Deadly Hands of Kung Fu
Cover of DHOKF (vol. 1) issue #17
|Company||Magazine Management Company|
The 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. 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 the Sons of the Tiger
- The Daughters of the Dragon – Colleen Wing and Misty Knight (characters derived from the Iron Fist series)
Each issue had various comic stories featuring these characters, both single issue stories and multi-issue arcs. Most of the issues had a review of a recently released martial arts 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 in black-and-white 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). Issue #28, September 1976, was an all Bruce Lee special, including a 35-page comic-format biography, written by Martin Sands, and drawn by Joe Staton and Tony DeZuniga. Many issues are rare, especially in higher quality condition.
The editors experimented by setting some of the comic stories in feudal Japan and starring samurai-type characters, including a four-part story arc called "Sword Quest", illustrated by Sanho Kim and Tony DeZuniga. The Sons of the Tiger/White Tiger feature ran until the penultimate issue.
Below is a list of the magazine's editors and the issues each oversaw:
- Roy Thomas: #1, 2
- Tony Isabella: #3–6 & Special Album Edition
- David Anthony Kraft: #9, 10 (co-edited with Don McGregor)
- Don McGregor: #7, 8, 10 (co-edited with David Anthony Kraft), 11, 16, 17
- Archie Goodwin: #12–15, 18–25
- John Warner: #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.
- Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Omnibus Vol. 1 collects Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1-18, Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Special Album Edition, and Deadliest Heroes of Kung Fu, 1152 pages, November 15, 2016, ISBN 978-1302901332
- Roy Thomas; 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
- John Warner (June 1975). "Editorial". Deadliest Heroes of Kung Fu. Magazine Management Company. 1 (1): 2.