Martial Arts Comic Books Bring the Excitement of Hand-To-Hand Combat and the Mysteriousness of Ninjas and Samurais to the Comic Book Page. Fans of Martial Arts Will Find a Wide Selection of Comic Books Featuring the Martial Arts for Sale Right Here in Our Online Comic Book Store.
The term Martial Arts, can most easily be defined any fighting system designed for close personal combat. Martial arts is a broad term that encompasses many schools of training and styles of fighting from Eastern Karate and Kung Fu, to Western Boxing and Savate. In more recent times martial arts that blend many styles into one, like Jeet Kune Do and Kenpo. Have made the distinctions less apparent.
Any number of early pulp and comic book heroes, be they action heroes like the Shadow or Mandrake the Magician or super heroes like Batman, employed various forms of martial arts in their fights with various villains and criminals. But it wasn’t until the Kung Fu “craze” in the early seventies, spurred on by movies like Enter the Dragon and television shows like Kung Fu, that martial arts became a subject of interest to American comic book creators and fans. The first American comic book to have martial arts as it main thrust was Marvel Comics’ Master of Kung Fu which featured a Bruce Lee type character named Shang-Chi, a young man raised by his father, Fu Manchu, to be a living weapon, who turns against his father when he learns of the older man’s evil plans. Most of Shang-Chi’s early comic book adventures are about him trying to overthrow his father’s empire. His story can be found in both his own title, The Hands of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu as well as the showcase title Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, which introduced other comic book martial artists like White Tiger and Iron Fist.
The success of these comic book titles led other comic book publishers to begin developing their own martial arts characters and comic books. DC Comics launched a comic book series called Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter. This title introduced two characters which are mainstays in DC Comics’ stable of martial arts characters, Bronze Tiger and Lady Shiva. DC Comics Icon, Wonder Woman, even took up martial arts in her comic book, after she was stripped of her powers.
Charlton Comics had their share of martial arts comic book characters, as well, like Judomaster, Peter Cannon and Yang. They also produced the comic book version of the popular cartoon series. Hon Kong Phooey.
Independent comic book creator, Stan Sakai, inspired by the life and deeds of the legendary Samurai swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi, developed his character Miyamoto Usagi who starred in his own comic book series, Usagi Yojimbo.
In the Eighties the Kung Fu craze of the seventies was replaced by the Ninja craze, and martial arts comic books took a whole other direction. A number of well-established characters from several comic book publishers were given new backgrounds that included training in the ancient art of Ninjutsu. DC Comic’s Manhunter and Marvel Comics’ Daredevil are the most notable. It was during this period that the character of Elektra as well as the Ninja clan the Hand were added to the Marvel comic book universe.
Martial arts comic books continue to thrive today in titles like Iron Fist, Katana, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more. Anyone who has an interest in the martial arts will easily find a good read among the comic book titles that we have to offer here. Be sure to pick some up today.