Master of Kung Fu #64 (May 1978)

We newer comic book writers loved what was known as the Dreaded Deadline Doom. Marvel was so behind schedule that fill-in issues were commissioned for every title, in the hopes that the mere existence of them would help keep the writers and artists in line.

The way this was supposed to work is that if the regular creators of a title got too far behind, Production Manager John Verpoorten would grab that completed fill-in and plop it into the schedule, and writers and artists hated that break in their continuity. But somehow, they would still fall behind. Lucky for the rest of us.

Bill Mantlo wrote most of these fill-in issues, but the rest of us sometimes got to pitch in, like with this issue of Master of Kung Fu, which was drawn by Mike Zeck, with whom I’d previous worked on “The Final Flower.”