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COMIC OF THE WEEK

This Week’s Finest: Power Man and Iron Fist #2

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For the second time in a row, Marvel’s relaunch of Power Man and Iron Fist is chosen as the Week’s Finest

For ages now, Marvel comics has struck gold in letting creators take lower tier characters in offbeat directions while at the same time walking a tightrope in regard to previous continuity. Many times, Marvel will flat out ignore stories or events if they become too hindering to the story they’re telling at that moment. Walker and Greene’s new series does plenty of the former without much of the latter and its both a benefit and detriment to the series.

This issue begins with Tombstone putting a hit out on Power Man and Iron Fist for taking his Soulstone necklace. While the duo goes about their business as usual, Tombstone’s hit forces them to face facts and confront their actions from the previous issue. While they plan their next move, the villains are moving ahead with their own plans and are likely to become a bigger threat in the future.

Walker has developed an interesting dynamic for Luke and Danny. They’re friends, Luke being the most mature one of the two, while Danny is exuberant and always ready for excitement. They’re meant to have a history, the same one from the 70’s back issues  we may or may not have read. However, they bear little resemblance to those characters or even the Luke Cage and Danny Rand from a few years ago. This Luke talks of being an Avenger and leading a team, but its not the one I remember. Even Danny Rand here doesn’t match Kaare Andrews Iron Fist: The Living Weapon solo series.

None of that matters in the grand scope of the series for the most part,  Walker’s scripting and Greene’s art make for a fun buddy cop-esque comedy. Seeing Luke and Danny argue over working together again on Heroes for Hire, if people deserve a third chance, the glory of the good ol’ days and then seeing them beat up D-list villains without missing a beat is both novel and exciting.

Sanford Greene’s art feels perfect for the tone of the series, exaggerated and brash but with minor restraint. It looks like a mix between Superior Foes of Spider-Man and the Unbeatable Squirrel-Girl. Despite those comparisons I don’t think there are many other big two books that have allowed the artist to just go with their natural style in the same way Greene’s does here.

While I enjoyed the issue more than any other I read, I did have some criticisms. For one, too much fiddle-faddle. Too much. Can Luke have a few more catchphrases? I know fiddle-faddle is meant to replace “Sweet Christmas” but I’ve never seen Luke say that five times on a single page. For another, Walker’s use of Jessica Jones and Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew). Neither one is recognizable to the characters I remember reading, which is fine but Jones in particular feels very one note. Both are played for laughs, but I feel like this is an indication that the depth the characters developed during Bendis’ Avengers run.

That aside, the humor, action, and great art won me over and made this issue the only possible choice for The Week’s Finest. Walker and Greene have begun a promising run and modern reinvention of the Heroes in Hire duo in time for both to take the spotlight in their respective Netflix series. This ain’t no fiddle-faddle, Power Man and Iron Fist #2 is one great read.