THE CELESTIAL ORDER OF THE SI-FAN

Membership: The Council of Seven
Mr. Aden, Allington, Mai Cha, Lou Cabot, Dr. Chang, Pan Chen, Jacob Edward Crossland, Lola Damas, Dr. Peter Marriot Doughty, "Dweller in Darkness", Fah Lo Suee, Farazan, Fu Manchu, Dr. Heron, Homopoulo, Hopkinson, James Rigwell Horton, Ibrahim, John Kennington, Shaka Kharn, Koenig, Chow Loo, Lopez, M'goyna, Mahmud, Midnight, Sha Mu, Paulo, Chai Phen, Professor Richner, Nadia Rostov, Sata, Seo-Kai-Chen, Shadow-Hand, Shadow-Stalker, Shang-Chi, Kwai Sing, Professor Swain, Tiger-Claw, Tsu-Gamo, General Huan Tsung-Chao, Johann Vortland, Lord Weimer, James Brownlow Wilton, Ecko Yusaki, Zazima
Cyber-Ninjas, Dacoits, Phansigars
ranks infiltrated by Sgt. Jack Kenealy

Purpose: To undermine and overthrow world governments

Affiliations: Black Dragon Society, Kingpin (Wilson Fisk), League of Good Americans, the Leopard Cult, Order of the Golden Dawn, Stark-Fujikawa

Enemies: Rudolf Adlon, Captain Jacob Beecher, Blevins, Wilhelm Bucher, Cadre of Salvation, Professor Chiozza, Dr. Morris Craig, Dark Angel (Mia Lessing), Marcel Delibes, General Diesler, Elektra, Robert Greville, Shan Greville, Rufus T. Hackstabber, Sir Gregory Hale, Hellfire Club, Captain Mark Purcell Hepburn, Iron Fist, Sgt. Jack Kenealy, Omar Khan, James Larner, Lyman Leeks, Li, Mara Ling, Sandra Ling, James Longton, Kwai Loo, Demmy Marston, Tony McKay, Pietro Monaghani, George Moreno, Oriental Expediters, Past Assassins, Dr. Petrie, General Quinto, Clive Reston, Shang-Chi, Sir Denis Nayland Smith, Sons of the Tiger (Abe Brown, Bob Diamond, Lin Sun), Black Jack Tarr, Leiko Wu, X-Men (Cannonball, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Wolverine), Maximillian Zaran

Base of Operations: Mobile, including Arctic, China, Egypt, England, France, Haiti, Peru, U.S.A.

First Appearance: (literature) Si-Fan Mysteries (1917); (Marvel) Special Marvel Edition#15 (December, 1973)

History: (Si-Fan Mysteries) - The Si-Fan is an old secret society that sprang from Asia, and grew to include many who were eager to manipulate world affairs. Fu Manchu often served as the organization's president, and he sought to conquer the western world and restore China to the ways he preferred.

(The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu - BTS) <1913> - Following his near-capture in England by Sir Denis Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie, Fu Manchu was summoned back to China by the Si-Fan.

(The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu - BTS) <1916> - Yen-Sun-Yat provided assistance to the Reverend J.D. Eltham, earning the reverend the wrath of Fu Manchu as he attempted to learn who the traitor within the Si-Fan was. Yen-Sun-Yat was ultimately executed by the Si-Fan in China.

(Si-Fan Mysteries) <1917> - Fu Manchu was first revealed to be a part of the Si-Fan's international operations. After Fu fell out of good standing within the Si-Fan, making an enemy of his rival Ki-Ming. He regained control with the aid of his daughter Fah Lo Suee, "the Lady of the Si-Fan," and the duo attended a meeting of the Council of Seven in England. Their transpirings were witnessed by Dr. Petrie, but they managed to escape when the building was raided.

(The Daughter of Fu Manchu) <1930> - Fah Lo Suee assumed leadership of the Si-Fan from her father, and held a meeting of the Council of Seven at el-Kharga, Egypt. When the gathering was infiltrated by Nayland Smith and his ally Shan Greville, the Si-Fan turned on them, and Greville was briefly made their prisoner. Ultimately, Fu Manchu returned to lead the Si-Fan, relegating Fah Lo Suee to support him.

(The Mask of Fu Manchu) <1932> - The Si-Fan assisted Fu Manchu as he sought the holy relics of El Mokanna in an attempt to foment a religious war.

(Master of Kung Fu I#100 (fb)) <1932, May 23> - The Si-Fan met with Fu Manchu as he plotted to use the brainwaves of Jack the Ripper on Sir Denis Nayland Smith, but Smith was saved by the arrival of Lyman Leeks and Dr. Petrie.

