By Patrick Bérubé
May 28, 2008 - 03:00
Brubaker and Fraction did a great job giving Iron Fist his own series. The character’s roots in the kung-fu craze of the 70’s and some bad characterisation over the years made him a tough character to revamp. But the pair really nails it down here by coming back to the essence of the title and adding a much needed layer to the Iron Fist mythos. By introducing previous generations of Iron Fist through the ages, they give Danny Rand not only a purpose but also potential for future stories. These past incarnations are a big part of the plot here and I'm guessing that they will appear again in volume 2, if I've judge everything correctly. I also really appreciate the excellent blend of action and dialogue.
The only downside to all this is that I would have preferred this comic book to stand a bit more on itself and not assume that everyone knows who Hydra is or who some of the other obscure characters are. This is especially noticeable when the comic refers to some larger Marvel Comics event like Civil War (I guess) and some friends choosing “his” side. Whose side? Which side? How am I supposed to know what the hell they are talking about if I don’t follow every Marvel Comics title? Maybe it’s the fact that I read a lot of European comic books, but when I see volume 1 on a cover it basically mean for me that everything I need to know about this comic is contained inside.
With the art, David Aja’s style complements the mood of the story very well. His dark and gritty pencil gives Iron Fist a fierce look while keeping his movement very fluid, which is essential in a comic dealing with martial arts. Some of his page compositions are very interesting, making the story flow seamlessly and giving the fight scenes a life on their own. His new design for the Iron Fist costume is also very nice. He succeeds in keeping enough of it so we can easily recognize the character and it makes him a bit more credible.
Bottom line, this is a great martial art comic book with art that almost sends you running to subscribe to a kung-fu class. I will probably buy volume 2 even if I would have preferred a story that stands more apart from the Marvel universe.
I rate this comic book 8.5 out of 10