Comic Publishers

November 29, 2009

DC Reviews: The Great Ten #1


Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Scott McDaniel
Cover: Stanley Lau

“Pantheon”: After first appearing in DC’s 52, Grant Morrison’s Chinese super hero team hasn’t been seen since that event and Checkmate wrapped up.  Now we get to explore the individual members’ beginnings, and hopefully this 10 issue limited series effectively fleshes out these characters and gives them a prominent place in the DC Universe.  Interwoven in this multitude of background stories is the conflict between The Great Ten and The 8 gods of Chinese mythology, as well as the political issues tearing China apart.

With a very quick trip through China’s history beginning with 3 influential men, Lau Tzu, Confucius, and Sun Tzu, we are brought to a point of civil war and told why the nationalists and communists are fighting.  Basically, the communists want to cease the old ways that the nationalists still cling to and fight for.  Now enter the creation of The Great Ten, and how they will help the communists achieve their goals.  We flashback to a peaceful demonstration in Tibet that is met with cruelty and murder by the People’s Liberation Army.  Corporal Yao Feihad volunteered to be a doctor and save people, not slaughter them, and ends up deserting his squad after being shot by another officer for failing to kill one of the monks.  Bleeding out, he stumbles down the streets and passes out, only to wake up with treated wounds in the house of an old woman.  She tells him that he had murdered her son who was to be the 17th incarnation of the Accomplished Perfect Physician, and now Yao Fei would carry that burden as she pushes him through the APP’s insignia/portal on the floor.

We flash forward several years, and the new Accomplished Perfect Physician Yao Fei is fighting against the P.L.A. and for the people of China, when he is approached by the August General in Iron (then a Captain), whose goal is to capture Yao Fei.  And now we come to the present, where Yao Fei and 3 other members of The Great Ten are quelling a protest almost in the same manner as 12 years prior, and Accomplished Perfect Physician is not happy with his teammates.  However, just as things calm down a little, 8 gods from Chinese myth appear declaring that they will end the corrupt regime, forcing August General in Iron to put out a call to the remaining members of the team to come assist with the threat.

Usually I’m not a fan of reading stories that time hop a lot, because they don’t always translate well.  After my third read of the book I was pretty satisfied with the story so far, and I’m liking the friction between The August General in Iron and Accomplished Perfect Physician.  Having them start off as enemies for years and now forcing them to work together isn’t a new theme, but Tony Bedard has fleshed out a pretty good character in Yao Fei, so hopefully the other characters are just as entertaining. Scott McDaniel’s pencils are pretty good, and the way he displays APP’s powers are interesting as well.  The Stanley Lau covers are amazing!

It’s a strong start, and I’m hoping it can all come together for a solid story about this team.  I’m wondering if Accomplished Perfect Physician will defect from The Great Ten and join forces with the guys who seem to fight for what he believes in.  So I suggest if  you are into over the top martial arts action, political unrest, and characters with extremely long names, then pick up The Great Ten #1 and give it a try!

Infinite Speech



  1. billy

    Good review IS. Sounds like a decent read.

  2. Are these guys metas?

  3. InfiniteSpeech

    I don’t think the entire team is. I didn’t read all of 52 or checkmate and the issue I do have doesn’t explain their backgrounds a whole lot. Hopefully this series will shed some light on it.

    I do know one of the guys is wearing a suit of armor/spaceship that is slowly killing him and i’m not sure if August General In Iron’s power comes form his armour or himself.

  4. […] he used Black Adam for his own benefit. That was a great sequence! I was actually shocked to see August General In Iron as one of the remaining heroes, only due to his obscurity status, so kudos to whoever said he […]

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