The CRYSTAL CONNECTION
* 1ST APPEARANCE "RAZOR-FIST" (William Young)
Shang-Chi (Earth-616) meets with Sir Denis Nayland Smith in his New York townhouse. Black Jack Tarr, Clive Reston, and Doctor Petrie also attend. Smith has an offer for Shang-Chi: become an informal agent of the British Secret Service and fight evildoers besides Fu Manchu. Their current target is a heroin kingpin. Smith takes Shang-Chi to the Spengler Rehabilitation Clinic and shows him how heroin can destroy the spirit. Shang-Chi has reservations about methodology but accepts the offer.
On a seaplane to the Gulf of Lions in southern France, Smith briefs Shang-Chi on the mission. Reston has become a buyer named Mr. Blue. He will go on ahead to Carlton Velcro's lavish estate and make a large purchase. Instead of leaving with his heroin, though, Reston will locate Velcro's warehouse and dispose of its contents, thus bankrupting Velcro. Shang-Chi and Tarr will use SCUBA gear to reach the estate through undersea tunnels and create a diversion so that Reston can escape. Every second counts.
Reston, as Blue, meets Velcro and an unexpected development: an "employee" named Razor-Fist. The man has had his hands replaced with swords. He demonstrates their effectiveness by slicing a statue into pieces. A pair of guards escort Reston to his room. Forty-five minutes later, on schedule, he distracts the guards and escapes. He also sets off a silent alarm, which is not part of the plan.
Petrie takes the seaplane over the estate to reconnoiter before dropping Shang-Chi and Tarr into the sea by parachute. They follow the tunnels and surface in the grotto. Thanks to the alarm, though, men with machine guns and black panthers patrol the beach. Tarr disables them with a concussion bomb.
Reston makes his way to the warehouse and enters through a window, which sets off another alarm. He finds sacks of heroin piled to the ceiling, a much larger store than expected, but gamely goes about slashing the sacks and dousing them with a fire extinguisher. Velcro sends his two bodyguards to the front entrance and takes some guards to the warehouse.