Thursday, July 12, 2018

Dojo Classics - Yang #8

Yang Volume 3, Number 8 is dated June, 1975 and was published by Charlton Publications Inc. The editor is George Wildman. The cover was painted by Warren Sattler who is also the artist on the interiors. The script was supplied by Joe Gill.

After a two-page reprise of the story of how Yang came to America, "Night of the Wolf" begins right away with an attack by gray timber wolves on a miner. Yang intercedes and is attacked himself. The wolves are controlled by a woman wearing a wolfskin mask, shirt and cape. Yang fends off the wolves and is about to unmask his attacker when he is struck from behind by a gun butt wielded by the Wolf woman's partner named Blackman. The pair ride away leaving the wolves to kill and consume Yang, but he awakens and takes to the trees to escape the voracious beasts.

The woman resumes her real identity of Miss Rebecca a seamstress who lives with her Aunt Edith in a local boarding house. Other miners arrive and Yang climbs down from the trees and tells them of the attack. He then seeks refuge and goes to Miss Rebeccas' boarding house and surprisingly is given a room. He recognizes his attacker when he sees a wolf whelp in the house. Nonetheless he stays and gets a bath and a some sleep. But the tea he had earlier seems to give him nightmares about wolves and his sleep is restless, especially when Rebecca and her wolf peek in on him.

The next morning he seeks information and learns that Rebecca's father was a gambler who was found cheating and was hanged by the local miners. Rebecca couldn't stop it. Yang hears a wolf and heads out of town to investigate and finds Rebecca seemingly being attacked by a large wolf.

"The Killer Wolves" begins as Yang finds that Rebecca tricked him and she holds him down as the wolves gather. He though is able to turn the tables and gets her in a hold and uses her as a hostage to return to town. But meanwhile Blackman has been talking down Yang and making it seem he might the villain. When Yang and Rebecca return to town Yang is arrested. He soon learns the Sheriff is in on the conspiracy with Blackman and Rebecca. A Yang languishes in jail the wolves prowl the town. Eventually Rebecca in her wolf gear appears and goes to the jail to set her wolves on Yang yet again. She leaves as the wolves stalk the hero in his now open jail cell. Rebecca changes clothes, gathers up the gold she has stolen and leaves town. Yang climbs into the rafters to escape the wolves while Blackman and the Sheriff have a laugh while they listen to the attack.

But Yang is able to fend off the wolves one more time and locks them in the cell. He then gets a horse and goes after Rebecca. Blackman and the Sheriff realize they've been double-crossed but the miners of the town overhear their talk and take the pair into custody for a miner's court which seems likely to end in a hanging for both of them. Yang pursues Rebecca but her wagon comes under attack by wolves she does not control and she, her panicked horse, and her wagon full of stolen gold tumble over the cliff. Yang realizes the wolves will get to her body before him and he heads back to town and meets the miners who have taken back control.

"Yin-Yang Mail" offers up three letters this time. One comments on how foolish Yang is to allow Yin Li to constantly get the drop on him. One appreciates the complexity of their romance. And the third purports to be from the sister of a young boy who reads Yang. She is upset by the Yin-Yang legend which paints women as evil and she plans to tell her mother and so stop her brother from learning such vile things.

This issue of Yang has never been reprinted, though you will find it in its original form at this groovy link.

We have another issue of Yang in which Yin Li plays little part. It is again a nice change of pace as Yang does find himself battling another evil woman for sure, but this one is certifiable. Once again Yang finds himself getting drugged by a woman, and you would think he'd learn eventually.

The action in this one is nicely varied, but Yang never really gets into much of a real fight with the wolves, as he usually uses his acrobatic skills to merely evade them. Having Rebecca wear a wolf skin outfit does sell the idea of this series as something akin to "superheroes", but not all that much really.

I did like that Yang recognized Rebecca as his attacker pretty much immediately, and so saved us pages of him seeming to be dunce. But then that does bring back that conundrum of his taking tea from her. I guess we are just supposed to accept that the dark spot in Yang's mostly white soul just can't say no to drugged concoctions from shady women.

The Yang universe is about to get bigger later in the summer of 1975. More to come next time for sure.

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