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The Surrogates Special


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About the Author

Robert Venditti is the New York Times best-selling author of The Homeland Directive and the sci-fi graphic novel The Surrogates, which was adapted into a feature film. He has written the monthly comic book series X-O Manowar and Wrath of the Eternal Warrior for Valiant Entertainment, and Green Lantern and The Flash for DC. He currently writes Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, as well as the children's novel series Miles Taylor and the Golden Cape.


Begun as a self-published series more than a decade ago, the comics series Infinite Kung Fuhas now been put together in a collected edition with 200 pages of new material, and the results are remarkable. The story centers on Lei Kung, a martial arts expert and former soldier who must infiltrate the five kung fu armies of an evil emperor in order to bring him down. With characters like Moog Joogular, Thursday Thoroughgood, and the Eight Immortals to help guide him along the way, Lei Kung constantly works to perfect his art and learn the secrets that will allow him to defeat a host of nefarious characters. In the story, the world as we know it has regressed to a time when technology is all but gone. Lei Kung must rely on his martial skill against the hordes of reanimated corpses that are slowly destroying the planet. The great strength of this graphic novel is its originality, but equally impressive are McLeod's extraordinary illustrations and compelling narrative. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

The Eight Immortals of Chinese legend and their eight students anchor this sumptuous fightfest. Five students have studied "poison kung-fu" and defected to become generals for the evil Emperor. So it falls upon students Lei Kung and Blaxsploitation character look-alike Moog Joogular to dispose of the generals and, finally, the Emperor, the eighth student having been killed by the disobedient five. Despite 16 key characters, all with Chinese-like names, the narrative threads are recognizable because of skillful character design and the overall sturdy story frame. A novel ingredient for this genre adds currency: a zombie explosion driven by the lack of new lives where recently dead souls may find reincarnation. Fortunately for the bad guys, zombies make handy support troops. But fortunately for the good guys, not very good support troops. VERDICT The extensive hand-to-hand combat has not the inventiveness of, say, Dragon Ball, but the story shines via its wonderful Asian art-inspired brush-and-ink work and other inventive details, like a mecha built from a Buddha head and a fight between two one-armed opponents using the bones from their severed arms as weapons. Recommended for older teen fans and up of fight manga and superhero thump-'ems.-M.C. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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