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Mag1.jpg (35453 bytes)Issue #1 "His Name is Remo"
Written by Will Murray, art by Lee Weeks.

Synopsis: This issue combines an original story with small bits of the novella "The Day Remo Died" from the Assassin's Handbook. It begins when Conrad MacCleary travels to the rocky shores of North Korea, to a tiny fishing village called Sinanju. There he meets the legendary Master of Sinanju and brings him to America, where he is to train a man called Remo to become a killer.

Remo Williams is a cop, who has been framed for a murder he didn't commit. He is scheduled to die in New Jersey's electric chair. Minutes before the end of his life, he is visited by a hook-handed monk who gives him the opportunity to save his life and slip him a black pill. The electric chair is rigged not to work and the pill puts Remo into a deep, death-like coma. When he awakes, he is, for all intents and purposes, a man without a past.

Remo begins his training, to become the enforcement (killer) arm of an organization known as CURE. The super-secret arm of the government is authorized to operate outside the constitution to ensure that America's enemies don't destroy the country from within.

Harold W. Smith, head of CURE, is forced to put Remo into action before his training is complete to deal with the theft of a prototype weapon, a personal nuclear pistol capable of vaporizing much of the eastern seaboard. After a series of encounters, Remo manages to confront the thief and manifests his Shiva, the Destroyer incarnation. While under the control of Shiva, Remo kills the thief and recaptures the weapon.

Review: While not the best magazine in the series, this is a fine introduction to the series and its characters. My biggest complaint is that the cover artist gave Chiun a mustache, he clearly didn't know the material. Having Will Murray write the series was a boon, his knowledge of the series and characters shows in every panel. I only wish there had been a more interesting villain. The plot suffers for lack of a decent foe. The Destroyer needs a grand villain, something more than a street thug with a big gun.