TreasuryCast #61 – Savage Fists of Kung-Fu


Now that SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS is in theaters, Rob welcomes fellow network all-stars Ryan Daly and Max Romero to discuss Marvel's one-shot treasury SAVAGE FISTS OF KUNG-FU!

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21 responses to “TreasuryCast #61 – Savage Fists of Kung-Fu

  1. So how do you pronounce Doug Moench’s name? Rob pronounced it so that it rhymed with Hick, but Ryan pronounced it so that rhymed with Bench which is how I had always thought it looked.

  2. Another delightful treasury cast! I have little to offer in the way of commentary, as I’ve not read this treasury and have only recently started exploring Shang-Chi. I think as a kid martial arts comics were a weird concept to me – I loved kung-fu movies, but the sheer dynamism of that genre seemed to work best on the screen rather than the page. I appreciate them much more now.

    However, I did want to say that, like Rob, I too only really knew of Sons of the Tiger from the Fantastic Four Roast (although over in the UK it was called Fantastic Four Winter Special, printed treasury size, with a glossy card cover, and had a back-up Dr Strange story). My mind immediately went to that scene as soon as their name was mentioned. And then I started thinking about the all-seeing eye of Allen Funt and Dr Doom blowing up Mount St Helens.

  3. Another great episode about another Treasury I didn’t know existed!!

    Even as a kid I was more a DC guy than a Marvel guy. But I have always like street level martial artists. Surprisingly, my Marvel character of choice was always Iron Fist. Maybe because it walked the superhero/street level tightrope. Most of the issues I bought were at yard sales. And I’ll say the Marvel Team-Up two parter with Iron Fist and the Daughters of the Dragon still ranks as one of my fave stories ever. I also happened across White Tiger here and there.

    But Shang-Chi has never crossed my hands as a reader. Even though I also was enamored of that house ad you talk about. So hearing how it is “Bruce Lee, On some Secret Service” makes me very interested. Is there a good ‘starting place’? An essential or something?

    Now to veer into the weird. I also ran into Sons of the Tiger here and there. I made up the oddest head canon. In a later season of the Brady Bunch, there was an episode that looked like a backdoor pilot where Ken Berry adopts three sons, an asian american, an african american, and a white kid. (A cursory look says it was season 5 called Kelly’s Kids.) In my head, those three kids grew up to be the Sons of the Tiger. I mean we never heard from them again … so it’s possible isnt it? Could Ken Berry be some sort of crazy sensei??

    Anyways, thank you for giving me a forum to share that nuttiest of ideas.

  4. Congratulations to Martin!

    I very much enjoyed the show, covering another Treasury I didn’t know existed until I saw it on Rob’s treasury comics site. I like the idea of reprinting stories from the b&w magazines in color in the treasuries, which Marvel also did in some of the Conan treasuries. However, judging by the reactions of podcasting’s Sons of the Tiger, some better stories could have been chosen.
    Speaking of the Sons, I think I first heard of them in either a White Tiger back-up (probably in Spectacular Spider-man) in which his origin was recounted, or in the pages of Power Man & Iron Fist, when Bob Diamond made a guest appearance as Danny Rand’s sparring partner. I never gave them much thought, to be honest, but after listening to the show, I have to agree with whoever said they had a sort of Mod Squad feel about them.

    And finally, some notes on your art comments: later Kane is always better than earlier Kane. And while I agree that the cover may not be remarkable in comparison to the many wonderful covers Kane produced, it’s still quite good. On Mike Vosburg, I have to say that his art is always better in projects that he was enjoying rather than just doing to get a paycheck. If you want to see how good his work can be, check out DC’s short-lived 1970s sword & planet series Starfire, or the equally short-lived Sisterhood of Steel published under Marvel’s Epic imprint in the 1980s.

  5. I just got back from the movie and really enjoyed it. It follows the Marvel movie formula, and certainly turns Shang-Chi into a superhero. It really delves into magic, mysticism and other dimensions. Going by what I learned listening to this episode it certainly seems to stray from the comic. My knowledge of Shang-Chi couldn’t fill Thumbelina’s thimble. He was still being published when I started reading comics, but I stuck mostly to Spider-Man and The Justice League and Star Wars for my first few years. By the time I opened up my conic reading horizons his series had ended. It wasn’t until he had a story in Marvel Comics Presents that I ever read a story with him in it.
    Anyways, another great episode.

  6. I had a chance to listen to this episode before seeing the movie with my family this evening. I’d heard of Shang-Chi before, but had never read a comic in which he’d appeared. As a result, the background you provided on the character was much appreciated.

    All I’ll say about the movie is that all of us enjoyed it, even my wife, who only went along out of love for me and our daughter.

    Thanks for another excellent episode.

  7. Great show guys! I only knew about Shang-Chi by osmosis as a kid. I bumped into Iron Fist (and Power Man) through Marvel Team-Up, but never really read any Shang-Chi stories. It wasn’t until years later I learned it was basically a sequel series to Fu Manchu! Then I realized why he had kind of disappeared: the dreaded licensing red tape. Oh, and the horrid racial stereotypes. This issue looks like a lot of fun, and I should definitely check out some classic Shang-Chi comics on the Marvel Unlimited app. I know the movie is quite different, but I really dug it, so I’m jazzed about learning more.

