Historical Origin

In Special Marvel Edition # 15, we find this letters page titled "Missives to the Master". Since this issue was the first appearance and origin story for the character of Shang Chi Master of Kung Fu, Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart wisely elected to give us the genuine historical origin story!



In many MOKF issues, the letters pages are just as interesting and entertaining as Shang Chi's adventures. With a regular cast of returning letter contributors, including Catherine “Cat” Yronwode and Bill Wu, Missives to the Master are worth giving a read. If you haven't taken the time, I suggest you do!
There are two ways that the community of readers of Master of Kung Fu becomes a selective community, more than just "anyone who picks up this comic book." First, the common, shared tastes enumerated above become a litmus test separating the fan from the reader. Recognizing the allusions in the comic helps to establish a common symbol system. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the members of the community recognize each other. They refer to each other in their correspondence—creating a kind of positive reinforcement of common group identification. 
A web of members of the community is created by these references. The readers of MoKF interact with each other in ways that we see echoed today in online forums and other sites of "online community"—helping cement our sense of the readers of MoKF as a genuine community of readers. 

'Nuff said!

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