Characters Appearing: Black Jack Tarr, Clive Reston, Dr. Petrie, James Larner, Shang-Chi, Shockwave, Sir Denis Nayland Smith
Master of Kung Fu #42
Issue(s): Master of Kung Fu #42
Afterwards, Reston and Larner pull Shang-Chi aside and let him know about the opponent he will likely encounter at the trap. His name is Shockwave, a former British agent who was injured on a mission and had his body rebuilt with mechanical parts. He learned martial arts, and his new body generates electricity. Reston and Larner don't want Smith to know about this (but won't say why).
Shockwave is the closest Shang-Chi has come to fighting a super-powered opponent, and he is badly defeated when they go to the warehouse to spring the trap.
Black Jack is able to chase Shockwave away with a gun but the mission is a failure, which is a first for Shang-Chi.
This issue takes a non-linear approach, with the fight scenes with Shockwave interspersed with the dialogue-heavy beginning of the story.
This decision, and Gulacy's style in general, help elevate the quality of the book. However, the "flash forward" technique was unfortunately too confusing for some readers, and the idea, and probably tendencies to experiement in general, was dropped going forward, according to the letters page for issue #45.
We learn at the end of the issue that Dr. Petrie is the one who planted the bomb in Smith's office. He and Shockwave are working for the same (mystery) boss, and at the end of this issue he plants another bomb.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Pushed back just a wee bit in time to make room for the Master of Kung Fu annual, which ties into Iron Fist's series between Iron Fist #4-5.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
The Gulacy/Sutton art team was a rather poor match.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 21, 2011 6:04 PM
another awesome villain. A martial artist who delivers electric shocks.
Posted by: kveto from prague | October 1, 2011 6:56 PM
Agreesd, Mark - in fact, a letters column a few issues later effectively apologised for paring Sutton with Gulacy.
Posted by: karlos | October 3, 2013 11:23 AM
This and Defenders #34 were some of the earliest comics I ever read. Between the flash-forward fight here and Gerber's Headmen madness in full bloom there, I had no idea what was going on. (Eventually I got the nice, straightforward Fantastic Four #170 and was able to acclimate to Marvel, but for a hot second I was like "I understood the Batman issue that I read that time, but I don't get this".)
Oh, and Dr. Strange #16, with Doc fighting Satan in Hell and Colan's paneling going completely hallucinogenic. 1976 was a tough time to hop on, but I treasure all of these issues, now.
And yeah, Sutton is definitely not the best choice to replace Adkins.
Posted by: Dan Spector | October 3, 2014 7:14 AM
Posted by: George Lochinski | June 30, 2016 4:21 PM
Master of Kung Fu, despite operating mostly separately from the rest of the Marvel Universe, has quite a number of villains who would make excellent opponents for more traditional superheroes. We've seen Zaran and Razorfist make the transition, but Shockwave did not really despite being a more obvious candidate. Both Cat and Pavane could have been used as well. I know there are also more candidates, but there are some gaps in FNORD12's MOKF collection.
(And of course Midnight - who was a corpse! - somehow got reused.)
Many of MOKF's villains are martial artists wearing odd eastern medieval armor with strange names. They didn't look appealing in MOKF and would look even stranger elsewhere. But any villain which had better design sensibilities could have been used again.
Englehardt used them, as did Gruenwald, and even Claremont took one or two elements in his Madripoor stories. But over all, lost opportunities.
Posted by: Chris | October 11, 2017 7:13 PM
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