Monday, July 16, 2018

Dojo Classics - Yang #9

Warren Sattler
Yang Volume 3, Number 9 is dated September, 1975 and was published by Charlton Publications Inc. The editor is George Wildman. The cover is painted by Warren Sattler, and Sattler also did the artwork on the inside of the comic. Joe Gill wrote the script.

"Brides for Sale" begins with Yang helping a young blonde woman who is being attacked by Commanches. He fends off the attackers, takes a horse and the two of them ride back to her camp, despite her protests to the contrary. The men of the camp shoot back at the Commanches, saving Yang and the woman, but quickly Yang and the woman are punished for bringing the danger back to camp. Brother James, a seemingly religious leader has them whipped and forces Yang to become a servant in the camp.

Yang quickly learns the women are being held against their will, having been tricked into coming West to find husbands and success they are beaten and live in fear. He uses the chances he has to train the women in Kung Fu, and they prove to be quick learners. Eventually they reach the town of Gutter Gulch where Brother James hopes to sell the women to the many unscrupulous men who live there.

Knowing their time is almost up, the women disguise themselves as "The Masked Furies" to begin Part II. They attack the men and take shelter in an old mine. Yang though goes to learn what's happening and gets captured. The woman he saved to begin with named Trudi Weiser goes into town as a decoy and succeeds along with the other Furies in freeing Yang. A battle ensues and the corrupt men of the town are defeated and Brother James last trick, a gun in his Bible proves ineffective. Yang leaves the women in charge of their fates and along with the good folks of Gutter Gulch, hopefully they will build good lives. Yang walks into the sunset.

"Yin-Yang Mail" lives up to its name for the first time. It features two letters, one to the editors by a young man which has mostly praise for the comic and another addressed to Yin Li from a young woman who wonders why Yin is so often found in the role of the baddie in the stories and hopes she will mend her ways.

This is a solid, exceedingly well-paced issue. The religious fanatic Brother James is a despicable type and revealed to be a hypocrite. The women this time are all good and Yang helps them, a big change for the series where women are often untrustworthy. The one fault in the story is the speed with which the Furies learn Kung Fu, but that's unavoidable. It often seems in these types of stories that years of training can be transferred in a few days, and that's ludicrous. But this isn't the only time that flaw as been seen in a story, comic book or otherwise.

The team of Gill and Sattler continue to impress. This issue of Yang makes mention of Sun Yang and hints that Yang will head back East to find him. The new series House of Yang is given a plug.

More on that "new" spin-off next time.

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