- My eyes cross water to the gift of a symbol. It is a statue which represents freedom won at the cost of death ... and while my studies in philosophy render such a concept false, my experience with the nature of man dictates that fallacy is often truth.
- -- Shang-Chi
Appearing in "River of Death!"
- Adolf Hitler (Only in flashback) (Cameo)
Synopsis for "River of Death!"
Black Jack Tarr arrives at New York Harbor, where he finds Shang-Chi gazing at the Statue of Liberty. After a brief quarrel, he tells Shang-Chi that Sir Denis Nayland Smith requests his presence. On a small jet bound for South America, Smith tells Shang-Chi that Fu Manchu is en route to South America to acquire the plans for a secret Nazi weapon—plans currently in possession of a former Gestapo agent named Wilhelm Bucher.
The jet lands by the Amazon, where they meet Smith's contact, Raymond Strawn. Smith has hired Strawn as a guide to take them down the Amazon. Strawn is bitter and belligerent and refuses to have any dealings with a man of Chinese descent, much less a man who is also the son of Fu Manchu. While Smith and Tarr try to change his mind, Shang-Chi fades into the jungle.
Onboard Strawn's boat, Smith tells Tarr what he knows about Bucher. He is a xenophobe, worse than Hitler, if such is possible. On a mission to deliver documents to Japan, he and his Japanese assistant took refuge in a bunker during an air raid. A bomb partially collapsed the bunker and trapped Bucher. The Japanese officer deserted him. Another bomb fell on the bunker, but somehow Bucher escaped, albeit with his face badly scarred. The documents—the same plans Fu Manchu wants—he took with him to South America.
Before long they find themselves at the mercy of Si-Fan assassins. The assassins drop down out of the tree branches hanging over the river, and Smith is knocked overboard.
From the shore, Shang-Chi spies a hungry alligator preparing to eat Smith. He dives into the water and fights the creature off, returning Smith to the steamer. They are horrified to see that Strawn has shot all the assassins, all of whom carried melee weapons.
Before long, Strawn's vessel catches up with the one allegedly transporting Fu Manchu. Strawn shoots at the boat, a paddlewheeler, thus giving up any chance of surprise. Shang-Chi takes the initiative and dives back into the water, to resurface on the second boat. He knocks out the pilot and cuts the engines. He incapacitates a horde of Si-Fan killers, but there is no sign of Fu Manchu. Interrogating one of the assassins, Shang-Chi learns that Fu Manchu was never aboard the boat. He is, instead, traveling via helicopter to meet Bucher.
Strawn removes a mask to reveal that he is actually Bucher and tries to shoot Shang-Chi. Although Shang-Chi dives off the paddlewheeler, a bullet strikes him in the shoulder. Strawn forces Smith and Tarr onto the other boat and makes his escape.
Meanwhile, Fu Manchu secretly monitors the affair from his personal helicopter. He remarks that he saw through Bucher's trap and that his plan is on schedule. Smith tells Tarr that he knew Strawn was Bucher but that Strawn was the only way to get to Fu Manchu.
- This issue is part one of a two-part story.
- Shang-Chi makes references to his first fight with Black Jack Tarr, which took place in Master of Kung Fu #17.
- This issue includes Value Stamp #97, the Black Knight.
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