Mania Grade: A-
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- Art Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A
- Text/Translatin Rating: B
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: DrMaster
- MSRP: 19.95
- Pages: 234
- ISBN: 978-1-59796-118-9
- Size: B5
- Orientation: Right to Left
- Series: Chinese Hero
Chinese Hero Vol. #04
By Ron Quezon
May 07, 2008
Release Date: November 27, 2007
Chinese Hero Vol.#04
Writer/Artist:Wing Shing Ma
Translated by:Yun Zhao
Adapted by:Sue YangWhat They Say
As a child, Hero's family was attacked and killed by a practitioner of Northern Mantis kung fu. This assassin was entrusted, by the affluent head of a local triad, to retrieve Hero's family heirloom: the legendary Blood Sword.The Review
Hero Hua is still hot on the trail to find his kidnapped son, Jian. What he doesn't know is that Jian has already escaped. Lost, alone, and still nursing his injuries, Jian is far from safe. Stuck at the bottom of a mine shaft, Jian is surrounded by members of the Black Dragon Gang lurking nearby.
Having lost its upper hand with Jian, the Black Dragon Gang attacks a banquet at China Tower. Yin Yang Emissary poisons the invitees and tries to use the antidote to force their allegiance. Qing, Wu Yuan, and Lohan come to China Tower's rescue, but they are poisoned as well. Just as Yin Yang Emissary has the three at bay, two mysterious Chinamen show up to help. Or do they? The two Chinamen kidnap Qing instead and easily dispense the gangsters in their way.
The Gate Masters chase after the Black Dragon Gang only to come face to face with a mysterious blind swordsman. He reveals himself as Invincible, a martial arts master with one mission: to fight a truly worthy opponent. Unfortunately for the Gate Masters, even their combined efforts are not enough to defeat him. It's not long after that Yin Yang Emissary leads Wu Yuan into a trap with Invincible. A marathon battle between Invincible and a weakened Wu Yuan quickly ensues.
Fresh from his bout with the Five Guards, Hero returns to what's left of China Tower. The banquet attendees have been kidnapped by the Black Dragon Gang, and now the Chinatown community is blaming Hero. Determined to make things right, Hero breaks open a nearby stone lion to uncover the Blood Sword! With the Blood Sword pulsing with renewed power, Hero vows to bring everyone back.
Hero sets off, but not before he pays a visit to an old friend, Ghost Servant. However, Hero reconsiders asking for help when he finds him living quietly on a farm with his wife and child. The stakes are high and Hero knows the Black Dragon Gang is a heartless and resourceful enemy. And Hero has still to meet Invincible!
Will Ghost Servant join Hero on his quest to rescue Jian and the others? What will happen when Hero (and the Blood Sword) finally battles Invincible? Just who is behind the Black Dragon Gang and how does he fit in with Hero's past?
This fourth installment rejuvenates the overall Chinese Hero storyline. First, the return of the Blood Sword signals that Hero is ready to do some major damage. You know that whoever gets in Hero's way better have some major martial arts credentials. Second, the emergence of an opponent worthy of Hero Hua raises the stakes in the plot. Motives aside, the sheer power of Invincible and his unwavering mission to battle only the most powerful of fighters is quite a draw. Third, this volume reveals a lot about the inner workings of the Black Dragon Gang. Even with the weird Boy-George look-alike (AKA the Yin Yang Emissary), this organization is not only ruthless, but also has the financial backing to run a private army. It's going to take a lot to bring down this establishment and you wonder if Hero will be able to do it.
The reintroduction of Ghost Servant provides an emotional nuance to the narrative. However, it is a bit of a leap to see Ghost Servant as anything other than martial artist. Seeing a sentimental Ghost Servant with chickens and pigs is just strange. Jian and the mouse king portion of the story is equally peculiar. It is too convenient a plot element that the mice happen to bring him the very herbs and berries to heal his wounds.
Overall, Dr Master does not disappoint on quality. Though are a couple misspelled words and awkward translations, the overall reading experience is excellent. Not only does it have the same amazing coloring and detailed artwork, but also the fight scenes feel like they have been taken a notch higher. Wing Shing Ma's introduction of Invincible alone makes this volume worth reading. Invincible not only dusts the Gate Masters and beats up Wu Yuan, but he's Japanese too!