PEKO

Real Name: Peko

Identity/Class: Simian, pet

Occupation: Pet of Dr. Fu Manchu

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Fu Manchu

Enemies: Sir Lionel Barton, Dr. Petrie

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: The many bases of Fu Manchu, including those in London and China

First Appearance: (literary) The Mystery of Fu-Manchu (1913);
(Marvel) Master of Kung Fu I#17 (April, 1974)

Powers: Lifespan increased due to ingestion of the Elixir Vitae serum.

History:

I stifled a cry that rose to my lips; for, with a shrill whistling sound, a small shape came bounding into the dimly lit vault, then shot upward. A marmoset landed on the shoulder of Dr. Fu-Manchu and peered grotesquely into the dreadful yellow face. The Doctor raised his bony hand and fondled the little creature, crooning to it.

"One of my pets, Mr. Smith," he said, suddenly opening his eyes fully so that they blazed like green lamps. "I have others, equally useful. My scorpions- have you met my scorpions? No? My pythons and hamadryads? Then there are my fungi and my tiny allies, the bacilli. Have you ever visited Molokai, the leper island, Doctor? No? But Mr. Nayland Smith will be familiar with the asylum at Rangoon! And we must not forget my black spiders, with their diamond eyes- my spiders, that sit in the dark and watch- then leap!"

(The Mystery of Fu-Manchu) - After being drugged and captured by Fu Manchu, Sir Denis Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie first encountered Peko, Fu Manchu's pet marmoset. They were later set free by Dr. Fu's treacherous servant, Karamaneh.

Later, Fu Manchu sent Peko to the window of Frank Norris West, inventor of the aero-torpedo. Peko drove West to mad distraction to allow his master entry into the apartment. Fu Manchu hypnotically forced West to give him the combination to his vault, and he and Peko left with the plans.

(The Devil Doctor) - Held captive by Fu Manchu again, and handcuffed, Dr. Petrie noticed Peko playing with the keys to the locks. He tried to get the keys from the marmoset, but failed. Once again, Karamaneh set him free.

 

(Si-Fan Mysteries) - While walking the streets of London, Dr. Petrie had a chance encounter with Peko, and by following him, found himself able to eavesdrop on a meeting of the Si-Fan, Fu Manchu's organization.

(The Drums of Fu Manchu) - Peko accompanied Fu Manchu in a meeting with Smith and his ally, Bart Kerrigan. Fu Manchu revealed in the course of discussion that Peko was a recipient of his Elixir Vitae, and was much older than he appeared to be.

(The Island of Fu Manchu) - Peko was captured by Fu Manchu's enemy, Sir Lionel Barton, and held hostage by him, Smith, and Bart Kerrigan. Fu Manchu made two attempts to rescue his beloved pet, but failed. Concerned for its well-being, he sent a tube of Elixir Vitae with a tape recording to Kerrigan, so as to instruct him how to inject Peko, keeping him alive. Although Fu Manchu proposed to trade Kerrigan's lover Ardatha in exchange for his pet, he ultimately sent men of the Si-Fan to set Peko free while Smith and Kerrigan made an attempt at freeing Ardatha themselves.

(Emperor Fu Manchu) - Peko accompanied Fu Manchu to China, and annoyed his ally General Huan by repeatedly drinking his wine.

(The Wrath of Fu Manchu) - Peko began to waste away, needing more of the Elixir Vitae; to nurse his pet back to health, Fu Manchu withdrew from the Si-Fan for a time to care for his beloved pet.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#11 (fb)) - Peko played with Ducharme as Shang-Chi met with his father.

(Master of Kung Fu I#17) - Peko rested upon Fu Manchu's shoulder as he denied his wrestler Tak's request to finish off his son, Shang-Chi.

(Master of Kung Fu I#18) - Peko was present with Fu Manchu during his plot to contaminate the USA's gasoline supply with his will-stealing mimosa chemical.

(Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu#1) - Peko was present with Fu Manchu as he assembled the Council of Seven, his seven most powerful warriors, to kill his son Shang-Chi on his birthday. When Shang-Chi appeared there in the chambers, disguised as one of the Council, Peko scampered away.

(Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu#1/2) - Peko was present with Fu Manchu when he destroyed a priceless oriental statue, just to cheese Shang-Chi off.

(Master of Kung Fu I#21) - Peko was present with Fu Manchu when he had casino owner Demmy Marston killed by a venomous snake for trying to kill Shang-Chi. Fu Manchu intended to save the honor of killing Shang for himself.

(Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu#2) - Peko was present with Fu Manchu when one of his agents from America arrived, with a report on Shang's encounter with Sandra Chen.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#2) - Peko was present with Fu Manchu as he plotted against a group of his former agents.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#4) - Peko rested upon Fu Manchu's shoulder as he disciplined his lackey Chow Loo.

(Master of Kung Fu I#117) - Peko was present with Fu Manchu as he schemed to drain Shang-Chi's blood to prolong his own life.

Comments: Created by Sax Rohmer, but not named until The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu; adapted by Steve Englehart, Jim Starlin and Al Milgrom. Peko only appeared in the earliest stories, although Mike Zeck remembered to include him in the pin-up of Shang's enemies in Master of Kung Fu I#102 (aw, I bet Peko could take 'em!).

In addition to the many Fu Manchu films and television programs, you can also hear Peko in the radio serial, The Shadow of Fu Manchu, the first 12 chapters of which are available at the Greater Philadelphia Old-Time Radio Club. Or you can buy all 40 chapters for just $5 at OTR Cat.

It's now a well-worn cliche for a criminal mastermind to have a pet that he gently caresses while sending men to their dooms, but Fu Manchu must certainly have been one of the earliest.

I can't say that I've ever understood monkey jokes. You see them all the time in Wizard magazine, and on The Simpsons. What's so funny about monkeys? I don't get it. Now, sloths-- sloths are funny! I've never heard an unfunny sloth joke.

For further information on Fu Manchu, try the Page of Fu Manchu. And for more information on marmosets, try the marmoset page.

by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
Sandra Chen should not be confused with:

  • Amy Chen, of the Wild Pack, @ Silver Sable and her Wild Pack #2

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Other appearances:
Master of Kung Fu#17 (April, 1974) - Steve Englehart & Jim Starlin (writers), Jim Starlin (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks)
Master of Kung Fu#18 (June, 1974) - Steve Englehart (writer), Paul Gulacy (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#2 (June, 1974) - Steve Englehart & Alan Weiss (writers), Alan Weiss (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu#1 (September, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Paul Gulacy (pencils), Dan Adkins (inks), Roy Thomas

Story 2: Doug Moench (writer), Craig Russell (artist), Roy Thomas (editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#4 (September, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Mike Vosburg (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Tony Isabella (editor)
Master of Kung Fu#21 (October, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Ron Wilson (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu#2 (December, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Paul Gulacy (pencils), Jack Abel (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#11 (April, 1975) - Doug Moench (writer), Mike Vosburg (pencils), Jack Abel (inks), Don McGregor (editor)
Master of Kung Fu#117 (October, 1982) - Doug Moench (writer), Gene Day (artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)


Last updated: 11/12/05

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