Marvel announced a deadly new mini-series today from Mike Benson and Tan Eng Huat called Hands of Kung Fu, which follows karate hero Shang Chi as he seeks justice and revenge following the murder of a former lover. Unfortunately, thanks to a curse placed upon the comic, anyone who reads it will die within twenty-four hours.
"This is probably not great for our long-term profits," admitted Marvel Editor in Chief Axel Alonso, "since it will mean that twenty five to thirty thousand of our readers will be killed within a week of the comic coming out."
"Then again," he mused," maybe this is the kick in the ass we need to start actually bringing new readers into the marketplace."
There's no real precedent on the legal ramifications of knowingly releasing a deadly comic to the public, but we spoke with Professor of Law and Cursed Funny Books at the prestigious University of Phoenix, Thaddeus T. Puffinbottoms, for his take.
"Actually, I think this could be a good thing for comics readership," Professor Puffinbottoms explained. "It's like natural selection. Despite the word Deadly being right there on the cover of the book, warning readers of what will happen if they read it, some will buy it anyway, just because it's produced by Marvel. Getting those readers out of the comics gene pool will be good for the species."
Wow. Well, the shocking eugenics beliefs of Professor Puffinbottoms aside, this does look like a pretty good comic. It's also always nice when Marvel or DC step outside the tired superhero genre and try something new, so we'd be perfectly willing to give this book a shot, that is, if we didn't want to not die. But if you're feeling less self-preservation, feel free to pick up a copy of the four issue mini-series The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu when it hits stores this summer, and check out this interview with the creators over at Newsarama, which will not kill you if you read it, though if you click on a link for one of their top ten lists, it may put you to sleep.