As a longtime cinephile, I have been enamored with Kung Fu movies. I remember as a kid watching Kung Fu Theatre, every Saturday afternoon, with my cousins in our house in New York. These stories with their badly paced English dubbing, usually had everything else going for it. The action, the stars, the special effects, and the story. I never really knew who any of the actors were until one of my uncles introduced us to Bruce Lee.
The very first movie, we saw of this venerable legend, was the impressive Way Of The Dragon, a slow burner at first, but as soon as Lee enters the film, his presence was magnetic. The man commanded every scene he was in and the way he beat a then unknown Chuck Norris, was a scene all of us cheered on. Of course, we went on to see the rest of his movies, and to this day, in some form or another, have some piece of his memorabilia in our houses. As much as those movies still stand up, one can only imagine what else he could have created, if he only lived a little bit longer. In Shannon Lee’s Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises, fans get to live a fantasy where he still lives.
We find Lee in a government facility where he has been asleep for forty years, as he wakes up to a world, much different than what he knew as he teaches an abusive Sensei, who favors Chuck Norris the correct way to treat his students. Soon the same shadowy organization lead by a mysterious woman known as Katya, is looking for him and a friend from the past and two kids just so happens to find hm as well, who helps him get acclimated to present day. This leads to Lee finding out what the organization is up to and to find the father of the two kids. By book’s end, they find the kids’ father but leaves Katya even more powerful than ever.
Overall, an entertaining story that gets the reader to know who Bruce Lee the person is, in this rather fun plot. The story is relatable, funny, and fantastical. The art is striking and vivid. Altogether, a great story which will have readers looking for their old VHS copy of The Chinese Connection.
Story: Shannon Lee, Jeff Kline and Adam Beechen
Art: Brandon McKinney, Michael Montenat, Zac Atkinson, Troy Peteri, Steve Blackwell and Bernard Chang
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy