I have a deep love for Power Man (Luke Cage) and Iron Fist (Danny Rand) and their world. To say I had high expectations for this title is really underselling it. So how did this first issue by David Walker and Sanford Greene go?
In short, I absolutely loved this book. It smashed my expectations and I can’t think of a better number 1 issue that I have read recently. For fans like me that may have loved the classic run and followed the characters in recent years, this is a rewarding treat of an issue.
For new readers, this book makes a very easy first entry into the history of these characters. The opening page gives a brief recap of the backgrounds of our two leads which will be helpful for any reader. The first couple of pages also set up where the characters are now as we see Cage’s family.
We also get to see how these two characters interact in these pages. Walker’s writing really shines in these moments and he is able to capture the relationship between these two characters. Sure they were partners in Heroes for Hire and you could call them friends, but that really sells this duo short.
They are much more than that. As Cage says himself in the issue, “Nobody loves you like I do, brother.” Within the same page Danny thanks Luke for coming to prison with him pointing out that he knows, given Luke’s past, that he doesn’t like prisons. Walker really nails the core of these two and their relationship. They aren’t just friends or partners. They’re brothers. Family. Hell, Luke and Jessica Jones’s baby is named Danielle in honor of Iron Fist.
Jessica is also used in the first page to show that the characters are currently in different stages of life. Luke is a family man now while Danny comes off as less settled down and looking to get their partnership going. For his part Luke acts like this is a one time deal and Jessica doesn’t seem convinced that Luke is done super-heroing with his buddy.
As I mentioned the writing is incredible. It gives Power Man and Iron Fist what seems to be a one-off mission, nails the characterization for our two heroes, and really draws the reader in. The ending also shows that the unfinished business they try to wrap up, is likely going to come back to haunt them.
Along with the fantastic writing of David Walker is the incredible art of Sanford Greene. This book seems to have energy even on the quiet moments. From cover to final page, the art in this book had me drooling. While that may not be good for keeping my comic in prime condition, it is damn good for keeping me reading this title month in and month out.
Greene’s characters are drawn in a way that’s expressive and allows each character to loom unique. From Luke’s towering strongman physique to Danny smaller, wiry frame, it demonstrates even more how different these brothers are from each other. At one point, Danny even slips into his Iron Fist outfit while Luke stays in his dress pants, shirt and vest.
The art is paired perfectly with the writing in this book. Greene’s ability to make each character stand out and the expressive facial features and body posture really sell each scene.
Especially the scenes with humor. From Luke giving Danny crap like any friend would to a hilarious flashback showing why Luke sensors himself now using words like fiddle faddle even when he isn’t with his daughter. And I have to say to this team that as a father, I too have used fiddle faddle. I have also used “Santa Maria” and “son of a bee sting.”
The final component to the exceptional team on this book are Lee Loughridge on colors and Clayton Cowles on lettering.
Ever since I saw his work on X-Factor, Loughridge’s color work has really impressed me. The colors seem to be muted at times and definitely help to set up the tone of the issue. Throughout the story, the coloring makes it seem like something nefarious is going on behind what seems like a simple errand.
The flashbacks are done in a way to appear almost gray as opposed to black and white. It is also worth noting that for me, the colors really seemed to get more vibrant in the action scenes and especially Danny in his Iron Fist attire. The coloring really is a great match for Greene’s art on this book.
Cowle’s lettering is also top notch and helps to easily identify who is speaking. There’s a scene where the character Tombstone is depicted with smaller print since he always talks quietly. The caption boxes and the word balloons really add to the overall beauty of this finished product and I hope this team has a nice long run with these characters.
That being said, if you love these characters then this is the comic for you. If you are new to these characters then this is the comic for you. This story is fun and exciting. We even get a “Sweet Christmas” from Luke.
At the end of the day, these characters are two bad knick knack paddy whacks.
Shut yo mouth.
I’m just talking bout Power Man and Iron Fist. (Shout out to Walker’s work on Shaft)
Now seriously get to your comic store and buy this fiddle faddle book. Let’s make sure we keep getting these high quality stories from this impressive creative team. Highest recommendation to buy this book. It was a perfect first issue.