Saturday, September 7, 2013

Make Mine Marvel: Sons of the Tiger

With there first appearance in Marvels black-and-white magazine The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1 from April of 1974 the Sons of the Tigers rode the martial arts craze that was sweeping the nation. Created by writer Gerry Conway and artist Dick Giordano they had a short but memorable run for Marvel Comics. Their origin opens as Lin Sun is returning from a martial arts tournament after winning first place when he is suddenly attacked by ninjas in front of his school in San Francisco. After defeating the villains, he goes into the "Tiger Dojo", which has been ransacked. He finds his dying adopted father Master Kee, who tells him that there are forces in this world which would destroy them and then points to a box on a shelf with his last breath. In the box the student finds three jade amulets of a tiger's head and two claws: the symbol of the school. The inscription on the box reads, "When three are called and stand as one, as one they'll fight, their will be done...For each is born anew, The Tiger's Son." Lin tells the story of the "Amulets of Power" and divides them between his two friends, Abe Brown from Harlem and Bob Diamond a Hollywood actor, who have also been attacked by ninjas. The trio soon discover that when they join hands and chant the inscription from the container they become mystically connected. Their martial arts skills combine to become one force and their physical abilities are tripled when they wear the mysterious amulets. Later in the series as the group breaks up, Lin Sun throws all three amulets in a trashcan located in an alley where Hector Ayala finds the tokens and wears them to become the White Tiger who continues in his own martial art series.

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