Though I am no expert, I am a great fan and admirer of martial arts movies of the 1970s. I know there’s a wide array, going back much earlier, and stretching forward to today, but the 70s seems to have been the Golden Age of Kung Fu. For Americans, it’s often all about Bruce Lee. I don’t know why he never particularly captured my interest. For me, it’s Jimmy Wang Yu, Cheng Pe-Pe, and Gordon Motha’Truckin Liu. For artist/author Kagan McLeod, though, it’s all part of one big tapestry, and he draws on everything to create an epic Kung Fu tale.
Infinite Kung Fu brings in undead, magic, bronze men, spiritual warriors, groovy masters, monks, betrayals, poison, animal styles, training montages, and all the stuff that makes the genre (?) so wonderful. This isn’t simply a retelling of a classic movie’s plot, either. Nor is it simply a riff or shallow homage. This is a deep dive into the philosophies and mysticism, as well as the arts themselves, and the various characters who get involved. It is a worthy addition to all that great material, not just a nostalgic look back on it.
Writer/artists seldom do a great job at both parts of the job, but McLeod is in top form. The story works, the characters feel right, the pacing is smooth. And his art and panel work is great. He captures the excitement and insanity of the fighting without getting too cute with page layout. I was impressed throughout.
This is an absolute must. For fans of comics, it’s a heck of an achievement. For fans of Kung Fu, of Golden Harvest and Shaw Bros., it’s more than a love letter. It’s a new star in the firmament. Read it.