Thursday, January 24, 2008

1970's Flashback: Sons of the Tiger

"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."

The Sons of the Tiger were martial arts heroes whose series ran in Marvel Comics, The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu magazine. The series was created by Gerry Conway and drawn by Dick Giordano.

Lin Sun (Chinese, leader of the trio) is walking back from a Martial arts tournament with his 1st place trophy when he is attacked by ninja in front of his school in San Francisco. After defeating the villains, he goes into the "Tiger Dojo" which has been ransacked and finds a dying Master Kee. The old man tells him that forces in this world would destroy us and points to a box on a shelf before he dies. In the box Lin finds three amulets of power made of jade shaped like a tiger's head and two claws: the symbol of their school. The inscription at the base of 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.

Soon, Lin meets up with his two friends, Abe Brown (African-American from the streets of Harlem) and Bob Diamond (a Caucasian actor) who have also been attacked by ninja. Lin recounts the events leading to Master Kee's death and gives each of them one of the Jade Tiger claw amulets. They discover that when they join hands and chant the inscription from the box they become mystically connected. Their martial arts skills combine to become one force: their physical abilities become tripled when they wear the amulets. During the series, the trio encounters "The Silent Ones", an evil organization with mystical ties who are attempting to rule the world.

In Deadly Hands #19, the trio breaks up and Lin Sun throws all three amulets into an alley trashcan. There Puerto Rican Hector Ayala finds the amulets and wears them to become The White Tiger. The Sons of the Tiger appeared during the next two stories: "A Beginning" and "To Claw the Eyes of Night" to help establish The White Tiger stories, but only Abe Brown is seen periodically after that.


Karswell said...

These issues are alot of fun, I wish I had kept the many I originally bought when I was a kid. I also had a bad habit of cutting out the article photos and hanging them in my school locker. I actually remember learning about samurai and ninja films from this series too.

Chuck Wells said...

Yeah, and all of those "Value" stamps that had to be cut out, weren't actually stamps either.

Darn it!