Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Yang Reports #13

Sanho Kim

House of Yang Volume 1, Number 3 is dated December, 1975 and was published by Charlton Publications Inc. The editor is George Wildman. The beautiful cover was painted by Sanho Kim who is also the artist on the interior pages as well. The script was supplied by Joe Gill. Here is a look at what else was on the newsstands when House of Yang #3 arrived.

"Hunters of the Sun" begins with the arrival of former Japanese military man Colonel Yagatsu and his two female Ninzas on the Nipponese freighter of pirate queen Eva Ku. They plot together to kill Sun Yang, enemy of both. Sun Yang meanwhile is training at the House of Yang, refining his martial arts skills. He learns of Yagatsu's return as a civilian spy and heads to see him because of his cruel plan to corner the rice markets of China, bringing out suffering and hunger. He infiltrates Eva Ku's compound and sneaks into a meeting between her and Yagatsu by pretending to deliver rice and confronts the pair. Yagatsu has his Ninzas attack Suy Yang and he fends them off, but his lack of desire to kill his enemy causes him to become their prisoner. As they try to kill Sun Yang, Eva Ku has a change of heart and turns on her new allies, saving Sun.

"House of Yang" is a two-page letters page section with spot illustrations from previous issues. It offers up two letters of comment, both very complimentary to the new comic and both offering high praise for Sanho Kim's distinctive take on the setting and characters. His aborted project "Wrong Country" is mentioned by the editors.

"The Plunderer" begins as Sun Yang is being tortured by the two Ninzas with braided, barbed whips, but Sun is able to twist and get free. His hand bound he battles against to the twin Ninzas and Colonel Yagatsu, knocking them all out. He then yells to the many desperate men in the sampans around the freighter that the rice there and in the warehouses is free to any who got to get it. This causes a sufficient distraction that Sun is able to escape the freighter and seek help. Meanwhile Eva Ku is finding herself under attack from her Japanese allies, but she is saved when Sun Yang returns and sends both Ninzas and Yagatsu unceremoniously into the bay. Eva Ku turns on Sun Yang though and he flips her into the bay too. She vows revenge, but he seems unconcerned for the moment. Later at the House of Yang he indicates he can deal with Eva Ku in the future.

This is a solid issue, as the premise which works so effectively in the Yang comic finds expression here. Eva Ku reappears inexplicably healthy with dark hair this time, and her feud with Sun Yang is lively and on display. The reappearance of Colonel Yagatsu was a surprise, especially in his civilian dress. The "Ninzas" as they are called are beautiful additions to the lore and offer up some really great baddies for Sun to battle. He's been taking on over-sized macho warriors to this point, and this pair of deadly lovelies is a nice change of pace.

This issue was reprinted in Gredown's House of Yang #1 in 1976.

Another top-notch outing for all concerned beneath one of Charlton's most elegant and beautiful comic book covers. Outstanding!

More to come.

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