Immortal’s Final Series Follows Shaolin Master Amid The Boxer Rebellion

I can’t get enough of badass Chinese superheroes since watching Shang Chi and Everything everywhere all at once? U.S. too. So here’s a good tip: keep an eye on Fa Sheng: Originsa new wuxia (武俠) comic presented by Immortal Studios.

The Los Angeles-based comic studio behind The Follower and Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsmen is now in its third series, set in a shared wuxia universe.

Inspired by real historical events, Fa Sheng: Origins is set at the dawn of the 19th century, at the height of the Boxer Rebellion – an uprising against foreigners in China. Our protagonist: Fa Sheng, a “deceitful and mind-blowing Shaolin master”.

Fa Sheng: Origins is actually fundraising on Kickstarter, mobilizing fans to support this groundbreaking project. Depending on the pledge package backers choose, Immortal Studios will reward them with a digital or print copy of the comic, illustrated by Dexter Wee, along with a special cover art and other benefits.

Not much has been revealed about the storyline, though the project’s Kickstarter campaign suggests we can expect an enlightenment-seeking Shaolin master “committed to helping those in need” while facing “ruthless adversaries, power grabbers and cowardly charlatans”. The campaign page also offers an overview of five different covers and a few inside pages.

One of the covers of Fa Sheng: Origins

Writer Rylend Grant, who has collaborated with Hollywood greats such as Ridley Scott, JJ Abrams and Luc Besson, is also an ordained Soto Zen monk.

One of Grant’s assignments while writing Fa Sheng: Origins was to inspire readers to face adversity without fear and to give their best. In a press release for the project, Grant said:

“You were not born into enlightenment. It’s won. He fought tooth and nail over time. It is too often a by-product of tragedy and conflict.

Immortal Studios CEO Peter Shiao, who also created the character Fa Sheng, told RADII about the period’s significance to history: Martial arts played a crucial role in how the Boxer Uprising unfolded. .

He adds that the comic’s setting, Heze, formerly known as Caozhou, in China’s Shandong Province, is of historical significance when it comes to wuxia.

“Heze was the home of the heroes of the classic Chinese novel The water margin“, explains Peter. “So it’s no wonder that many boxers who answered the call of the times hailed from Heze.”

wuxia martial arts comics

Son of Shiao Yi, one of the most famous Chinese authors of the wuxia genre, Peter is on a mission to continue in his father’s footsteps. His wonderful father’s writings have been adapted into more than 30 films and television series.

Translated into English as “martial arts hero”, wuxia is a Chinese fiction genre that spans the fields of film, television, and literature.

As the kind of kung fu heroism that inspired films like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Wuxia tales often revolve around stories involving warriors avenging wrongdoing or obtaining justice for the oppressed or marginalized. These stories usually take place in ancient China.

Through Immortal Studios, Peter aspires to take the wuxia genre into the future with contemporary twists.

“As wuxia has been popularized and spread around the world, it has a deep connection to Chinese youth culture,” the creator says, adding:

“I believe there’s a lot of value in exploring real-life martial heroes in the not-too-distant past. True heroes who fought and bled in circumstances that tragically brought East and West together.

The timing of the Kickstarter campaign for Immortal’s latest project couldn’t be better, since AAPI Heritage Month is observed in May in the United States. As a comic that explores Chinese history and features a badass warrior monk, hopefully it will help spark interest in Chinese culture at a time when cross-cultural understanding between East and East West has never been so critical.

Are you looking forward to a preview of ‘Fa Sheng #1’? We don’t blame you, and you can click here (You’re welcome!). You can also show the project some love on Kickstarter.

All images courtesy of Immortal Studios

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