Fa Sheng: Origins Is a Martial Arts Comic Written By a Real Zen Buddhist Monk

Comic book publisher Immortal Studios is busy establishing a new shared universe built entirely around martial arts and wuxia storytelling. As part of that ongoing process, the company is kicking off a new six-issue limited series called Fa Sheng Origins, which will chronicle the origin story of the character first introduced in The Adept. And in a unique twist, this series is written by an actual, ordained Soto Zen Buddhist monk.

The creative team on Fa Sheng: Origins includes the aforementioned monk, Ryeland Grant (who’s also a screenwriter, veteran comic book creator and former American Ninja Warrior contestant), artist Dexter Wee (Outlaw Territory), colorist Omi Remalante, Jr., letterer AndWorld Design and editor Brian Cunningham (Superman). The character of Fa Sheng was originally created by Immortal Studios founder and CEO Peter Shiao, drawing inspiration from Shiao’s father, the late novelist Shiao Yi.

Check out the slideshow gallery below for an exclusive preview of Fa-Sheng: Origins:

Fa Sheng: Origins – Exclusive Comic Book Preview

“You’re not born into enlightenment. It’s earned. It’s fought for, tooth and nail, over time. It is too often a byproduct of tragedy and strife,” said Grant in a press release. “In FA SHENG: ORIGINS, we watch as our titular martial hero is forced through the meat grinder of the Boxer Uprising, of China’s Warlord Era. He witnesses unspeakable evil and is dealt horrible defeat, but he rises, in the end, from the ashes of the carnage, a changed man, a better man, an enlightened man with a mission, deputized by the powers that be in the fight against all that Dharmically ails us.”

“Having grown up watching martial arts films from The Shaolin Temple to Once Upon A Time in China, the story of Fa Sheng reminded me of those selfless heroes whose acts of kindness and boldness inspire people to be their better selves. To choose what is right. And act out of love and not of hatred,” added Wee. “It is my hope that the reader will not only be entertained with Fa Sheng’s journey, but also be inspired in how he is able to overcome the trials and tribulations that he had faced over the course of the story. I believe in these trying times Fa Sheng is one hero that we could look up to.”

Fa Sheng: Origins is being crowdfunded on Kickstarter, with a release date yet to be revealed.

In other comci book new, Marvel’s newest lineup of variant covers pits the Predator against the heroes of the Marvel Universe, and the horror series Blink aims to adapt the found footage genre for comics.

Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.

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