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Shang-Chi (Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu) Paperback – Jun 2003

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Paperback, Jun 2003
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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel Entertainment Group (Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785111247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785111245
  • Product Dimensions: 25.9 x 16.8 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,918,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "pfenech" on 11 Aug. 2003
The original Shang Chi stories were, to me , the highlights of Marvel's seventies product (along with the Barry Windsor Smith Conans).They had good, solid James Bond inspired plots, gorgeoous artwork by Gulacy and the best martial-arts art EVER.
15 or so years later Moench and Gulacy are back. To pick up where they left off. Sob-Bond plots, mysyerious supervillain - who ends up not being so mysterious after all - and all the usual characters. Shang Chi is coaxed out of retirement and has to face a fighter who may be his superior.
So what else is not new or re-hashed? Not much . The artwork is still sublime but for some reason far too much of the action takes place in semi-darkness. The script is adequate (just).
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paul galuci returns to the character he drew so magnificently for marvel comics in the 1970s.teamed as then with doug moench this is a joy to behold.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
You really can't go home again 6 July 2003
By Glen Engel Cox - Published on Amazon.com
When I became a certified comics fan in the late 70s, there were two comics outside of the "mainstream" superhero fare that I loved. One was Howard the Duck, a satirical comic about politics and society. The other was a comic about family, albeit one in which the father was the ultimate evil and the son had been raised to be the perfect assassin, who then rebelled against his father. Of course, Master of Kung Fu also had the big action sequences as well as secret service intrigue as well, but I suspect it was that idea of the son not exactly wanting to follow in his father's footsteps that a psychiatrist would have a field day with if I ever found myself on the couch.
Marvel's recent successes on the movie screen along with the burgeoning market for graphic novels has them looking to the past for their future. They also, obviously, believe that since the audience that grew up on these comics are older, that such audience also wants their return to be "mature" as well, and to that end Marvel has a new line of comics called "MAX" to distinguish comics with "mature" themes. I've only read two of the MAX titles--the original creators returning to my favorite books, Howard the Duck and Master of Kung Fu, and I'm starting to think ol' Tom Wolfe was right, and you can't go home again.
It's not that Master of Kung Fu (subtitled "The Hellfire Apocalypse") isn't well done. Moench and Gulacy are a wonderful team and the intervening years have not diminished their ability to portray in flat panels the fluidity and excitement of a martial arts epic. But something is missing, and I think it's the cliffhangers and surprise of the monthly comic. Collected together in this graphic novel, the monthly wait to see just how Shang-Chi, Weiko Lu, Clive Reston and Black Jack Tarr were going to get out of this dire calamity is gone. But even then, it wasn't that cast, nor Fu Manchu, that drew me to the comic, but the ancilliary ideas, just as it isn't James Bond or Blofield that brings you back to 007, but the gadgets. "The Hellfire Apocalypse," although it tries hard, is warmed over kung fu--there's nothing in this book that we haven't seen time and time again since Moench and Gulacy took their leave of us 20 years ago.
It makes me wary to re-read any of those 1970s/1980s originals, to see if my memory has failed me and that those comics weren't as great as I remember.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Could Have -- Should Have -- Been Great, But Misses The Mark 14 April 2004
By Matthew McCallum - Published on Amazon.com
This is a project that should have been a new classic, but falls well short of that mark by a misguided and ultimately failed attempt at pandering to the perceived wants of current comics readership.
This book features two superb craftsmen returning to the title where they earned their reputations 30 years ago. Think of O'Neal and Adams reuniting on Batman, or Claremont and Byrne going back to the X-Men. Anticipation warms the heart and gets the blood pumping. You know it will never be as good as you remember, but certainly it'll be much better than most of what's offered on the bookshelf today. Unfortunately, that didn't prove to be the case, and sadder still, it could easily have been otherwise.
The work starts off strong, with Moench's taut pacing and spot-on dialogue, and Gulacy's strong storytelling steering your eye, and then it veers terribly off-course. The introduction of Morgan Spetz and his Omega team of over-muscled/under-dressed WWF cast-offs jars the book from "realistic" spy thriller to virtual parody. The Spetz subplot seems completely forced and doesn't ring at all true to the rest of the piece, even as a failed attempt at comic relief. It's like Moench submitted his original script to Marvel and the editors convinced him he needed these steroid-popping oafs to attract the 12-year-olds (who shouldn't be reading this "Mature Audience" title in the first place). Their inclusion slows the pace to a crawl and dumbs-down the plot, leaving the reader with a sour aftertaste of disappointment and frustration at a glorious storytelling opportunity lost.
Unlike the original source material that still resonates in the minds of collectors 30 years later, this current offering is cranial candyfloss, empty intellectual calories that will have completely faded from your memory before your next meal.
It's a good Saturday afternoon read, but unlikely a book you'll ever pick up again.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By popular culture lover - Published on Amazon.com
As most fans know, this team produced a (justly) critically acclaimed "Master of Kung Fu" comic in the 70's. Too bad their legacy regarding Shang-Chi is tarnished by this tale.

While Gulacy's art is dependably excellent, Moench's plot and scripting are hackneyed. The fights seem forced and endless. Do these stories need action and conflict? Sure. Was this the way to do it? No. You'll want to take a pass on this one unless you're a real disciple of Gulacy.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good Action Book 4 Sept. 2003
By B. Bukowski - Published on Amazon.com
After deciding to live in peace following a violent lifestyle, Shang-Chi must now return to action to stop evil. MI-6 has learned of a new underworld mastermind who brainwashes assassins to do his will, and Shang-Chi is the only one who can stop him if he gets his hands on a powerful weapon that can destroy the world. Chi must reunite with old team members and face old relationships before the final confrontation with his powerful adversary.
Classic Shang-Chi creators Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy return in this new action, spy thriller. The typical 'evil genius who wants to rule the world' spy theme is evident here as James Bond, espionage, and kung-fu fans should feel right at home. Moench's fairly generic spy plot isn't exactly innovative or deep, but it is a good fit for this action story and Paul Gulacy's great artwork. Gulacy's pencils and Palmiotti's inks clearly convey all of the many action scenes as well as the overall characters. Paul Mounts' dark but vibrant colors also do a good job of matching with the story.
Comic readers searching for a good, action based comic in a market filled with many dialogue heavy titles should look no further than "Shang-Chi: Master of Kung-Fu."
NOTE: This is a Marvel MAX book and is suggested for older readers due to language and violence/gore (a comic book equivalent to an R-rated movie).
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing 28 Aug. 2010
By G. YEO - Published on Amazon.com
It's hard to go back again. When they created the Master of Kung Fu to dizzying heights of cinematic comicbook storytelling, Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy defined a new era of comic books. It was one of the biggest events in comic book history.

Shang Chi's been updated in this reunion of the titans, and the result is...flat. The John Woo leather and shades look on the cover may have been necessary to keep up with the times, but the beloved Shang Chi and gang that everyone knew is essentially gone. I guess it's like watching Brando appear in a Deniro film long after their prime or Sugar Ray Leonard trying to regain his mojo and getting beat on.

Ok, so it's not that bad, but it's just soulless. The pulp fiction feel that made MOKF such an interesting property is sorely missing. Sure it was kitschy, but that's the world of comics.

What the comics community badly needs is a re-release of the entire MOKF series in colour graphic novels. Iron Fist has been revived. So just why is it taking so long?
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