Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Yang Reports #18

Warren Sattler

Yang Volume 4, Number 13 is dated May, 1976 and was published by Charlton Publications Inc. The editor is George Wildman. The action-filled 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 arrived on the stands. Note that price jumped to thirty cents this issue.

"Death Wears White" picks up the story of Yang almost immediately after the events of the previous issue, and Yang is in the town of Dawson, Alaska and still facing off against the corrupt financier Simon Wicks who is offering a bounty on Yang's head. Yang has successfully protected the Tlingit gold mine by putting the title to the mine in the name of the chief Ahak. But Wicks plots against Ahak and lures him into a saloon. Yang hears yelling and comes to the saloon to find a man named Smitty dead on the floor with Ahak's knife in his body and Wicks and his men declaring that Ahak is the murderer. Chief Ahak denies the charge and Yang battles the thugs and he and Ahak escape into the cold snowy night. The two men get supplies at the Tlingit village and head off into the wilderness to elude capture. Wicks does send men to find them, but Yang is able to fend them off and sends them back minus resources. Wicks then contacts the local Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman named Corporal Pierre Duvall. Doing his duty, he strikes off to find the two fugitives.

"Die in Dawson" begins when Duvall finds Yang, and he raises his rifle to fire but is only doing so to protect Yang from an attacking wolf. The fair-minded Mounties hears the story of Yang and Ahak and agrees to a bit of trickery to find out the truth. He cuffs the two men, but does not lock their cuffs and takes them back to Dawson. The two prisoners are put into the storerooms owned by Wicks and then Ahak pretends to suggest to Yang that he might buy his freedom if he signed over the mine to Wicks. Wicks overhears and attempts to make the trade, but is overheard by Duvall who attempts to arrest the corrupt businessman. A fight breaks out and Yang battles Wicks and his men ultimately setting fire to the building. With Duvall and Ahak he defeats the criminals and get their unconscious bodies out of the fire. Duvall plans to take the men in for trial as Yang announces his heart yearns to return to Shanghai. As he turns to head home, his thoughts turn to the beautiful but deadly Yin Li and he muses why there must be evil at all in the world.

"The Drinking Partner" is a one-page text tale of Yang as he made his way into a small Western town seeking a drink of water. He goes into the local saloon to get a drink but faces a threat almost instantly. He fights off the angry cowboy and his fighting skill impresses the cowboys who offer him a drink. He takes his empty glass and heads to the horse trough, preferring that company.


And that wraps up the Yang story as we know it. This final issue by Gill and Sattler shows off the remarkable consistency in the series. These two reliable talents have been on hand for each and every issue, and offered up a solid entertainment month in and month out. Yang clearly found an audience, though not a sufficient one to last indefinitely. The first issue cost twenty cents and this final one cost thirty cents, that alone points to the relative longevity of the series. The series would be revived in 1986 during Charlton's final throes, but those issues (already showcased in these reports) would only offer up reprints of the series.

It's unfortunate that we never got to see Yang get to Shanghai for his reunion with with his cousin Sun Yang, but it would make a great sequel some day. As for Sun Yang, his final adventure comes up the following month, and is the subject of the final Yang Report, and as it turns out both Gill and Sattler are on hand for the occasion.

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