Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu!

The Dojo is closing out this month of martial arts madness with a cover gallery of one of the most audacious martial arts mags ever -- The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu. This one is a winner from its awesome title to the wildly kinetic covers, many of which were done by the amazing Neal Adams. Bruce Lee gets the cover spot many times in the many year run of this black and white bonanza. In addition to color-comics martial artists like Shang Chi and Iron Fist, the mag featured the Sons of the Tiger and later the White Tiger. This magazine bristles with action and lots of features on various aspects of the broad martial arts craze which swept through Western culture in my formative years. The issues have been collected in recent years in whopping big omnibus volumes, but here are the original covers.

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Monday, July 30, 2018

The Other Karate Kid!

I guess folks these days think of a certain trilogy of movies from the 80's when the name Karate Kid is brought up. I don't. Being a child of the 60's and 70's I first think of the 30th Century warrior Val Armorr, better known to his Legion of Superhero allies as Karate Kid.

Jim Shooter is given credit for creating Karate Kid, as one more of many interstellar heroes who were part of the futuristic Legion of Super-Heroes. He debuted in Adventure Comics #347 and 348 in a two-part tale. He went on to become a stalwart of the team, getting a costume revamp by Dave Cockrum (as did most of the Legion) when the series was revived in the early 70's.

So when the Kung Fu craze swept across the United States, it was natural that Karate Kid, DC's already custom-built martial arts hero would be a feature. But it didn't happen, that is it didn't happen for many years, after the craze had begun to fizzle out that Karate Kid left the future for the then modern DCU and became a solo star. The book was above average, but like most DC product at the time, I liked it but most other folks apparently did not. Eventually the titled was cancelled and Val Armorr went back to the future to take up his place in the Legion once again. But it was fun while it lasted.

Here are the covers of the Kid's run.

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