Comic books have taken Hollywood by storm. Currently six out of every ten movies released are taken from either comic books or graphic novel. Asian martial arts has become part of the mainstream of American culture and there is always a big demand for the action martial arts genre. The creators of Black Salt, a new action adventure comic deliver just what the fans are looking for. Black Salt is an epic thriller merging the world of modern-day espionage and political intrigue with the ancient world of martial arts.
Black Salt – The Last Heroes Left, is a heroic story told in the classic tradition of martial arts entertainment. One of the main characters, Yu Bai Skek, was on the trail of a man who murdered a fellow monastery worker. Yu loses the man’s trail and instead runs across a young African-American boy and his mother just as they are assaulted by common street thugs. The Shaolin master saves the boy, but the mother tragically dies from an accidental knife stab to the heart. Filled with compassion, and acting against his sacred traditions, Master Yu resolves to raise and train the newly orphaned boy, Samuel Lincoln Tharpe. Yu Bai Shek, teaches the eight-year-old many of Shaolin’s deadliest skills over a period of ten years, but could not take him to the Shaolin Temple because it was forbidden. Sam ends up teaching Yu Bai Shek one of his greatest lessons. A man should be judged in life by the pureness of his heart and his deeds and not by his origin or what Klan he was born into.
There are 6 issue is the series including The Origin #1, The Return to Shaolin #2, The Forbidden Past #3, The Enemy Within #4, The Deadly Escape #5, The Showdown #6
Black Salt Comics Issue Synopsis
The Origin #1 – Ichen, a Shaolin Monk, discovers a Shaolin Master is teaching forbidden secrets to his followers, including Poison Hand Techniques, which can kill with a single touch. Ichen is mortally wounded while fighting Kali, but manages to crawl to the Shaolin Temple where he mutters one final word with his dying breath: Kali.
In the present, Sam Tharpe and Li Mei are part of an elite anti-terrorist organization assembled on the roof of a medical research facility. Sam and Li haven’t been properly briefed on the operation because the arrogant head of the team feels they don’t have the need. An assault from enemy forces occurs, as expected, but the enemy has brought way more firepower. Though Sam kills the leader of the assault force, the enemy escapes with a vial of M.A.R.S, the most deadly man-made virus ever manufactured. Kali receives this vial of M.A.R.S. but learns his son, the leader of the assault force, was killed by Agent Tharpe. Kali vows to make Tharpe pay.
The Return to Shaolin #2 – Three weeks before the assault on the medical research facility, Chow Ling Soon, once a member of Kali’s organization, waits for government agents to take him into protected custody. Kali arrives first. We learn Chow Ling Soon told the anti-terrorist forces of Kali’s plan but Kali says his plans are too far advanced to be stopped. He kills Chow Ling Soon with a Poison Hand Technique.
In the present, Li, Sam and Agent Godfrey are reviewing security camera footage of Chow Ling Soon’s death. The attacker is out of frame, but the killing stroke is clearly a Poison Hand Technique. Li is certain this means Kali is involved. Sam is not convinced but Li refuses to sit still. She literally kicks her way into a meeting of top government operatives, demanding to know why she and Sam were not properly briefed before the medical research facility mission. She identifies Agent Foster as the head of the operation and calls him out for incompetence. Li says had she and Sam been fully briefed, including being shown the security footage in advance, they could have told them what they were up against: A rogue Shaolin Master.
Agent Tombs, Sam and Li’s boss, settles Li down. Foster agrees to listen to Sam and Li’s tale. Sam reveals all they know about Kali, including his origin, his teaching of forbidden secrets, and his flight from China following Ichen’s death. (We also learn Sam and Li met in China as kids when Sam’s mom went to Dengfeng to start a music school with Li’s mom.) That evening, Sam contacts Li to tell her they’ve been assigned to the operation. The intent is to get M.A.R.S. back, but Li and Sam both want a chance to take down Kali.
Sam gets home to find Tombs waiting for him in the driveway. As the two men talk, Sam’s family comes to the door to greet him. His three sons run across the grass. A second later, the house explodes.
