First Appearance of Master of Kung Fu Shang-Chi in Special Marvel Edition (1973)

Comic Releases, First Appearances | Sep 4, 1973

Marvel Comics

Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin created the character Zheng Shang-Chi, also known as the Master of Kung Fu and Brother Hand. Shang-Chi made his first appearance in Special Marvel Edition #15, cover-dated (December 1973), on September 4th of that same year.

The genesis of the character began when Englehart and Starlin originally approached DC Comics with a pitch to adapt the David Carradine-starring television series Kung Fu into a comic book since DC’s parent company, Warner Communications, owned the rights to the series. That first idea developed into a kung fu-focused original comic starring the original character Zheng Shang-Chi, The Master of Kung Fu.

During the martial arts craze in the United States in the 1970s, the series became very popular, running until issue #125 (June 1983), including four Giant-Size issues and one Annual. Special Collector’s Edition #1 (1975) cover-titled as “Savage Fists of Kung Fu” reprinted stories from The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1–2; The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Special #1; and Special Marvel Edition #15. The character did several crossovers with other Marvel martial artists, including the White Tiger, Iron Fist and the Daughters of the Dragon (Colleen Wing and Misty Knight). He appeared regularly in The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu.