Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Collected Works of Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu

Karen: We have frequently spoken here of our frustrations about not being able to get reprints/trade paperbacks of Master of Kung Fu. Marvel has had legal problems with reproducing the original issues of the series due to the appearance of the Sax Rohmer Fu Manchu characters in the stories. But something has been worked out with the Rohmer estate, and Marvel is publishing Master of Kung Fu in omnibus form! In fact, there will be four of them reprinting the entire run. Volumes 1-3 will reprint the Master of Kung Fu series, along with Giant Size and Annual issues and other assorted stories, and a fourth volume will print the black and white magazine Deadly Hands of Kung Fu. Based on Amazon's listings, volume 2 should be out in September, and  the Deadly Hands omnibus (which is not using the same numbering as the MOKF volumes) will be out in November. I'm not sure when volume 3 of MOKF will be out but presumably after that.

Karen: While this might not be the ideal format for everyone, at least we are getting the stories collected. It seemed like it might never come to pass, so it's a pretty big deal.

Karen: The first omnibus debuts this Tuesday, the 14th. The MSRP is $125, but In-Stock Trades is selling it for $68.75! Below is a description of what is in volume one:



One of the most groundbreaking Marvel Comics of all is collected for the first time! Born to be the world’s most fearsome fighter, Shang-Chi’s life takes a major turn when he discovers the truth about his father, the villainous Fu Manchu! So begins the epic story of the Master of Kung Fu! On a quest to end the reign of his pernicious patriarch, Shang-Chi pits his deadly hands and furious feet against incredible foes like Tiger-Claw, Razor-Fist, the mysterious Midnight — and even the macabre Man-Thing! But will his mastery of martial arts be enough in a throwdown with the Amazing Spider-Man? Collecting SPECIAL MARVEL EDITION #15-16, MASTER OF KUNG FU (1974) #17-37, GIANT-SIZE MASTER OF KUNG FU #1-4, GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN #2 and material from IRON MAN ANNUAL #4.
696 PGS./Rated T…$125.00
ISBN: 978-1-302-90129-5
Trim size: oversized


William said...

I've been waiting years for them to release "Shang-Chi, MOKF" as collected volumes, so I was actually quite excited for this when I first heard about it. However, I am not a big fan of the Omnibus format. I have a few other Marvel Omnibus volumes, and I find I don't like reading them because they are just so heavy and cumbersome. You can't just flop on the bed and crack them open. You have to set yourself up in a way that you can lay the book down on a flat surface and read it like some ancient tome.

I have the Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus with all of the Ditko / Lee ASM comics reprinted. After I got the Omnibus I sold off my hardcover Marvel Masterworks volumes that had those same books reprinted because I figured that I wouldn't need them anymore. But after a while I realized that I did not like reading the Omnibus because it was too much trouble. I couldn't just pick it up and leaf through it. So, I actually ended up re-buying the soft cover Amazing Spider-Man Marvel Masterworks that reprinted the same stuff all over again.

So, I may just wait and see if they also come out with a series of TPBs or smaller hardcovers of Shang-Chi which have 6-10 issues at a time instead of 40. If not, I'll probably go ahead and eventually get the Omnibus.

Dougie said...

I wanted to read these stories again - much of the Gulacy run was reprinted in the UK as SI6-The Specialists IIRC: a reference to the action series The Professionals, I suppose. But we never saw the complete "Magnum Opus". However, at about sixty quid, this format is unjustifiably expensive for me . I'll wait to see if there is a softcover option.

Garett said...

This was at my comic shop last week already. There's a second cover with a Bronze age art style. I prefer the Epic softcover format now, so I may wait and see if that comes out. Either way, it's great to see that this is finally getting a reprint.

Edo Bosnar said...