    Dick Giordano did a bit of work for Marvel in the 70s, but as Rob pointed out, it’s mostly “non-traditional”. He and Roy Thomas produced an EXCELLENT adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel that ran in the Dracula Lives! b&w magazine, and a few other horror mags, before petering out before conclusion. Thankfully the duo was able to get back together 30 years later and finish the project, which I believe is still in print. I can’t recommend it enough.


  8. I love, love, LOVE Treasury Cast! Nothing beats a giant comic book on your lap when you’re a kid. I have a pile of treasuries in varied conditions, as I never found a good way to store them. My first, and all time favorite is Spider-Man and the Hulk at the Winter Olympics. So I’m anxiously awaiting that episode. I just saw this SAVAGE FISTS OF KUNG-FU treasury hanging up at my local comic shop for way too much money, so that was a no. But, I was able to find the magazines on Marvel Unlimited. Most of the magazine article are included, too. They even have visual instructions on learning kung fu. I’m going to memorize these moves and then go beat up some local toughs. I assume I’ll be able to recognize them from their mohawks and torn sleeves.

    The Fantastic Four Roast is also the first time I heard of the Sons of the Tiger. That book was so cool to read through as a kid, with a different hero and artist on every page. I didn’t get half the jokes at the time, but I read that book to shreds. If I took it out of the bag now, it would fall into pieces.

  9. Sons of the Fire and Water, thanks for a very entertaining episode. There were so many outstanding Iron Fist and Shang-Chi stories in the seventies, I wonder if they should have waited a year or two and drawn from the comics as well as the magazine. This sounded like a mediocre crop, overall. That said, I love these characters, and I’m happy the treasury exists.

    I wonder if the smile on the face of Fu Manchu’s chastened minion was an attempt at cultural awareness. Some East Asian cultures have more ways to use a smile than we do. There is an angry smile and also an awkward or ashamed smile, which may have been happening here. I don’t know why those differences exist, but I wonder if they are an attempt to show harmony (at least outwardly, despite all circumstances to the contrary) in societies that prize harmony.

    I never got interested in Master of Kung Fu until I was older, and then it was harder to get because of all the issues you mentioned. I’m hoping trade paperbacks will be more available now because of the movie. More recently, Shang-Chi had a terrifically entertaining run in Secret Avengers. If I get the energy to dig them out, I’ll scan my favorite scene between Shang-Chi and Steve Rogers and post it.

    I saw a cosplayer at a con wearing the traditional Iron Fist costume. The skintight outfit with the open chest, hey-baby collar, and slippers looked way more objectifying in real life than it did on the comics page. I wouldn’t mind a superheroic costume on the MCU Iron Fist (I promise, he was so much better in the second season), but I hope they give it the MCU treatment so it will look less like late night cable.

    The Shang-Chi movie and all the actors in it were great, but it does put Shang-Chi more in the superhero world and less in the world of pulp villains and British intelligence. I miss that pulpier milieu, and I hope he’ll visit it in a future movie. The most important thing was that they got Shang-Chi right — a young man with a strong conscience, gifted at violence, with no desire to dish it out.

    Thank you. I eagerly await the next TreasuryCast.

  10. Thanks to Rob and company for a terrifically entertaining episode!

    I must admit that although I was keenly aware (having been a kid in the ’70’s) of the Master of Kung Fu comics, and perhaps even owned one or two, my familiarity with Shang-Chi was quite weak. Prior to listening to you gentlemen discuss the history of the character was a welcome education and has now sparked an interest in seeking out some reprints, though I gather that will be a daunting task. Heck, I now even want to see the new film! I’d been somewhat MCU’d out following “Endgame” but the positive things I’ve heard coupled with this episode may bring me back into the fold.

    Thanks, again!
    (P.S. – I prefer to go Big and then go Home. Is that a problem?)

  11. Isn’t that typical? I leave the UK for a week and spotty wifi means I can’t download podcasts to hear I’ve won a prize. Thanks Rob!

    Thanks for another great show, with splendid guests. To answer Ryan’s question, nah, I never saw this treasury in the UK.

    I loved this episode, having started out resenting Shang-Chi for not only stealing half the Avengers’ pages in their UK weekly, but for getting top billing – ‘The Avengers starring MoKF’ – to loving the character. It made sense to cash in on the Kung Fu craze while saving the weekly from running out of Avengers to reprint… it had been using them at the rate of 52 per year!

    Eventually Marvel US allowed the actual MoKF colour books to sell in the UK and I jumped in as Mike Zeck joined Doug Moench. What an immersive experience that was. The book got even better with the intricate artwork of the late Gene Day. I’m now the happy owner of all the omnibuses.

    Those supposed reprints of Marvel UK Avengers Weekly covers were strange – just extracted images. The originals were much more interesting.

    I miss the Sons of the Tiger – the various White Tigers have been a tad dull, and the combined bling is clunky and tacky.

    1. Hope you were on holiday and enjoyed it, Martin! I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Mike Zeck at a con several years ago. I asked him what assignments he especially enjoyed, and Master of Kung Fu was one of the ones he mentioned.

        1. Sounds like a great trip, though!

          When we saw the Wonder Woman movie, I tried to convince my wife that if I ever have to do tactical training again, I should do it on Themyscira. She didn’t buy it.

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