In the 616 continuity, while Iron Fist gets the headlines, it’s Shang-Chi who’s the real master of Kung fu. Marvel’s set out to prove it with a new one shot featuring Shang-Chi, the master of Kung Fu. Writer CM Punk and artist Dalibor Talajic are bringing Shang Chi back to fans with Masters of Kung Fu #126. “Shang-Chi has been a secret agent, adventurer, and an avenger, but he’s on his own again and the artist’s vision of him remains clear and focus” boasts Marvel. Shang-Chi is Marvel’s first Kung Fu master and it’ll be exciting to see where Marvel takes him in this special tribute to his legacy.
Artist Dalibor Talajic, who would be bringing Shang-Chi’s kung-fu to life, calls Shang-Chi “peaceful and calm, but underneath there’s a deadly volcano”. He looks forward to trying to capture that in the one shot’s pages.
Shang-Chi is essentially Bruce Lee. He was created during Bruce’s peak of popularity and was clearly based on him. So visually, I guess his expression is what makes him unique. This mesmerizing presence of his is something that must be felt throughout every panel.
While it’s familiar territory for Talajic who did a Masters of Kung Fu 4 issue series back in 2015, he’s not content with this “familiar territory.” Talajic always tries to complicate things for himself.
Sometimes, I decide on a different layout design, sometimes it’s more blacks, sometimes no blacks at all. Last time I was concentrating on fight choreography and the clarity of the art itself. This time I might be playing with shadows—maybe? A humble nod to artist Paul Gulacy’s legacy? I’ll see where the story takes me and work from there. I always try to tie myself to the story. Comic book artists are often compared to movie directors, and there is a saying: the best directors are those you don’t even notice. So story comes first. What I’ll be doing emerges from that.
Paul Gulacy is famous for his work on comics like the original Masters of Kung Fu. It’s appropriate that Talajic would be drawing from this particular history and style to create a one shot for Shang-Chi, Marvel’s most popular Kung Fu character.
CM Punk, a professional fighter, mixed martial artist, and comic book writing has experience with fighting. So does Talajic as a practitioner of Kung Fu. The two working together should create an interesting collaboration, one that Talajic is looking forward to.
I honestly can’t wait to see how he deals with this. He is also a professional fighter, so he’ll know what he’s writing about. I myself am a kung fu practitioner and I know what’s humanly possible during the fights. So we’ll see whose kung fu is stronger!
The Masters of Kung Fu one shot sounds like a must for Kung Fu fans. Does it sound like it fits your bill? Sound off and share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to pick up a copy of Masters of Kung Fu #126 this November!