Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1 - Neal Adams cover, Jim Starlin art

Neal Adams
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu v1 #1, 1974 - Marvel's first kung fu magazine begins with a stunning Bruce Lee cover. Neal Adams' draftsmanship and figure drawing skills make the scene especially impactful. The vanquished foes in the background are a nice touch, suggesting the kung fu hero's invincibility. The lead story features Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu, facing a test that will mean life or death. His father, the sinister Fu Manchu, awaits the result with no emotion or expectation. Like his other early Shang-Chi tales, Jim Starlin pushes the limits of page and panel design. His fight scenes are often sequences, focusing on the techniques behind martial arts. Circular shapes and lined patterns are added for visual interest. Starlin's artwork helps distinguish and establish Marvel's first kung fu hero. This story was later reprinted in color in Special Collector's Edition #1. Other artists in this issue include Dick Giordano. This is number 1 of 9 Deadly Hands of Kung Fu issues with Adams art and/or covers and number 1 of 1 Deadly Hands of Kung Fu issues with Starlin art and/or covers.
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Adams cover pencils and inks = ****
"The Testing of Shang-Chi" Starlin story inks (Al Milgrom pencils) 15 pages = ***

Jim Starlin
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