The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu
Issue #17 (Oct. 1975). Painted cover art by Neal Adams.
The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu was an American black-and-white martial arts comics magazine published by Magazine Management, a corporate sibling of Marvel Comics. A total of 33 issues were published from 1974 to 1977, plus one special edition. Additionally, a color Marvel comic titled simply Deadly Hands of Kung Fu was published as a 2014 miniseries.
The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu was published in the mid-to-late 1970s by Magazine Management, a corporate sibling of Marvel Comics, amid the martial arts movie fad of the time. Launched in 1974 as part of Magazine Management's line of black-and-white comics magazines, it ran 33 issues through 1977. Recurring characters included:
- Sons of the Tiger â Three men and one woman linked by mystical amulets
- White Tiger â Heir to the amulets of the Sons of the Tiger
- Shang Chi, Master of Kung Fu (from Marvel Comics), incorporating characters and concepts licensed from the Sax Rohmer estate
- Iron Fist, the Living Weapon (from Marvel Comics)
- Daughters of the Dragon â Colleen Wing and Misty Knight (characters derived from Marvel Comics' Iron Fist series)
Each issue had comics stories featuring these characters, both single-issue stories and multi-issue story arcs. Most issues also included a review of a recent martial arts film. Other issues had interviews with martial arts instructors, while others had interviews with movie or television celebrities related to martial arts.
Early issues had a martial arts instructional section which described some elementary fighting techniques. These were provided by comics illustrator/martial artist Frank McLaughlin. The magazine was in black-and-white except for the cover. The cost of the magazine was 75 cents for issues #1â14. Issue #15 was a "Super Annual" (all reprints) issue and cost $1.25. Issues #16â33 were $1.00, as well as the 1974 Kung Fu Special (summer 1974; cover-titled Special Album Edition: The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu. Issue #28 (Sept. 1976) was an all-Bruce Lee special, including a 35-page comic-format biography written by Martin Sands, and drawn by Joe Staton and Tony DeZuniga.
Some stories were set in feudal Japan and starring samurai-type characters, including a four-part story arc called "Sword Quest", illustrated by Sanho Kim and Tony DeZuniga. The Sons of the Tiger/White Tiger feature ran until the penultimate issue.<
- Roy Thomas: #1, 2
- Tony Isabella: #3â6 & Special Album Edition
- David Anthony Kraft: #9, 10 (co-edited with Don McGregor)
- Don McGregor: #7, 8, 10 (co-edited with David Anthony Kraft), 11, 16, 17
- Archie Goodwin: #12â15, 18â25
- John Warner: #26â33
The Deadliest Heroes of Kung Fu
Magazine Management also published one issue of an offshoot magazine, The Deadliest Heroes of Kung Fu, in 1975. It contained no comics elements, but featured a lengthy article reprinted from Deadly Hands as well as instructional features by Frank McLaughlin. Editor John Warner explained that The Deadliest Heroes of Kung Fu was a trial balloon for an all-articles companion to Deadly Hands.
- The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Omnibus Vol. 1 collects The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1-18, The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Special Album Edition, and The Deadliest Heroes of Kung Fu, 1,152 pages, November 15, 2016, ISBN 978-1302901332
- The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Omnibus Vol. 2 collects The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #19-33 and material from Bizarre Adventures #25, 1,000 pages, June 20, 2017, ISBN 1302901346
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