9.26.07 Reviews

Immortal Iron Fist #9 (Marvel): What I came to appreciate most about this issue (and this arc, by extension) is the deceptively subtle, but really grand concept of The 7 Mystical Cities converging on an interlocking plane to form The Heart of Heaven. In the hands of lesser writers, this would seem like a bunch of mystical mumbo jumbo, but instead of sounding like empty made up hoo-ha, it really plays nicely, providing an ethereal vibe to the intense, kinetic, and inventive kung fu action layouts that Aja's art pushes foward. I found myself grinning ear to ear as I once again found the red circles indicating strike points that first made me fall in love with Aja’s art in the Civil War: Choosing Sides story. It was also a nifty bonus to discover Danny's “sister” in the form of his predecessor’s daughter. On the scripting end, tying Luke and the new Heroes for Hire back in as their quest for Jeryn continues was also a nice treat. Grade A.

Immortal Iron Fist Annual #1 (Marvel): This was sort of a throw back to the lost art of the annual. It expands the mythos and history of the titular character in a fairly significant way, but is not so obtrusive that missing it hinders one's enjoyment of the main title. There's also the reveal of a really important point (unbeknownst to me at least, as a passive Iron Fist fan up until this point). Healing powers!? By merely touching Ernst Erskine, the healing properties of the dragon granted (some would say cursed) him with unnaturally long life, ala Tom Hanks in The Green Mile. The artistic rotations were a nice treat (the Dan Brereton cover bringing to mind his ThrillKiller fun), but was still a bit jarring since the styles were so wildly different. Grade A-.

Justice League of America #13 (DC): Joe Benitez's pencil lines come off kind of wonky and erratic at first glance, but then they grow on you and settle into a lean, clean look. Check out Dr. Light, who for once looks cool and menacing instead of just… well, lame. Dwayne McDuffie might not carry the “star” power that former scribe Brad Meltzer did, but I’m already warming to his writing style much better. His script flows with an affable, naturalistic ease and the dialogue is playful but serious, in a way that the over the top multi-thread narration of Meltzer just never did without feeling like blatant grandstanding. This creative team could be one to watch. Grade B+.


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