(The Trail of Fu Manchu) <1934> - The Si-Fan aided Fu Manchu as he resumed operations in England and sought to make Fleurette his bride, but Fu Manchu's base was brought down in a police raid.

(President Fu Manchu) <1936> - The Si-Fan assisted Fu Manchu in his attempt to control the next President of the United States through a front organization, the League of Good Americans. Virtually no one within the League was aware of the Si-Fan's involvement. Members of the Council of Seven were captured in New York by Nayland Smith, but had to be released due to lack of evidence.

(Master of Kung Fu I#44 (fb)) - When Pan Chen attempted to leave the Si-Fan with his lover Ducharme after botching an assassination, Fu Manchu captured the couple and had Chen put to death.

(The Drums of Fu Manchu) <1939> - The Council of Seven ordered the deaths of the fifteen men who could cause World War II to breakout, and many of these were killed while some, such as Pietro Monaghani submitted to the Si-Fan and were spared.

(The Island of Fu Manchu) <1941> - The Si-Fan set up a base in Christophe's Citadel, Haiti, and recruited followers from local voodoo worshipers, only to have their operations interrupted by Nayland Smith and Bart Kerrigan. The Citadel was ultimately destroyed when their Erickson ray attracted a bolt of lightning from the sky.

(Master of Kung Fu I#114 (fb)) <1942> - When Fu Manchu's bride Mara Ling was given the Elixir Vitae but refused to remain with Fu, one of the Si-Fan was dispatched to pursue her and her true love, Li.

(The Shadow of Fu Manchu) <1948> - The Si-Fan planted agents among those working with Dr. Morris Craig, seeking to obtain his transmuter weapon, and Fu Manchu went so far as to offer Dr. Craig a position in the Council of Seven, but they were ultimately denied the weapon.

(The Wrath of Fu Manchu) <1952> - The Si-Fan assisted Fu Manchu in his plot to use a Runsen beam to transmute U.S. gold reserves into lead, but Nayland Smith discovered their operations and helped arrest the Council of Seven.

(Re-Enter Fu Manchu) <1957> - Agents of the Si-Fan aided Fu Manchu in his attempt to overthrow Communist China by making the U.S. powerful enough to conquer it for him. His plot was discovered by Nayland Smith and Brian Merrick, Jr.

(The Word of Fu Manchu) <1958> - When police Sgt. Jack Kenealy infiltrated the Si-Fan, Fu Manchu became aware of his true identity, and had him killed using an electrical charge transmitted through the Si-Fan amulet Kenealy had worn.

(Emperor Fu Manchu) <1959> - Fu Manchu and the Si-Fan made an alliance of convenience with Communist China, diverting resources to their own organization. They attracted the attention of Nayland Smith and Tony MacKay. The register of the Si-Fan's membership was stolen from General Huan Tsung-Chao, and ultimately wound up in the hands of Smith, who hoped that it might be the means to permanently cripple the organization.

(Special Marvel Edition#15 (fb)) <1959> - Smith and McKay launched their attack upon the Si-Fan, but the attempt failed, and Fu had McKay killed. He tortured Smith by having his sumo servant Tak crush his legs.

(Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu#4 (fb)) - When Shang-Chi was ten, the assassin Tiger-Claw petitioned Fu Manchu to make him a lodge-master in the Si-Fan, and exhibited his prowess by killing three of Fu's best Si-Fan warriors. Fu accepted him into the Si-Fan.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#5 (fb)) - Fu Manchu ordered Kwai Loo to kill his son Shang-Chi, who had turned against him. Kwai refused, and fought his way through the Si-Fan to escape Fu's Honan fortress. The Si-Fan were dispatched to kill Kwai Loo.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#4) - Si-Fan assassin Chow Loo was sent to kill Shang-Chi, but failed in his mission. When he lied about his failure to Fu Manchu, Fu had him transformed into a gorilla-like creature and sent to oppose Shang in Los Angeles, where he was killed in battle.

(Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu#1) - On Shang-Chi's birthday, Fu Manchu employed the Council of Seven as assassins to kill his son, but each member failed at their task.

(Master of Kung Fu I#21) - When gambler Demmy Marston attempted to kill Shang-Chi to collect Fu Manchu's bounty, Fu had the Si-Fan bring down Demmy's men and Fu killed Marston himself.

