- ... to the beginnings of life ... and to the ends of death. I am prepared, now, to leave both.
- -- Shang-Chi, to Tarr's question, "Where've you been, chinaman?"
Appearing in "Rites of Courage, Fists of Death!"
- Jivaro headhunters
Synopsis for "Rites of Courage, Fists of Death!"
Shang-Chi, Sir Denis Nayland Smith, and Black Jack Tarr have begun a long trek through the Brazilian jungle. The paddlewheeler that brought them to a Nazi compound had its fuel tanks punctured during a furious gun battle, but they kept a nuclear missile out of Fu Manchu's hands. (It all happened last issue). They hear a helicopter - Fu Manchu's - as it passes them by.
Some time later, Shang-Chi's keen hearing picks up an unusual sound. He melts into the jungle to investigate. In the middle of a clearing he finds an infant crying...and a jaguar about to pounce! He fends off the big cat until it gives up and leaves. He picks up the child. Several tribesmen come from the jungle, so quietly that even Shang-Chi didn't hear them. He holds out the child, thinking he got lost. A man raises a machete and tries to kill the child. Shang-Chi kicks the man away.
The tribesmen hang back and discusses the matter. They lead Shang-Chi, still carrying the infant, to their village. He sees a Si-Fan assassin, chosen for his familiarity with the region, bound to a stake in the village. He explains that these Jivaro headhunters exposed the child because he was born during a new moon and is thus considered unlucky. The Jivaro have a heated discussion. The assassin says that one faction, led by the chief, considers Shang-Chi a divine messenger and a sign to spare the child; the other faction, led by the chief's main rival, considers Shang-Chi a mortal. They agree to settle the question by putting the stranger through a trial by fire.
The villagers prepare their gauntlet by creating a long narrow fire. Not only must Shang-Chi walk over the coals, he must protect the child from clubs wielded by the tribesmen. When he succeeds at this task, another quarrel breaks out between the chief and his rival. The rival settles this question by running his spear through the chief, then leading an attack by his faction against Shang-Chi.
"I become the storm," narrates Shang-Chi, "channeling its force into the ranks of chaos ... transforming their numbers into self-imposed barriers ... striking as the lightning strikes ... and whirling as the wind ... until those would fight ... have done so."
The Jivaro, says the assassin, now consider Shang-Chi a true god, not just a messenger. Shang-Chi asks that they release the assassin. The two leave the village. In the jungle, the assassin finds that his duty to Fu Manchu outweighs his gratitude to Shang-Chi; he is last seen flying out of the trees and over a precipice. Some time later, he catches up to Smith and Tarr at a landing strip.
- Shang-Chi took a knife in the shoulder in the previous issue; there is no acknowledgment of the fact in this issue.
- This issue includes Value Stamp #41, the Gladiator.
- Issue #23 showed Smith, Tarr, and Shang-Chi arriving in Brazil in a small jet; when they return to the landing strip in this issue, it has become a propeller-driven plane.
- For the first time in MOKF, Smith smokes a pipe.
- Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1-33
- Master of Kung Fu #17-125
- Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu #1-6
- Special Marvel Edition #15-16
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