One and Done – The Hands of the Dragon #1

Ed Fedory – Writer
Jim Craig – Artist

Much like a handful of other Atlas comics, The Hands of the Dragon would only last one issue despite how good it would end up being due to a number of factors including the volatility of the market when it would first debut. That aside, Ed Fedory and Jim Craig would craft an excellent tale starring a martial-arts-inspired super-hero, one which would set him apart from many of the day though there are definitely a few familiar bits sprinkled throughout should one be a fan of this genre. It begins with a man taking his grandchildren home, the war having taken his own children away. He knows not what else to do and as such, he does so out of necessity and a bit of longing. The way is treacherous and he runs into danger along the way more than once and while he does eventually arrive, one of the twin boys is scarred by heat and radiation. The old man prays for the best but as the boys get older and start learning the martial arts those at the temple teach, Wu Teh uses his for good while Ling uses his increasingly for evil thanks to the man named Dr. Nhu’s influence. Soon a fight breaks out between the brothers and the grandfather dies at the hands of Ling after which he flees. This leads Wu Teh on a mission of vengeance that takes many years and one that may never come of anything but as it so happens, he gets a clue which leads him to an assassination attempt where he finds Dr. Nhu and his brother. As a first issue and an origin issue, this book hits all the right notes with some great drama, explosive action and a truly fascinating backstory which while told, could be gone into at greater length about the war and so forth had the book actually lasted more than one issue. Fedory writes a very compelling tale, one that definitely makes the reader wish there were more and he leaves the book off on a promissory note that there will be more, not realizing there never would be. For his part, Craig does an excellent job making it as exciting as possible and together, the two men create a great book that sadly, would never go farther than this.

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