Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Charlton Comics...Yang

In the early seventies the Asian martial art was the new craze in movies, television, and comics so Charlton quickly developed a character heavily influenced by the popular ABC Kung Fu TV show.  His first appearance in Yang #1 in November 1973 was written by Joe Gill and illustrated by Warren Sattler as our noble eastern hero wanders the old west.  A son of a Chinese mandarin whose life was devoted to opposing injustice and evil, young Chung Hui's father was murdered for his good acts by his arch-enemy, Chao Ku the slave trader. Before his death, Chung's father renamed him Yang, the "good" side of the "Yin-Yang" image symbolizing the life-affirming good as opposed to the life-denying evil. Chao Ku's lovely and deadly daughter though, Yin Li betrayed Yang and sold him into slavery to a captain sailing for America. Starting his new life as an unwilling railroad worker, Yang eventually escapes to start his journey assisting the weak and oppressed with the help of his extensive Kung Fu skills. With a hero named Yang, you had to have a villain named Yin, who followed him to the States trying to destroy the do-gooder and in the process falling in love with the complicated peaceful warrior. Yang lasted only thirteen issues published on a bimonthly basis before its demise in 1976, though it launched a six issue spin-off series House of Yang starring his cousin, Sun Yang, fighting for justice back in China against Yin's half-sister, Eva Ku.

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