men hitting women have to do with men women that they're in a romantic relationship with. Nobody complains about a hero hitting a villainess after they do something evil.
Posted by: Michael | August 2, 2013 8:53 PM
So many things culminate with this storyline, and with Gene Day only doing one more issue after this (#120), and Moench leaving soon after (with #122), in many ways, #118 was the REAL final issue of MOKF.
Posted by: karlos | May 9, 2017 7:26 AM
I'm bummed that MOKF never got essential treatment. It feels like the series would be perfect for that type of omnibus format as a continuing storyline.
Posted by: kveto | May 28, 2018 4:27 PM
Marvel has recently (March 2018) put out an initial "Epic Collection" of MoKF, but it ends just before the Gulacy issues.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | May 28, 2018 5:02 PM
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