(Master of Kung Fu I#22) - Some Si-Fan disguised as waiters attacked Shang-Chi in a Chinese restaurant, but were defeated. Later, the Si-Fan captured Smith and Black Jack Tarr when they raided Fu Manchu's New York base, and journeyed to Mount Rushmore with Fu Manchu as he planned to destroy the mountain and kill Smith and Tarr in the explosion, but Shang-Chi came to his friends' rescue, bested the Si-Fan and saved the mountain.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#5) - The Si-Fan finally caught up to Kwai Loo, who had become a martial arts performer in films. Disguised as stuntmen, they killed him during filming.

(Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu#2) - A number of Si-Fan assassins attacked Shang-Chi and Sandra Ling in New York's Central Park. Later, when Shang went to Peking, China, to defend Sandra's father from Fu Manchu, several assassins attacked him aboard his plane, disguised as the crew and passengers, but he defeated them and released the real flight crew. In Peking, Shang fought dozens of Si-Fan at his father's base alongside Nayland Smith and Black Jack Tarr, but Fu escaped.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Special#1) - Fu Manchu employed his Si-Fan (and men hired to dress in Si-Fan robes) to kidnap members of the Chinese and U.S. delegations to the United Nations. His plan to pit the two nations against each other was foiled by the individual efforts of Iron Fist, the Sons of the Tiger, and Shang-Chi. Fu Manchu slew his Si-Fan operatives as he escaped.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#7) - Fu Manchu attempted to destroy Shang-Chi with the remnants of the Past Assassins, but Shang tricked them into a fight with local criminals in San Francisco.

(Master of Kung Fu I#23-24) - Fu Manchu sought an alliance with Wilhelm Bucher, who had a leftover Nazi missile at his compound in South America, but Bucher attempted to double-cross Fu, so the Si-Fan fought Bucher's men (with Shang-Chi secretly disguising himself as Si-Fan member Chai Phen). The Si-Fan were killed, but Fu Manchu was saved by Shang-Chi, who thwarted Bucher from using the missile.

(Master of Kung Fu I#25) - One of the Si-Fan on the mission was captured by local Jivaros in the jungle and held in their village. Shang-Chi was able to set him free when he passed through the village, but the Si-Fan still sought to take his life per Fu Manchu's orders. Shang hurled him off a cliff, killing him.

(Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu#3) - Si-Fan agent Shadow-Stalker was dispatched to kidnap Nayland Smith for Fu Manchu. He succeeded, but was eventually tracked by Shang-Chi, who bested him in combat and freed Smith.

(Master of Kung Fu I#26) - The Si-Fan aided Fu Manchu in El-Kharga as he clashed with Fah Lo Suee in the hunt for the Golden Beetle. The Si-Fan sent to oppose Fah Lo Suee at the tomb of Seth-Amon all perished when Fu Manchu detonated a bomb to destroy the tomb.

(Master of Kung Fu I#27) - One of the Si-Fan made an attempt on Shang's life, but killed a street corner religious enthusiast instead. Shang went to Fu Manchu's New York base and interrupted a meeting of the Council of Seven in which Fu Manchu related the news that Fah Lo Suee had fragmented the Si-Fan into rival factions. The Council were bested by Shang, but when Fu Manchu offered him a chance to kill him, he declined.

(Master of Kung Fu I#28) - As the civil war between the Si-Fan factions continued, Shadow-Stalker seemingly defected to Fah Lo Suee, but then aided Shang-Chi against her. He suggested that he and Shang make their own bid for power, but Shang declined.

(Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu#4) - Fu Manchu learned that Tiger-Claw was robbing a number of banks, believing that in the struggle between Fu Manchu and Fah Lo Suee, he should strike out to build his own power base. Fu dispatched Si-Fan to deal with him, but they were all beaten by Tiger-Claw and Shang-Chi. Shang defeated Tiger-Claw, halting his plans.

(Master of Kung Fu I#45-50) - The Si-Fan aided Fu Manchu in his scheme to shift the moon from its orbit. They helped retrieve the remains of Shaka Kharn so that he could be revived to serve Fu Manchu, and wiped out many of the Oriental Expediters, recruiting the survivors into their ranks. Fu Manchu's plot was thwarted by the efforts of MI-6, including Shang-Chi and Clive Reston, and Fu Manchu himself seemed to perish in space.

(Master of Kung Fu I#51 (fb)) - The Si-Fan aboard Fu Manchu's space vessel attempted to kill Reston and Shang after Fu Manchu's seeming death, but Reston and Shang bested them and returned to Earth.

(Master of Kung Fu I#82 (fb)) - Fu Manchu's shuttle crashed in South America, where he was found by a tribe who had made no contact with the outside world before. He became their master, and summoned the Si-Fan to help him set up a new power base in the jungles, training his new followers into the Leopard Cult.