This is a case where I'm just glad it's finally happening, i.e., the complete Shang Chi from the '70s/early '80s is finally (finally!) getting reprinted. However, the cost is keeping me away from it for now - for me, just one of those volumes, even with a sharp bookseller discount is really expensive, and getting all four volumes prohibitively so. I'll either wait to find cheaper second-hand copies (highly unlikely) or more reasonably priced paperback editions later - a series of Epic volumes would be ideal I suppose.

As for the Omnibus format, I only have two of them, Warlord of Mars (collecting the entire Marvel John Carter series) and Simonson's Orion, and I don't mind it that much. Both are rather bulky, but I still find them relatively easy to flip through and read while in an easy chair or in bed. Even so, I think about 600/700 pages (which the ones I have are, respectively) is about the limit before they become unwieldy. I remember I used to really want the Simonson Thor omnibus until I had the opportunity to hold a copy in my hands - it was really massive and I imagine it's hard to read that thing on anything but a table-top. That fact and (especially) the recoloring prompted me to go for the paperback reprints

Anonymous said...

Yes! It's about time. I've read most of these (except the Giant Size MOKF) at one time or another, but it's nice to have them collected like this. Now I just have to start saving some money...

Mike Wilson

Graham said...

Love me some Chang Shee, but not too excited about the price/format. I'm going to wait,too. I've waited this long......

Mike said...

MoKF is one of those "I can't believe I didn't read this fresh off the rack" titles for me. I bought a full run of MoKF several years ago and absolutely loved them, especially the issues with Gulacy art.

I did hear a rumor that Shang-Chi is being cast to appear in the Netflix "Iron Fist" series set to be released next year. Marvel coming to terms with the Rohmer estate and releasing these books lends validity to that rumor.

Anonymous said...

Of course there's a chance there will be smaller, Masterworks-type HCs or tpbs in the future but reading between the lines of what Marvel have said, it seems unlikely.

The chances are that, once the omnibuses are out of print, a 2nd printing may not happen.

So grab these whilst you have the chance!!

Doug said...

I'll claim ignorance to just about all things Shang chi. My fault - I leafed through several issues "back in the day", but I never pulled the trigger on buying one. It's a series I am curious about, however, and appreciate the high recommendations from all of you.

That being said, I did tell Karen offline that I'll most likely get the Deadly Hands of Kung fu Omnibus when it's released before the holidays. I've long said that I'd like to get my paws on Marvel's B&W output from the Bronze Age, and this looks to be an easy way to get a whole heaping helping!


Anonymous said...

Sorry about my sporadic appearance here guys, I think I finally exorcized the digital demons from my PC! (They especially seemed to loathe the BAB for some reason!)

Well, gotta love MOKF, so the new release is good news. Doug, I'm surprised you're not a bigger fan of Shang Chi and co, considering it was one of the better titles of the Bronze Age. Considering it was Marvel's version of Bruce Lee, it did have a respectable run and I understand that these reissues didn't appear sooner due to copyright issues with the character of Fu Manchu.

Well, to each his own. Mike, I hear ya, the Netflix Iron Fist needs an appearance from Shang Chi!

- Mike 'now I need to exorcize my TV' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Anonymous said...

Now there’s a coincidence. I just finished my Shang Chi collection last week. And it only took 40 years. I do like Shang Chi. For the uninitiated, I recommend #33 – 35, a non-Fu-Manchu related saga, which is basically a Kung Fu detective Bond movie.

Carlton Velcro – what a name !

I like the way Kane’s dynamic, angular style clashes with Gulacy’s equally dynamic but fluid and more detailed style. Considering that Steranko went off like a bomb, it’s amazing that more people didn’t try to ape him. I think Gulacy did a great job. That style is very cinematic and suits the various movie genres being parodied in Shang Chi.

Mike - I found that Explorer starting hating the BAB site about 3 years ago. I found that Google Chrome likes it a lot better


Unknown said...

Does anyone know if omnibus volume 2 prints the letters pages? I had a letter printed in issue 54, would love to have that in hardcover.

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