Master of Kung Fu #33-35
Issue(s): Master of Kung Fu #33, Master of Kung Fu #34, Master of Kung Fu #35
The art is awesome, and the plot is some awesome James Bond/The Prisoner hybrid. Shang-Chi goes to a crazy spy-villain's island that is dressed up with all kinds of crazy robotics.
The villain, named Mordillo, had been acting as a double-agent working in Sir Denis Smith's organization, and in his double-agent role (closer to a split personality) he fell in love with one of Smith's agents, a woman named Leiko Wu.
Shang-Chi also finds himself... distracted by Leiko. After an assault with a crazy robot with guns for eyes...
...Mordillo kidnaps Leiko and takes her to his island. Leiko has secret knowledge about an ozone destroying solar weapon embedded in her brain but she doesn't know that. Shang-Chi and Reston - Reston also was in love with Leiko - go after Mordillo but get caught by all his crazy Adam West style tricks 'n' traps.
Black Jack, disobeying orders, comes to the island to rescue them.
Pavane, the whip-wielding dominatrix that Shang-Chi fought previously, is also working for Mordillo.
She says last time they fought she was actually ordered to lose. Shang-Chi handles Mordillo and his weird cutsey robot side-kick named Brynocki that you'd think i'd hate but it's so surreal that i actually enjoyed him.
After getting whupped by Shang Chi...
...Mordillo gets fried by the solar weapon in the end.
More on the coloring controversy, in response to a letter from a Bill Wu:
"As Doug has discussed with you in private correspondence, Bill, the coloring in comics is a sticky issue, particulary when it involves something as sensitive as differentiating one ethnic group or race from another. By the very nature of the printing process used for comic books, we're severely limited in the area of subtle gradations. Comics are geared toward bright, splashy, primary colors - with some (but not enough) varying shades afforded by certain combinations of the four basic color plates. For example, we can reproduce the bright yellow used on Shadow-Stalker, or the more "faded-out" yellow used on Fu Manchu; and the "orange-yellow" used on Shang-Chi himself. Those are our choices. And faced with those limited choices, Doug has questioned why we must resort to any shade of yellow for our Asian characters. After all, the actual skin color of Asians is much closer to the shade used to portray Caucasians in comics. The answer he got from the editors is that we don't have to resort to yellow. Thus, it was decided that with the exception of firmly established characters (Shang-Chi and Fu Manchu being obvious examples), all future Asian characters would be colored in the same flesh tones as are Caucasian characters."
While a step in the right direction, this solution results in Shang-Chi and Fu Manchu looking like supernatural beings when in the company of other Asians.
I don't see any reason why they couldn't stop coloring the main characters in unnatural shades of yellow as well.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): show
Leiko's hair weirdly got colored red in #34.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 20, 2011 11:59 PM
Woops! Misremembered. The "I guess Pavane shaves, huh?" panels are in this one, as seen above.
The throwaway "Fu Manchu in the box" robot is more of Moench tweaking the every-single-issue "I must thwart my father" plotting of the previous year (15-28). Here he succeeds in keeping the good doctor off-stage for long enough that we enjoy his return in the 40s. Well done.
Posted by: Dan Spector | February 3, 2013 6:06 AM
Moench named Mordillo after a European comics artist, but one that I don't think ever got published in America.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 8, 2013 6:56 PM
Actually, Mordillo was born in Argentina. His parents were Spanish.
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | September 9, 2013 2:38 PM
Just noticed fnord12 made no mention that Mordillo and his solar weapon is a blatant rip off of the film version of the Man With the Golden Gun.
Posted by: Chris | September 9, 2013 9:43 PM
My Bond-fu is weak, especially the Roger Moore era.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 9, 2013 9:56 PM
The solar weapon, probably, but not Mordillo himself. Britt Ekland's butt was actually the threat that nearly destroyed the world in that movie(no, I'm not joking).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 11, 2013 8:08 PM
Mordillo is quite a bit like the film version of Scaramanga; they both write on their bullets and have a secret base int he South China Sea, as a well as a diminutive sidekick.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 18, 2016 6:14 AM
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