Characters Appearing: Black Jack Tarr, Leiko Wu, Luke Cage, Shang-Chi, Shang-Chi's mother, Sir Denis Nayland Smith
Master of Kung Fu #123-125
Issue(s): Master of Kung Fu #123, Master of Kung Fu #124, Master of Kung Fu #125
The first leg of this story has Shang-Chi meeting his mother. As Michael notes, she appeared once before, in Special Marvel Edition #15. He expects a happy encounter...
...but it turns out that she respected Fu Manchu and was looking forward to seeing her offspring be part of his world conquering scheme. Fu Manchu's Si-Fan have flocked to her with his death.
Jim Shooter may have gotten his ninjas after all.
Getting called a "false son" strikes Shang-Chi deeply...
...and it brings out the side of him that i thought i saw in the Death of Fu Manchu storyline.
The next issue has Shang-Chi traveling to Mongolia...
...to seek wisdom at a remote temple.
In a scenario identical to the situation with his mother, though, it turns out that Fu Manchu was respected at the temple...
...and they are none to pleased at Shang-Chi's betrayal.
Shang-Chi is hypnotized and sent to his death. Luckily for him, he had earlier encountered yet another species of yeti in the Marvel universe...
...and the yeti prevents him from killing himself and sends him to a cave above the temple, where Shang-Chi learns he must atone for the death of his father.
And so that's what he's doing at the start of #125.
That, and fighting a giant turtle.
The actual ceremonial atonement is only part of the story. Shang-Chi then spends some time wondering China, meeting an acting troupe performing a play about a a father disowned by his son, and other scenes that help Shang-Chi come to grips with himself. The middle of #125 is drawn by Alan Kupperberg, in a decidedly different style, both for Kupperberg and for this series. Obviously very influenced by Asian art.
Shang-Chi is also attacked by a Noh Master, sent by his mother. He says that it's his mother's last attempt to bother with him. Either the Noh Master will kill him or she'll just ignore him for now on. The Master attacks Shang-Chi through a bunch of illusions...
...but Shang-Chi prevails.
After the fight, he drinks from his father's cup.
And this may be just thanks to the art, but it seems to me that Shang-Chi is literally rejuvenated by that action (which i hope isn't meant to imply that Shang-Chi has taken his father's Elixer of Life, and i don't think so).
In any event, he has clearly abandoned his old life. This is meant as a positive development, an end to the constant violence of his life, but we're also reminded a few times through these issues that in doing all of this, Shang-Chi is abandoning Leiko.
All in all these are good issues; much better than one would expect by a guy just brought in to wrap up a series after the guy who's been writing the book for about 100 issues left abruptly. A nice coda to the Death of Fu Manchu storyline. And i like the Johnson/Mignola art, and Kupperberg's part is interesting as well.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Time passes between the three issues here, but they are thematically part of the same story and Shang-Chi and friends don't have any obligations elsewhere, so i've place them in a single entry. Inconsequential cameo from Luke Cage in issue #123...
...which the MCP places between Power Man & Iron Fist #91-92.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Shang's mother previously appeared in Special Marvel Edition 15.
Posted by: Michael | August 10, 2013 4:27 PM
"Migou" may be taken from "Mi-Go", the abominable snowmen in Lovecraft stories.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 10, 2013 5:25 PM
Michael, was her first appearance in flashback or realtime? And do you know if she has a name? Just trying to figure out if i should be tagging her as a Character Appearing, and if so, hopefully as something better than "Shang-Chi's Mom".
Posted by: fnord12 | August 10, 2013 5:58 PM
She has no name- that's deliberate. And technically she appears in a flashback, but a flashback to the recent past- the story opens with Shang fighting his father's goons and then he flashes back to how he recently discovered his father was evil.
Posted by: Michael | August 10, 2013 6:22 PM
Leiko Wu has blue eyes?
Posted by: PB210 | August 12, 2013 7:36 PM
"Migou" is a Tibetan name for "yeti" that Lovecraft altered for his stories.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 4, 2015 9:21 AM
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