The Forbidden Past #3 – Sam and his three sons have survived the blast, but Sam’s wife and daughter were killed. Weeks after the blast, the survivors are still recovering at a government safe house. Foster and Tombs come to the house. Foster wants Sam to stay on the team and explains his reasons why. Sam accepts but reveals he must first take his kids to a safe place. He feels Kali could only have discovered his residence with the help of an agent inside the anti-terrorist team.
In the past, young Sam wants to know about the Shaolin Temple that overlooks the city of Dengfeng. Li’s mom tells him everything she can. Later, young Sam is at a funeral. His mom has died of an illness. Li comforts him and says he will stay with her and her mom now. Sometimes after his mom’s death, Sam is enjoying a day in the countryside with Li and her mom. On their way back to Dengfeng, they are attacked by masked men. A Shaolin Master, Yu Bai Shek, comes to their rescue. Yu Bai Shek is aided by Sam and the monk takes an interest in the boy. Sam tells Yu Bai Shek he wants to be a Shaolin warrior. Yu Bai Shek replies that Shaolin are forbidden to train outsiders. A few days later, however, Yu Bai Shek secretly approaches Sam and agrees to train him. But that training must be a secret.
In the present, Li and Sam escort Sam’s three sons to Dengfeng to the Shaolin Temple.
The Enemy Within #4 – In the past, we watch as young Sam is trained in secret by Yu Bai Shek. A spying Li is discovered and is sworn to secrecy. Returning home one night from training, the kids see that their home is on fire. Yu Bai Shek learns Li’s mom is missing. He takes Li to the Shaolin Temple where she can train as a student, but Sam must remain hidden in the city because it is forbidden for him to enter Shaolin. Later, we see Li in Shaolin as she learns Kali has killed Ichen and that bodies have been found in a secret compound. Among the dead is Li’s mother. We also see the ceremony performed by Yu Bai Shek when Sam completes his training.
In the present, Li, Sam and his sons arrive at the Shaolin Temple. Li gets them inside and Sam reveals himself as a student of Yu Bai Shek, and asks that the Temple provide refuge for his sons. Master Sing says there is no way Sam could be a student of Shaolin, but The Abbot silences him and asks for proof. Sam reveals himself as “Salt in Ashes”, which is the name Yu Bai Shek gave him when he finished his training. The Abbot reveals he has always known Yu Bai Shek trained an outsider and has waited for “Salt in Ashes” to come to Shaolin to reveal himself. The Abbot agrees to protect Sam’s children.
Later, Sam and Li are leading an assault on a facility in North Korea where it is suspected Kali is manufacturing weapons grade M.A.R.S. It turns out to be a trap. Kali and many soldiers are waiting inside. Kali gains the upper hand when he reveals the identity of the traitor: Bernie Tombs, Sam’s boss and brother-in-law!
The Deadly Escape #5 – Li and Sam barely manage to escape Kali’s clutches. Battered and emotionally damaged, they return to America where Sam confronts Tombs. We learn how Sam’s trusted friend started on the road of betrayal that culminated in the murder of Sam’s wife and daughter. Sam can’t bring himself to kill Tombs, but leaves a gun behind so Tombs can take his own life.
Sam and Li return to their base of operations where Agent Godfrey and his team of data analysts and trying to find any trace of Kali and M.A.R.S. At the end of the issue, Godfrey exclaims that Kali has been located.
The Showdown #6 – Kali is auctioning weapons-grade M.A.R.S to the highest bidder. Terrorists from all over the world have gathered in Russia, anxious to take part in Kali’s auction. Meanwhile, using information from government agents scatted around the globe, Sam, Li, Foster and Godfrey have learned of the location of said auction. Foster, Sam and Li lead the assault into northern Russia. The final battle is waged. Kali is killed, M.A.R.S. obtained, and thus the safety of the world assured. As this final issue comes to an end, Sam and Li return to Shaolin to see Sam’s sons, where Sam is greeted as an equal.