(Master of Kung Fu I#52) - Rogue Si-Fan who followed Tiger-Claw assisted him in his hunt for a vial of Fu Manchu's Elixir Vitae, clashing with Shang-Chi and Rufus T. Hackstabber, but the supposed hiding place-- an elephant statuette-- proved to be empty.

(Master of Kung Fu I#83-86, 88-89) - Fu Manchu brought the Si-Fan, Phansigars, Thugees, Hashishin, Templars, Leopard Cult, Light-Seekers, Followers of the Left-Hand Path, Three-Cornered Sight, and Twenty-Third Sect to his South American base, and combined their ranks into the Order of the Golden Dawn. He had representatives of the U.N. brought to him and given mind control devices so that they could initiate acts of destruction in their home countries, starting World War III. He also employed "UFOs" with genetically-engineered "aliens" to sow chaos. Fah Lo Suee seemingly returned to serve her father, but proved to be disloyal yet again, providing aid to Shang-Chi, Nayland Smith and their allies. Shang-Chi confronted Fu Manchu in New York as he was preparing to detonate a nuclear bomb, and he fought his father aboard a "UFO," savagely beating Fu and then smashing the ship's controls, sending it to crash in the ocean, seemingly killing Fu Manchu.

(Master of Kung Fu I#92) - A Si-Fan who had been left behind when Fu Manchu abandoned New York years earlier became the "Dweller in Darkness," using a trained gorilla to attack locals while awaiting his master's return. He was discovered by Shang-Chi and Leiko Wu, and died when his own gorilla turned on him.

(Master of Kung Fu I#100) - Some of the Si-Fan loyal to Leiko Wu fought Shang-Chi as he was searching for the Mad Slayer, attempting to preserve the Mad Slayer so that Fah Lo Suee could have him to herself.

(Master of Kung Fu I#114) - The Si-Fan who had pursued Li and Mara Ling for decades (using the Elixir Vitae to remain in peak form) finally killed Li, but was then himself killed fighting Shang-Chi when he fell upon Li's arrows.

(Master of Kung Fu I#118) - The Si-Fan defended Fu Manchu's Honan fortress when Shang-Chi and his allies raided it, but they were unable to prevent the fortress' near-total destruction, and the apparent death of Fu Manchu.

(Master of Kung Fu I#123) - The Si-Fan defended Shang-Chi's mother as she confronted her son, shaming him for allowing his father to die.

(Master of Kung Fu: Bleeding Black) - The Si-Fan waited for Fu Manchu's return upon an island off the coast of China. Shadow-Hand attempted to claim leadership, offering to lead the Si-Fan to a supply of the Elixir Vitae, but he was opposed by Shang-Chi. Shang-Chi took temporary command of the Si-Fan, and ordered them to forget his father and give up the way of assassins. They agreed to obey until Fu Manchu's return.

(X-Men II#62-64) - The Si-Fan, now affiliated with the Stark-Fujikawa corporation and led by the Kingpin, began an investigation into the Elixir Vitae to see if it could cure the "Legacy Virus" targeting the Earth's mutant population. The X-Men, Shang-Chi and Sebastian Shaw became involved in trying to stop them, and they dispatched the Cyber-Ninjas to combat the X-Men. Ultimately, the progress they had made on a cure was destroyed by Storm to prevent a war between the Hellfire Club and Si-Fan's factions.

(Elektra I#16) - Members of the Si-Fan concealed themselves behind holographic illusions as they guarded the Kingpin at a private celebration aboard a floating pleasure palace. When Elektra and Shang-Chi investigated they attacked them, but were quickly defeated.

Comments: Created by Sax Rohmer.
Adapted by Steve Englehart, Jim Starlin, and Al Milgrom.

Although it could be assumed that any of Fu Manchu's agents are members of the Si-Fan, he has often employed agents who had no idea of his true identity, some have served Si-Fan interests without even being aware of the organization's name or purpose, and the many other groups Fu Manchu has controlled (Dacoits, Hashishin, Phansigars) have been treated as either the same or separate entities from the Si-Fan, varying from source to source. For that reason, this entry restricts membership to those specifically identified as one of the Si-Fan.

In the comics, Si-Fan are usually martial artists, and often dress as ninjas.

