The Martial Arts - just one slip of the typing fingers away from the Marital Arts and yet, in some ways, so very different.
But what a marvellous thing they were. Not only did they offer each of us the hope that one day we might be able to kill people with our bare hands but, without them, would the world have ever had Emma Peel, Joanna Lumley or the sight of Ingrid Pitt karate-kicking the Sea Devils' pet Myrkka?
More to the point, without them, we'd never have had The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1.
As a matter of fact, I never did have The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1 - as I never saw an issue of it in the shops, ever.
I did however see numerous adverts for it in Marvel's other mags and was suitably wowed by Neal Adams' cover, even though I didn't know it was a Neal Adams cover at the time.
What actually happened in The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1?
I don't have a Scooby.
There's no mention on the cover blurb of either Shang-Chi or Iron Fist. There's not even a mention of The Sons of the Tiger. To be honest, if you're a Marvel comics editor and you do a Kung Fu mag and you don't even include the Sons of the Tiger, then you really are clueless about what the public want.
Still, as a mere stripling, such concerns never occurred to me. I took it for granted that Marvel's greatest fighters were in it and I knew, from its cover alone, that it looked a mighty fine magazine indeed.
Top of the Pops: 15th December, 1977.
5 months ago