House of Yang Volume 2, Number 5 is dated April, 1976 and was published by Charlton Publications Inc. The editor is George Wildman. The dynamic cover was painted by Warren Sattler, who is the regular artist on the companion comic Yang. The interior artwork is by Demetrio Gomez Sanchez with the final two pages produced by Franc Fuentes Man. The script was supplied by the always reliable Joe Gill.
"A Poisoned Pearl" begins in the South China sea where Eva Ku learns of fabulous pearls. She plots with her henchman Ni-Shan to take the native divers into slavery and force them to get more pearls for her. Ni-Shan and his pirates do just that but encounter Sun Yang who battles them fiercely before being struck down from behind. He is tied up to a mast and presented to Eva Ku who immediately demonstrates her dual nature by demanding he be taken down and she herself cares for her enemy. But after a firm but eventful kiss between the two she again changes, but Sun Yang plans to leave but he is stopped by the wily Ni-Shan who is waiting for him. Again Sun Yang is tied to the mast and tormented, yet again Eva Ku sends out mixed messages when she punished Ni-Shan for abusing Sun Yang.
"Death Lies Deep" begins as Sun Yang and Eva Ku dive together into the shark infested waters to get the pearls themselves. Sun Yang battles a giant shark to save Eva Ku, and the pair make another dive, both protecting the other divers and making sure the pearls are delivered. A fracture develops between Eva Ku and Ni-Shan though over the division of the pearls. Sun Yang is still fending off sharks to protect the native divers and returns in time to see Ni-Shan turn on his pirate queen taking both her and Sun Yang prisoner in a giant net. As the pair are to be tossed to the sharks, all of which have been brought to a frenzy with chopped up fish, Sun Yang tackles Ni-Shan and the duo fall into the sea. Sun Yang is able to battle his toothy attackers but Ni-Shan is not so lucky. Returning to the junk, Eva Ku and Sun Yang discuss the split on the pearls and Sun Yang demands his part be given to the native divers.
"The Victims" is a two-page text piece which discusses the history of seal fishing in Alaska and how it has become a managed industry in more recent years after a free-for-all in the early days.
This issue was reprinted in 1976 by Gredown, an Australian publisher, which offers up a very dynamic variation on the original Sattler watercolor cover art.
The change in art styles in this issue is abrupt. Demetrio is a fine artist, and the storytelling in this one only breaks down in a few spots. The final pages by Fuentes Man fit right in and if he hadn't signed them, I doubt most folks would notice the change. These two Spanish artists are solid talents and worthy replacements for a man like Sanho Kim, but clearly some of the special magic which made House of Yang so different is missing.
Here is a link to see more of Demetrio's work on some Charlton romance stories.
Ni-Shan is a very nasty villain and frankly I wasn't a bit surprised he turned on Eva Ku. She doesn't deserve loyalty, the way she changes her mercurial mind about Sun Yang. If I worked for her, it would drive me crazy. The Yin-Yang dynamic is firmly established here, as clearly as in any previous issue.
There is one more issue of this run to come. Stay tuned.