My look at The New Frontier and The Golden Age will resume on Friday, but I just couldn't wait to talk about new comics, so I'll post a few brief reviews today and tomorrow instead!
I've already discussed my Iron Fist love on this blog, so it's not too hard to guess that I was excited to see the newest issue on the shelf today. Issue #6 ended with Iron Fist entering a mystic portal to begin a massive kung-fu tournament, and this issue...doesn't continue that plot! Damn you, Brubaker and Fraction! If you lead up to a tournament involving a lot of kicking, you'd better deliver on the kicking, not give us some story about, gasp, A GIRL (and not even a scantily-clad one--this girl walks around fully-clothed--just look at that lack of exposed skin on the cover)!!! Come on! Well, I guess you want your careers to be totally ruined. Whatever. Losers.
Iron Fist #7 brilliantly provides added dimension to the upcoming tournament by delving into the newly introduced Iron Fist mythology (they tell us that there have been sixty-six men and women who have carried the "mantle of the Immortal Iron Fist), and it tells a nice little, self-contained fable. In fact, speaking of fables, the story reminds me of something you might read in Bill Willingham's Fables, or the type of one-shot mythology-building story Gaiman used in his Sandman series. In issue #7, Brubaker and Fraction give us the origin of "The Iron Fist Wu Ao-Shi," the last female Iron Fist. Her story is one of love, duty, and pirate kicking. Plus, she shoots a bow with Iron Fist-powered arrows (something Orson Randall referenced with his "gun-fu" in a previous issue). When she inevitably turns up in the battle-of-the-Iron-Fists tournament in the next story arc, it's going to be good times (for us, not so much for Danny Rand, because she's, you know, b to the a to the d to the ass).
It's a really good issue, man. And even though David Aja's art is missing from the issue, the three replacement artists, Foreman, Fernandez, and Evans do some nice work. Foreman's been part of the art team all along, actually, and since his style has been used to represent the feudal past, it's appropriate that he kicks off the art for this old-timey story.
One of the things Brubaker and Fraction do so well in this series is balance the character moments with humor and action. And they do it here as well. My tendency is to credit Fraction with most of this quality, since Brubaker has never done anything that has impressed me THIS MUCH on his other super-hero titles (although I like his other work--it's just not as much fun as Iron Fist has been). Then again, Fraction has said that this is the series Brubaker wanted to do all along, and his other super-hero stuff has been a secret plan to get the Iron Fist stuff up and running.
But I don't need to convince you about the quality of this comic, because you've already read Iron Fist #7 anyway, right? You have good taste.