Friday, July 20, 2018

Dojo Classics - Yang #11

Yang Volume 4, Number 11 is dated January, 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 script.

"The Killer King" begins in San Francisco where Yang the Avenger is being pursued by many killers. He slips into the bay and is rescued by a cabin boy aboard a ship which turns out to be headed to Alaska. Yang is kidnapped and dumped into the hold along with a crowd of men eager to get to Alaska and find their fortunes. Captain Mehn, the skipper of the ship puts Yang to work, but plans to kill him when Yang overhears the Captain's plans to shake down his passengers. Yang is tied and thrown overboard into the cold Bering Sea around the Aleutian Islands. Yang gets free and swims to a volcanic island filled with seals. He realize he must be in the Pribilof Islands when a boat appears with Russians who have come to club the seals to death for their fur. They are led by a Cossack named Colonel Igor Yugarov who wants kill Yang but Yang is knocked out instead by a Mongol named Woni. Yang is then taken to the leader named Prince Nimoff, and Nimoff's daugher Princess Karen pleads for Yang's life. Yang is put behind bars where he informs Karen of Yugarov's seal hunting.

"One Last Victim" begins as Yuarov overhears Yang tell Princess Karen of his activities and he plans to release Yang and kill Karen and tell Nimoff that Yang killed her. But Yang attacks Yugarov and the pair get to Nimoff first informing him of Yugarov's treachery. Nimoff, Karen and Yang escape and contact Woni before Yugarov can implement his plan to blow up Nimoff and his daughter. They escape to the sea in a boat and are pursued by Yugarov and his men. Yang slips into the cold sea and tips over the pursuing boat, then he attacks Yugarov and throws him into the sea where he is attacked and killed by a ferocious Leopard Seal. As the story ends, Yang plans to find his way to Nome, Alaska.

"Yin-Yang Mail" offers up two letters. One is from an academic who adds more detail to the Yin-Yang myth which informs the series and the other is from a fan who suggests a super-foe for Yang simply named "Yin". The editors tell the latter that Yin Li already fills that role.

This issue was reprinted in 1977 under the Modern Comics label.

Yet another solid issue, filled with action and a very wide-ranging setting this time. In the space of a single issue we travel from the bays of San Francisco to the the wilds of the Aleutians. Yang's personality seems fully developed at this point and Gill and Sattler seem completely comfortable with the characters and the setting. The stories are vivid, and they offer up a broad spectrum of characters.

The world of Yang (called "the Avenger" over and over again in this issue) is one filled with random and often cruel violence. It makes Yang's own character very important. While it's a bit thin to imagine the slaughter of seals having much impact in the rugged world of the 19th Century, it does contrast neatly with the more placid aspects of Yang's outlook on life.

There is more to come.

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