Friday, November 25, 2011

The Yang Reports #16

Warren Sattler

Yang Volume 4, Number 12 is dated March, 1976 and was published by Charlton Publications Inc. The editor is George Wildman. The dynamic cover is painted by Warren Sattler, and Sattler also did the artwork on the inside of the comic. Joe Gill wrote the story. Here is what else was on the newsstands when this issue of Yang landed on the racks.

"1000 Ways to Die!" begins with Yang in the rough and tumble Alaskan town of Skagway during the height of the 1890's gold rush. He sees an old miner named Lucky Jim Brady struck down from behind by a club on orders from Simon Wicks, and moves to intercede, and is told by a lovely young woman named Anne Reese to take the injured miner to her father, Dr.Amos Reese will help him. Another man called Race Cochran offers to take Brady can be taken to the local hotel and gambling hall called the "Heavenly Rest" run by a woman named Briscoe. Later when Dr.Reese arrives the pair claim that Brady was never there and when Yang objects a fight breaks out. Yang and the Reeses escape, but they need money so Yang returns to the Heavenly Rest and gambles, but uses his substantial skills to overcome the cheating used to fleece the local miners. After winning substantial sums Yang takes a horse and leaves after setting the Heavenly Rest on fire. He and the Reeses then head north to Dawson, Alaska as Dr.Reese helps the Tlingit Indians and looks for his brother, a missionary who was lost also helping the Tlingit.

"Klondike Fever" begins in Dawson as Yang and Anne Reese getting supplies are confronted by thieves and Yang is forced to shoot the pair with a gun he found during the fight. After getting what they need in town the trio learn of an injured man in the Tlingit camp. They discover it is Reese's brother and some quick surgery allows the removal of a bullet which was keeping the poor man paralyzed. As he recovers, Yang organizes nightly gold hunting operations disguised as fishing to fool the locals and after sufficient gold is found he heads to Dawson to the one honest banker to deposit it on behalf of the Reeses and the Tlingit. Killers hired by Cochran though intercept and after a ferocious battle Yang is finally able to accomplish his task and safely deposit the gold. The story ends as Yang runs across the unscrupulous Simon Wicks who struck the miner starting the story and dispatches his gunman and punches the evil man. Yang leaves Dawson with thoughts of his homeland and the House of Yang on his mind.

"Apache Justice", a two-page text tale, reveals how Yang while traveling a barren desert survives and is found by Apaches and put him through a Gauntlet to prove his mettle. He of course survives and wins their respect.

This comic was reprinted by the Australian publisher K.G.Murray under the title of "Martial Arts" along with other non-Charlton material. The Sattler cover is given a dramatic treatment.

This is another completely solid issue with complex characters and a plot which twists and turns very neatly in its short space. The greed of the Alaskan rush is on terrible display and the men and women involved must face that with different degrees of discipline and dignity. Yang never loses his, though he does resort to using a weapon several times in this story. He's used them before, but he seems all too ready to do so here. Gill might be suggesting something about how Yang is changing in the world he finds himself in, but I doubt it.

More to come as we arrive at the final issue of Yang.

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