Oriental Heroes

Oriental Heroes
Cover of Oriental Heroes vol. 288.
Art by Wong Yuk-long.
龍虎門
(Lóng Hǔ Mén)
Genre Kung Fu
Author Wong Yuk-long
Publisher Jade Dynasty
Original run 1970 – Present

Oriental Heroes is a popular Hong Kong-based manhua created by Wong Yuk-long, a writer/artist responsible for also creating a number of other popular manhua titles. It was created in 1970, and it continues to be published today. The book was the first Hong Kong manhua title based on action and fighting, often borrowing from the wuxia literary world. It established a new action genre of Hong Kong manhua and spawned many imitators. The theme of its stories often revolve around brotherhood and the fight for justice. The 2006 movie Dragon Tiger Gate was based on this manhua.

Name

Oriental Heroes is the book's official English name. Its Chinese name is pronounced in Cantonese, Lùhng Fú Mùhn (simplified Chinese: 龙虎门; traditional Chinese: 龍虎門; pinyin: Lóng Hǔ Mén). This name translates as "Dragon Tiger Gate" in English, and is in reference to the name of the fictional kungfu school and organization that is a major subject matter in the book.

History

Oriental Heroes was first published in 1970 under the title Little Rascals (Indecent Publication Law in 1975, banning explicit violence in manhua.[1]

As the Indecent Publication Law only applied to manhua, Wong Yuk-long established a daily newspaper, called Sàng Bou (simplified Chinese: 生报; traditional Chinese: 生報; pinyin: Shēng Bào), with which to publish Oriental Heroes. In the first month of Sàng Bou's run, the newspaper published actual news together with various manhua titles, including Oriental Heroes on the back cover. After a month, Sàng Bou switched to a manhua-only daily newspaper. Oriental Heroes was published daily in the newspaper, and a full week's stories were collected and published in book form every week. Wong Yuk-long changed the name of the book to its current name of Lùhng Fú Mùhn, with the English name of Oriental Heroes. He also explored less graphic means of depicting violence and altered his drawing technique.[1]

Responding to the success of writer Ma Wing Shing's manhua, Chinese Hero,[2] Wong Yuk-long modified Oriental Heroes again in the mid-1980s. The drawing style began to use a style described by Tim Pilcher and Brad Brooks in their 2005 book The Essential Guide to World Comics as "more realistic,"[1] and the stories became more serious and less comical. After 1991, Oriental Heroes started being drawn by other artists instead of Wong Yuk-long himself.[2]

Main characters

The stories in Oriental Heroes mostly centre around three main characters who are leaders of the kungfu organisation and school, Dragon Tiger Gate.

Wang xiao hu

Eighteen years old and with a strong sense of justice, Wang xiao hu (Chinese: 王小虎 Wang Xiao Hu) fights to protect the weak from those who would oppress them. He is both calm and courageous, fighting against powerful and evil forces without any fear. Being from a family of martial artists, he is a naturally talented fighter. His signature technique is the Wang Family's 18 Dragon Slayer Kicks, invented by his grandfather. Besides his family kung fu, he also invented a kicking technique named Leuih Dihn Sahn Teui (Chinese: 雷電神腿); the name of this technique translates to "Thunder and Lightning Kick". Wang xiao hu's name means "Little Tiger". Since his father was Wong Fuk Fu, the more appropriate translation would be "Tiger Wong Jr". In Indonesia and Malaysia translations he is called "Tiger Wong".

At first, he only mastered Taming The Tiger Fist (Gong Zi Fu Hu Quan) and Tiger Crane Paired Form Fist (Hu He Shuang Xing Quan), both of which are his family kung fu. Later on, after meeting his eldest uncle, Wang Jiang Long, he was able to learn the legendary Wang Family's 18 Dragonslayer Kicks. As the story progresses, his kung fu skills are also developing, either by improving his current technique or learning an entire new skill. Subsequently, he learns "Nine Suns" Chi kung. This dramatically raises the power of his moves.

Wang xiao long

Wong xiao long (Dragon". In Indonesia and Malaysia translations he is called "Wong Siu Long" or "Dragon Wong".

Even though he came from a family of martial artists he didn't learn the family kung fu because he was taken away by his mother at a very young age. Instead, he learned Eight Trigrams Palm (Bagua Zhang) and staff style at the beginning of the story. After he's reunited with his brother and uncle he also learned the Wong Family's 18 Dragonslayer Kicks. However, he modified the style and using his hands-instead of his feet-to perform them. Later on he had a fateful encounter with the current leader of the Beggar Clan and was able to learn the original 18 Dragonslayer Palms and the Dog-Beating Stick Technique, greatly increasing his fighting skills.

Shi hei long

Eighteen-year old Shi hei long (Cheung Chau, under the protection of master Gam Mouh Si Wong (Chinese: 金毛獅王). Shi Hei long usually fights using his nunchucks. His name means "Dark Dragon" or "Black Dragon". However, due to his blonde hair, in English translations he is called "Gold Dragon". In Indonesia translations he is also called "Gold Dragon". In Malaysia translations he is called "Dragon Long". There are other names for Shi Hei long such as Turbo Shek, Shek Hak Luhng, Shi Hei Long, Dragon Shek and Rock Black Dragon.

In addition to be a formidable judoka, Shi Hei Long was also very good at playing nunchakus, two skills he mastered at the beginning of the story. Later on he got the chance the learn the legendary Shaolin Golden Bell Armor skill which greatly improved his power and endurance. As with other characters of the story his skills are also increasing throughout the story.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Pilcher, Tim and Brad Brooks. (Foreword: Dave Gibbons). The Essential Guide to World Comics. Collins and Brown. 2005. 129-130.
  2. ^ a b Wendy Siuyi Wong (2002).  
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