Post by Paste Pot Paul on Jun 27, 2019 1:03:08 GMT -5
Jesse Custer vs Jody
Heh, that ugly ass cover image is probably the safest thing to post from this issue.
While I love his encounters with the Saint and good ole Odin, let alone Herr Starr, this "rumble" is where its at.
It was the year of fire… the year of destruction… the year we took back what was ours. It was the year of rebirth… the year of great sadness… the year of pain… and the year of joy. It was a new age. It was the end of history. It was the year everything changed.
Number 5 is Master of Kung Fu #39, Shang Chi, Master of Kung Fu vs Shen Kui, The Cat.
Nayland Smith has sent Shang Chi to Hong Kong, protect his agent and retrieve papers stolen from MI-6. The agent, Juliette, has a cover as a singer in the Jade Peacock, where Triad gang members conduct business, and where Juliette's lover, Shen Kuei, plays in Games of Deception, as Shang Chi calls them. There is a brief face off, that is interrupted by the gangsters, allowing Chi to escape, with Juliette. She takes him to the papers; but, refuses to leave Shen Kui. Chi easily fights his way in and confronts a Chinese agent and takes the papers; but, learns that they were never Smith's. He throws them away, tired of the Games of Deception. However, Shen Kui believes Juliette has betrayed him for another and arrives to confront Chi. An epic battle between evenly matched fighters ensues...
After the preliminaries, they attack each other with weapons and savagery. Chi gets an early edge; but, they soon toss away the weapons and fight with their own bodies...
Strike and counter-strike, block and parry; the fight rages on. Finally, Juliette can stand no more. The men are stubborn fools who won't listen to reason; so, she resorts to their methods and plunges a dagger into her own shoulder...
Shen Kui professes his love for Juliette and takes out the dager, tossing it at Chi's feet. He carries off Juliette, to tend to her wound. Chi is left with an annoying Siamese Cat, no papers, and no honor. He returns home, with the cat, to confront Nayland Smith and his lies, oblivious to the fact the papers say that Fu Manchu has been seen in Hong Kong and must have a plan in motion.
The fight between Shang Chi and Shen Kui is brief; but memorable, as it is both the finest depiction of actual martial arts technique in comics and it is a spectacular piece of graphic storytelling, with minimal dialogue and narration, once the fight begins. It is a ballet of masters feeling one another out, probing and feinting, advancing and retreating, until they attack each other with abandon. Their emotions override their intellect, until Juliette restores sanity to them. It is a visual masterpiece of violence and combat. Under Gulacy's pencil, Master of Kung Fu was the rare martial arts comic that featured actual martial arts fights, not just Hollywood punches and kicks, with the odd karate chop. Iron Fist could have used a few pointers from Shang Chi.
By the by, Juliette is visually based on Marlene Dietrich. Gulacy had several models for characters. Clive Reston was a mix of Sean Connery, with Basil Rathbone's nose. An MI-6 communications officer was David Niven. A disgraced agent was Marlon Brando. Chi was Bruce Lee, Fu Manchu was Christopher Lee, and the loveable robot Brynocki was the Big Boy restaurant mascot. Even Groucho Marx turned up! The series had many great fights; but, this was the one with the greatest sense of drama and choreography.
This might have been my #1 if I had been on the ball enough to put a list together myself. Brilliant highpoint of a series that possessed more than a few of them.
Post by Phil Maurice on Jul 2, 2019 13:11:24 GMT -5
5. Bullseye vs. Elektra or "A Kiss is Just a Kiss, a Sai is Just a Sai"
By: Miller & Jansen
Daredevil 181 (1982)
Appearing elsewhere in the countdown and written up in superior fashion is this fatal duel. Embarrassingly, this is the only female fighter on my list, and she loses! This one really shocked and saddened me way back when. Stunning work by Miller and Jansen.
DOCTOR: I don't like the looks of your husband. WIFE: I don't either, but he's good to the children.