Review: House of Yang #1

House of Yang #1 cover
Cover by Sanho Kim

House of Yang #1
Published and © by Charlton, July 1975

Title: “Empress of Evil”
Synopsis: When Yang’s cousin Sun returns to find drug dealers squatting at the family homestead, much kung-fu action ensues.

Writer: Joe Gill
Artist: Sanho Kim

Review: Writer Joe Gill was a workhorse for Charlton. But, sadly, many of his scripts just weren’t up to snuff. This debut issue of House of Yang is more fully considered than some of his work (such as Emergency #1), but there’s only so much you can do with a spinoff of a television rip-off. The series gets some authentic art from South Korean artist Sanho Kim, who offered up a manga-influenced style years before it was popular in the States. Kim’s work is an acquired taste: Flat and wooden, his art is unattractive yet strangely appealing at the same time.

Grade: B-

Second opinion: “Neither the stories nor the art, by Sanho Kim, were up to much and the title is very lackluster.” – David W. Cutler, FantaCo’s Chronicle’s Series Annual #1, 1983 … “This is an unusual and enjoyable, if undemanding, title,” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: Sanho Kim’s art – both the interiors and painted cover – gives this book an odd, almost underground feel.
Not-so-cool factor: Sun Yang talking underwater.

Notable: There is a one-page, introductory text feature titled “Welcome to the House of Yang.”

Character quotable: “I have chosen yang … I oppose evil and shall always do so!” – Chung Yuan, head of the House of Yang

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Feb. 17, 2010.

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