By David Walker, Sanford Greene, and Lee Loughridge
Power Man and Iron Fist is full of witty dialogue, a cool jumpsuit, faces new and old, action-packed panels, new mysterious artifacts with possible mystical powers, and great action that will have you saying Sweet Christmas by the end of the book!
Marvel takes a walk down memory lane with the birth of a new series, Power Man and Iron Fist, also known as Luke Cage and Danny Rand. Old readers who are familiar with the Heroes For Hire days will appreciate the old faces that reappear and the sharp banter that remains between our two heroes. New readers, who may not be too familiar with the characters’ history, will be enticed with the great dynamic between Cage and Rand and the witty writing that keeps you smiling throughout the book. This is a great start to bring our heroes back into the fold and introduce them to a new group of readers.
The two get together to do a favor for an old friend, but in no way are they reforming the Heroes for Hire. They repeatedly state this is a one-time deal. However, by the end of the book you can see that we have more stories to look forward to of Power Man and Iron Fist. It becomes apparent that David Walker and Sanford Greene are having fun writing this comic book and making these characters come to life. When the creative team is long-time fans of the material, it shows in the love and care brought to the character and the story. Walker nails the classic repartee between Rand and Cage, while also hinting at the distance that may have grown between them over the years spent apart. Both characters have grown a lot in solo runs since their Heroes For Hire days. Luke Cage has a family now, a baby daughter and a super awesome wife (Jessica Jones), while Danny Rand has been busy running the Rand Corporation and teaching martial arts to underprivileged kids. As the duo reconnects, the time apart becomes apparent as Luke’s wife calls him to check in and Danny keeps trying to win over Jessica. Walker writes a tension between the two subtly throughout the story, but still maintains the witty familiar dialogue. This kind of subtly is highly underused in many comic book stories and the writing done by Walker shows a level of respect for its readers.
The art seen from Greene and Loughridge really brings the characters up to date with a familiar twist. We are introduced to a new uniform for these characters that has practicality and style. We get to see the Iron Fist in a snazzy new jumpsuit, and Luke Cage is wearing his traditional yellow shirt, but now with a silk vest. The art and color have a gritty and noir feel to them with lots of blacks and grays and lined faces. The massiveness of Luke Cage is shown in each page and exaggerated as he is shown in a restaurant booth towering over those next to him. The art, especially the coloring from Loughridge, is downright masterful with its uses of warms and cools to express mood. Danny Rand is shown as the colorful one in the relationship, literally and figuratively. He is typically associated with the brightest colors and his action panels have backgrounds of red an orange while Cage gets green and brown in the back of his action panels. Danny is drawn as the pretty boy with a big smile and your eyes naturally gravitate toward him in every panel he is in with Cage. It is interesting to see when they are apart from one another, Cage is the one surrounded with bright colors as he is spending time with his family while Rand is surrounded with shades of grey while looking nostalgically through old paper clippings.
This book is has a lot more depth than expected. It shows two old friends getting together but it also suggests a friendship that is slipping away as they both move into the next phases of their respective lives. This book is at it’s best when it shows Power Man and Iron Fist together in action sticking up for the little guy against the bad guys. This series has a lot of promise to introduce some forgotten villains, create more depth for some underused characters, and hopefully rekindle a bromance between our two heroes.