Exclusive: Meet the creative team behind the new Master of Kung Fu Marvel Legacy title

Contributed by
Aug 16, 2017

The most skilled martial artist in the Marvel Universe, Shang Chi, is back headlining his own comic.

SYFY WIRE is happy to give you the FIRST LOOK at the cover to the brand new Master of Kung Fu one-shot, drawn by all-star artist Mike Mayhew.

You'll notice the issue number is #126. The original Bronze Age MOKF series ended its run with issue #125, and since the Marvel Legacy initiative is all about connecting the publisher's past with its present and future, the numbering will fall in line with the earlier series. The one-shot hits comics shops in November.

That's not the only news we have to break here regarding Legacy. We can also reveal the creative team behind Shang-Chi's star turn. WWE legend CM Punk will be scripting the book, alongside artist Dalibor Talajic. The former wrestling champ, whose real name is Phillip Jack Brooks, is no stranger to comics. He wrote the Drax ongoing series for Marvel, which lasted for 11 issues. The Croatian-born Talajic has penciled all manner of Marvel books, including the Secret Wars: Master of Kung Fu ancillary series. He's particularly jazzed to tackle Shang-Chi on an ongoing basis. Talajic is hard at work right now on the book, but he was kind enought to let us hit him up for three quick questions.

MOKF is an iconic title for Bronze Age Marvel fans. Were you both familiar with Shang-Chi and his earlier series before you got the gig? How did you get the assignment, exactly?

Dalibor Talajic: I grew up on Shang Chi! I am a huge fan of Bruce Lee, so naturally I adore Shang Chi as well. I love both Gulacy and Zeck stuff. Gulacy treated Shang Cji like a noir book, while Zeck made it very impressive in fight scenes. I had my dream come true some two years ago when I did the Master of Kung Fu mini with Haden Blackman. The editor on this project, Kathleen Wisnecky, knows me from that time, so I hope she was pleased with what we did back then and she called me back.

Is he going to be wearing the classic red jumpsuit?

I don't know yet, depends on the story I guess. But intimately, I hope he wears his classic kimono suit. A bit modified -- the '70s are gone -- but yeah ... I'd go for kimono anytime. But we'll see ...

Can we expect some crazy fight scenes depicted in your artwork? Safe to assume this will be an action-packed comic?

Well ... I myself was a kung fu practitioner. So if there are going to be fight scenes, you can expect them to be quite grounded in something that's persuasive, not just random kicks. If you browse through the books I did so far, I always try to make my action scenes fluid and forceful. Over the top sometimes, yes, but fluid. And since it's Shang Chi we're talking about ... He IS the greatest fighter there is -- so yes, you can expect some seriously spectacular stuff.

**Editor's Note: This story has been clarified to note that MOKF is a One-Shot comic, not an ongoing series**

Here is the full solicit for Master of Kung Fu #126:

The Marvel Universe is full of fighters: brawlers, scrappers, weapons experts, mystical kung fu virtuosi. But there’s only one martial artist skilled enough to be called the greatest. SHANG-CHI has been a pinch hitter for a long time, stepping in for Avengers missions when no one else would do, but when no one can match your speed or skill, sometimes it’s best to work alone. To see what you’ve been missing if you don’t know Shang-Chi, don’t miss MASTER OF KUNG FU!