The mysteries of Battleworld, the new merged world that forms the basis for Marvel's forthcoming Secret Wars event, are slowly trickling out in the form of various tie-in titles and mini-series announcements. Thus far most of what we know either relates to Marvel Universe characters like Magneto and Loki, or describes in broad terms the publisher's plans for the various "warzones." But today Marvel announced the first specific mini-series set in a Battleworld world; Master Of Kung-Fu.

Written by Haden Blackman and illustrated by Dalibor Talajic, the series is set in the mystical land of K'un Lun and stars Shang-Chi in fight to dethrone his despotic father. Fans will know that Shang-Chi's father in old Marvel continuity was none other than Fu Manchu -- a character Marvel long ago lost the rights to. A recent retcon introduced a new identity for his father, an ancient sorcerer named Zu, and the new series looks set to cement that change.

Here's how Marvel describes the series:


Welcome to K’un Lun, a land where the study of martial arts reigns supreme. In a world where everyone is a master of their craft, what becomes of the drunken, drop-out failure? Shang-Chi was the most prized student at the most prestigious of K’un Lun’s many martial arts schools. Now he’s a washed up has-been living on the streets.

Cast out and forsaken by society, Shang-Chi will join other outcasts like him in a bid to dethrone the harsh and evil Emperor Zu. One problem – Zu is Shang-Chi’s father! Things are going to get messy.


This version of Master Of Kung-Fu sounds like it's set in the sort of mythical past conjured up in so many of the classic Shaw Bros movies, but character sketches by Talajic reveal a distinctly Marvel influence at work. Not only is Kun-L'un's favorite tourist Danny Rand/Iron Fist present as Rand-Kai, but also several X-Men characters; Kitty/Kitten and Lockheed, Caliban, Cypher, Wolfsbane/Rahne, and Marrow -- plus two characters whose Marvel identities we might guess at; Typhus is probably Typhoid Mary, and Red Sai might logically be Elektra. Zheng Zu is Shang-Chi's father, Emperor Zu.

Haden Blackman is perhaps best known for his work on Batwoman and his recent run on Elektra. Dalibor Talajic's works include the Marvel Dexter comics and Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe. Covers for Master Of Kung-Fu come courtesy of Francesco Francavilla.


Dalibor Talajic


Master Of Kung Fu launches in May 2015.