Marvel Comics Removes Masters Of Kung Fu Mentions From Its Website
Bleeding Cool reader Andreas Decker writes "I wanted to buy some single issues of Marvel's "Master of Kung Fu" by Doug Moench and Gene Day as the third Epic Collection of the series never materialized. I had them for some time on my wishlist, after the self-destruction of Comixology now on my Amazon Wishlist. Imagine my surprise that they are no longer avaiable. I also looked Marvel up, but the whole series – the 1974 – 1983 edition only – is no longer listed there. Amazon also doesn't sell the two Epic Collections and most of the digitalized Deadly Hands of Kung Fu any longer. (Which also vanished from the Marvel site, btw) Can you confirm this? Marvel can sell what they want, of course, but isn't this taking Political Correctness a bit too far? Again? Or is the digital edition just taken from distribution to get another embarrassing apology on page 1 because the past is a foreign country? Moench, Gulacy, Zeck, Day and all the other artists and writers deserved better than this nonsense. Sad."
He is not the only one to have noticed this. Indeed it seems almost all of the Master Of Kung Fu comics from the Doug Moench era that introduced and starred the character of Shang-Chi era have been digitally deleted from Marvel's website, Amazon's ComiXology and Marvel Unlimited. You can see them listed here, but most of them resolve to a 404 unknown page, such as his very first appearance.
This includes comics such as What If? #16 and the Giant-Size Spider-Man issue #2 that starred the character. Or the Deadly Hands of Kung Fu magazine issues, which also featured the character only #19-#23 and #25-#30 remain, as do the modern-day revivals of both titles for Marvel Legacy and Secret Wars.
Is this all because of the portrayal of East Asian characters in a fashion that is colloquially called "of its time"? No, no it is not. It is because Shang-Chi was created as the son of the trademarked and licensed from the estate of Sax Rohmer character Fu Manchu. There are also appearances of those Rohmer characters such as Fu Manchu's daughter Fah Lo Suee and adversaries Sir Denis Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie. And any mention of that fact, has to be excised as Marvel appears not to have renewed their license with the estate this year. And as result, Marvel cannot sell them anymore. If you have your copies, they won't suddenly disappear from your library. But if you haven't you are out of luck.
But to remove them from the Marvel.com website entirely? Must be one of those Jedi mindwipes that currently Marvel Comics does have the rights to.