Deadly Hands of Kung Fu
|Company||Magazine Management Company|
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu is a martial arts comic book magazine published by Magazine Management Company, a corporate sibling of Marvel Comics. There were a total of 33 issues published, plus one "Special Album Edition," before the series was cancelled.
This magazine was published in the mid-to-late 1970s amidst the "Kung Fu" or "Chopsocky" movie craze. Bruce Lee movies were scoring huge box-office grosses, and the Kung-Fu television series was being watched by millions. Billy Jack the half-Indian, Green Beret martial arts hero was making his appearance, and people were "shaking their booty" to Carl Douglas's hit "Kung Fu Fighting". Kung-Fu was on many people's lips and the Deadly Hands of Kung Fu was there to capitalize on it. The Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu magazine was launched in 1974 and ended 33 issues later in 1977. Some of the core recurring characters of the magazine were:
- Shang Chi, Master of Kung Fu (from Marvel's color line), incorporating characters and concepts licensed from the Sax Rohmer estate
- Iron Fist, The Living Weapon (also from the color line)
- The Sons of the Tiger – Three men linked by mystical amulets (a feature created for "DHOKF")
- The White Tiger – Heir to the amulets of "Sons of the Tiger"
- Daughters of the Dragon – Colleen Wing and Misty Knight (characters derived from the Iron Fist series)
Each issue had various comic stories from the above mentioned characters, both single issues stories and multi-issue arcs. Most of the issues had some kind of martial arts movie review from a recently released film. Other issues had interviews with authentic Martial arts instructors, while others had interviews with movie or television celebrities related to martial arts.
The early issues had a martial arts instructional section which described some elementary fighting techniques. These were provided by comics illustrator/martial artist Frank McLaughlin. The magazine was strictly black-and-white with no color except for the cover. The cost of the magazine was 75 cents for issues #1–14. Issue #15 was a "Super Annual" (all reprints) issue and cost $1.25. Issues #16–33 were $1.00, as well as the "Special Album Edition" (June) 1974.
When the magazine's run reached the mid-70s, the editors began experimenting by setting some of the comic stories in feudal Japan and starring samurai-type characters, including a four-part story arc called "Sword Quest". The Sons of the Tiger/White Tiger feature ran until the penultimate issue. By 1977 the "Chop-socky" movie craze was beginning to lose steam, which no doubt contributed to the poor sales of the magazine and its cancellation as of its 33rd issue.
The magazine had various editors throughout its run; below is each editor and the issues he oversaw:
- Roy Thomas: #s 1, 2
- Tony Isabella: #s 3–6 & "Special Album Edition"
- David Anthony Kraft: #s 9, 10 (co-edited with Don McGregor)
- Don McGregor: #s 7, 8, 10 (co-edited with David Anthony Kraft), 11, 16, 17
- Archie Goodwin: #s 12–15, 18–25
- John Warner: #s 26–33
The Deadliest Heroes of Kung Fu
MMC also published one issue of an offshoot magazine, The Deadliest Heroes of Kung Fu, in 1975 . Its single issue did not contain any comic book elements, but featured a lengthy article reprinted from Deadly Hands as well as instructional features by Frank McLaughlin. Editor John Warner explained that The Deadliest Heroes of Kung Fu was a trial balloon for an all-articles companion to Deadly Hands. 
- Thomas, Roy; Tony Isabella; Don McGregor; Archie Goodwin (Apr 1974 – Nov 1975). "Copyright Notice". Deadly Hands of Kung Fu (Curtis Magazines) 1 (1–18): 2.
- Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Special #1 at CMRO
- Deadly Hands of Kung Fu at the Grand Comics Database
- Warner, John (June 1975). "Editorial". Deadliest Heroes of Kung Fu (Magazine Management Company) 1 (1): 2.
- Deadly Hands of Kung Fu at the Comic Book DB