It is not known exactly where Sax Rohmer obtained the Si-Fan name for his works, but there are many historical references to groups or individuals called "Si-Fan." According to sources such as Sir Thomas Hungerford Holdich's Tibet, the mysterious (1906), the Si-Fan were a tribe of eastern Tibetan nomads. Several sources, including Laurence Austine Waddell's The Buddhism of Tibet: or Lamaism, with its mystic cults, symbolism and mythology (1895) made reference a regent in charge of the Grand Lama who was named Si-Fan and murdered the wards left in his charge.

According to Robert Gordon Latham's Natural history of the Varities of Man (1850): "Si means west, whilst Fan means stranger ; so that Si-fan means western strangers. The term means one or more of the wilder tribes on the Tibetan or Mongolian frontier. Nothing is less likely than that the Si-fan should differ in land from the Chinese—unless it be that they are Turk, Mongol, or Tibetan."

by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Si-Fan should not be confused with:


Images taken from:
Master of Kung Fu I#83, page 6 (numbered), panel 2
Master of Kung Fu I#48, page 26 (numbered), panel 6
X-Men II#64, page 15 (not counting ads), panel 1


Special Marvel Edition#15 (December, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Jim Starlin (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#4 (September, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Mike Vosburg (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Tony Isabella (editor)
Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu#1 (September, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Paul Gulacy (penciler), Dan Adkins (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#21 (October, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Ron Wilson (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#22 (November, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Paul Gulacy (penciler), Dan Adkins (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#5 (November, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Keith Pollard (penciler), Bob McLeod (inker), Tony Isabella (editor)
Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu#2 (December, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Paul Gulacy (penciler), Jack Abel (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Special#1 (1974) - Doug Moench, Chris Claremont (writers), Tony Isabella (writer/editor), John Buscema, Frank McLaughlin, Herb Trimpe, Mike Vosburg (pencilers), Dan Adkins (inker)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#7 (December, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Mike Vosberg (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Don McGregor (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#23 (December, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Al Milgrom (penciler), Klaus Janson (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#24 (January, 1975) - Doug Moench (writer), Al Milgrom, Jim Starlin, Alan Weiss, Walter Simonson (pencilers), Sal Trapani (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#25 (February, 1975) - Doug Moench (writer), Paul Gulacy (penciler), Sal Trapani (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#26 (March, 1975) - Doug Moench (writer), Keith Pollard (penciler), Sal Trapani (inker), Len Wein (editor)
Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu#3 (March, 1975) - Doug Moench (writer), Paul Gulacy (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker), Len Wein (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#27 (April, 1975) - Doug Moench (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Frank Springer (inker), Len Wein (editor) Master of Kung Fu I#28 (May, 1975) - Doug Moench (writer), Ron Wilson, Ed Hannigan, Aubrey Bradford (pencilers), Sal Trapani (inker), Len Wein (editor)
Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu#4 (June, 1975) - Doug Moench (writer), Keith Pollard (penciler), Sal Trapani (inker), Len Wein (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#44 (September, 1976) - Doug Moench (writer), Paul Gulacy (penciler), Jack Abel (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#45-49 (October, 1976-March, 1977) - Doug Moench (writer), Paul Gulacy (penciler), Pablo Marcos (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#50 (March, 1977) - Doug Moench (writer), Paul Gulacy (penciler), Mike Esposito (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#51 (April, 1977) - Doug Moench (writer), Jim Craig (penciler), Pablo Marcos (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#52 (May, 1977) - Doug Moench (writer), Keith Pollard (artist), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#82-86 (November, 1979-March, 1980) - Doug Moench (writer), Mike Zeck (penciler), Gene Day (inker), Roger Stern (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#88-89 (May-June, 1980) - Doug Moench (writer), Mike Zeck (penciler), Gene Day (inker), Roger Stern (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I92 (September, 1980) - Doug Moench (writer), Mike Zeck (penciler), Gene Day (inker), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#100 (May, 1981) - Doug Moench (writer), Gene Day, Mike Zeck (artists), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#114 (July, 1982) - Doug Moench (writer), Gene Day (artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#118 (November, 1982) - Doug Moench (writer), Gene Day (artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Master of Kung Fu I#123 (April, 1983) - Alan Zelenetz (writer), William Johnson (penciler), Mike Mignola (inker), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Master of Kung Fu: Bleeding Black (February, 1991) - Doug Moench (writer), David Day, Dan Day (artists), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
X-Men II#62-64 (March-May, 1997) - Scott Lobdell, Ben Raab (writers), Carlos Pacheco (penciler), Art Thibert (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Elektra I#16 (March, 1998) - Larry Hama (writer), Mike Deodato, Jr. (penciler), Scott Koblish (inker), Bobbie Chase (editor)

Last updated: 11/14/06

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