POWER MAN AND IRON FIST: THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN
Writer: David Walker
Artist: Sanford Greene (#1-4) & Flaviano (#5)
Color Artist: Lee Loughridge (#1-4) & John Rauch (#5)
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Assistant Editor: Kathleen Wisneski
Editor: Jake Thomas
Rating: 9/10 Would recommend the Heroes for Hire service to a friend.
Sweet Christmas. The latest reviews have brought us to the depths of the ocean and to the far reaches of space but now it’s time to hit the streets for some good fun. This week the internet community on Instagram put me on the path of a bromance with POWER MAN AND IRON FIST: THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN. I can’t say I wasn’t excited, I really like these characters despite not having full knowledge of them. Something about the design for Iron Fist along with his powers has been a big draw for me ever since I first saw him. Luke Cage is just awesome all around. A super caring father who tries not to say swear words. He was also one of my favorite characters to play in Ultimate Alliance 2 back in the day. Picking up this book when it was first collected was a must for me and it didn’t disappoint. Spoilers Ahead!
What’s All The Fiddle-Faddle About?
So Power Man and Iron Fist. Once upon a time, they had a business, The Heroes for Hire. At one point they had a really sweet office manager named Jennie who through a series of unfortunate circumstances ended up in prison for five years on murder charges. Despite everything that Luke Cage and Danny tried to do to help her, she still had to serve her time. Now that she’s out, they are trying to be there for her, however they can. The best thing they can do now is to recover a stolen necklace from a local crime lord named Tombstone.
These are some really sweet boys, reclaiming a friend’s stolen property. It’s too bad that they got duped and their former friend is teaming up with another ex-convict to get payback on others and become the new bosses of the criminal empire. Things start going from bad to worse for Luke and Danny when, not only are they getting a slew of baddies after them to reclaim the necklace, but that piece of jewelry is actually housing really powerful evil magic. (Side note: two of these baddies may or may not be the b-boy skeletons before they became employed by David S. Pumpkins). This is nothing these two friends couldn't handle though, especially when Luke would prefer evil magic to being in hot water with his wife, and better half, Jessica Jones.
This fiddle-faddle is getting out of hand when Jennie, now possessed by some dark “street magic”, is tearing up the neighborhood and it doesn’t matter if it’s crime lords or friends, she is looking to murder and destroy. Luke’s unbreakable skin and Danny’s Immortal Iron Fist have faced down a lot of challenges and won but this isn’t one of those times. For these former Avengers to save everyone, the best power they have to rescue Jennie and stop the flow evil magic is friendship. Seriously, friendship is the strongest force in the universe sometimes.
The Immortal Comic Artists
This book did so many things right for me. The writing was spectacular and I’ll get to that, but the art was truly something special for me. Sanford Greene’s Illustrations through Power Man and Iron Fist was fun and felt like something completely different from what I was seeing in other Marvel books From Jessica’s expressions of being annoyed, Tombstones anger, Danny’s joy or even Luke’s disbelief and levelheadedness, the emotions were both felt from the writing and on expressions. It felt so right for every character. It had me smiling as big as Danny does in this series with the fun I was having going over pages. Flaviono’s work in issue #5 also kept up this trend where I was actually surprised by how similar it seemed, minus Danny’s appearance from time to time.
Of course, these two artists weren’t alone when making the magic happen. The triumph in style also goes to the colorists as well. Lee Loughridge's colors in the first four issues are some real good fiddle-faddle. It reminds me heavily of the use of color tones hey did in the Netflix shows. This book has a lot of the colors and styles that were used in Luke Cage. Backgrounds perfectly shift between browns, yellows, and shades of red wherever Danny and Luke are, while having pinks seeming to be taking over as the color usage when hero appearances from Jessica and Sorcer Supremes are on the scene. Jennie and Mariah started getting some darker shades in these colors as demonic forces and violent tendencies come into play. John Rauch’s work on five colorings was a bit different. There weren’t as many similar colors to Luke and Danny being used around them but instead seemed to have a more realistic color choice. The colors reminded more of the graffiti you would see on some walls, having a certain standout quality to them that made this last issue in the book feel like I was reading a hip hop album cover.
It was the second read through this book that reminded me that Sweet Christmas, David Walker did an awesome job with the characters in this story. While Luke is not on board with this plan of getting back together with Danny as Heroes for Hire, you can feel the care he has for Danny like a brother coming off of him thanks to Walker’s writing, as well as, the art taking it a step forward in expression. Luke has that feeling of wanting to settle down and be retired while Danny wants to relive the glory days they had. For my first series with these two, It couldn’t have felt more like I imagined them to be. The Dynamic he has them share with Jessica is hilarious as well.
The most powerful part of his writing wasn’t in the humor or actions though. What really got me was that message of being there for those that are like family to you, blood or not. Walker show’s this from the beginning when the boys are there for Jennie to support her. Even at the end when she begins to give in to evil magic more and more, they still put themselves out there instead of fighting to talk. Even Mariah steps in, to help Jennie see that she doesn’t have to face the hurt alone.
Everyone Loves Con-Clusions
This series came as fast as lightning and left too soon. POWER MAN AND IRON FIST was easily one of the best buddy team comics I’ve read in the current age of comics, and will always be my first pick if someone is looking to experience the Immortal Iron First or Luke Cage. From the witty, heartfelt writing, to the fun and action-packed art, the folks that worked on this definitely made it feel like there was a lot of fun being had on their end creating it. This series could be its own movie with how it was written. I’d say if you are looking for kung-fu fighting, magic mysteries, or some good old fashioned buddy comedy, then check this fiddle-faddle out!