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Monday, 3 July 2017

Richard Dragon, Kung-Fu Fighter 5 - Lady Shiva debuts

Lady Shiva, in later years best known as a Batman villain, makes her debut in the O'Neil, Estrada and Wood tale in Richard Dragon, Kung-Fu Fighter 5 (Dec/Jan 75/76).

The issue opens with a couple of sparring matches. We watch a mysterious cloaked figure take down three challengers at once, preparing for a big battle with Richard Dragon. Then we see Ben Turner sparring with a new character, Joy Dillard, and starting up a romance with her as well. Ben seems all healed from his last gunshot wound.

Richard Dragon gets a message from Barney Ling at GOOD, and goes to see what the man wants. He is told of a bad guy with the silly name of Guano Cravat, who has a deadly laser. Richard meets Sandra Woosan, the sister of dead Carolyn, who had infiltrated Cravat's organization and taken pictures of the laser facility.

So off Richard goes to take down Cravat and destroy the laser. He fights a number of opponents on the way there, and then has to face the mysterious cloaked figure from the opening. It's not too much of a surprise that this is Sandra Woosan, also known as Lady Shiva, because she is shown on the cover. Shiva believes that Richard is responsible for her sister's death, and wants revenge. In fact, Cravat was an operative of the Swiss, and has lied to Shiva to set this all up. His plan probably would have worked better if he hadn't gloated about it while standing so close to Shiva and Richard that they could hear what he was saying. But he does, so the other two stop fighting and destroy the laser.

Lady Shiva becomes a major supporting character in the series from this point, but not a villain.

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