Thursday, June 26, 2008

Immortal Iron Fist #16 Review

Written by Matt Fraction
Art by David Aja

This marks the last issue of the Brubaker / Fraction / Aja era on Iron Fist. Good night, sweet prince. I'll miss you as this also marks my last issue based on the previews for the next issue and the knowledge of who the writer will be.

Thankfully, this is amazing send off from Fraction and he sets up so many possibilities for the character that it's really a shame that neither he nor Brubaker could stick around to write this book. I still think it's some money related thing where the sales don't justify the creative team, especially based on everything Fraction has ever said about the book and his desire to write it forever or even a second book for a Tales of the Iron Fist-type spinoff, but I'll save my moaning and conspiracy theories for another time.

Coming off the recent tournament arc where Hydra assumed control of his company's resources and nearly destroyed K'un-Lun, Danny has reprioritized his life and the focus of his vast fortune. He's gone so far as to dismantle his company, piece by piece, and is dedicating his life to giving away his entire fortune to the needy and is in the process of creating a charity organization.

We start the issue off with his most recent endeavour - the creation of a new dojo for impoverished children - and quickly cut to where he explains his new direction in life to his friend and the man that formerly ran Danny's company, Jeryn Hogarth. There's a hilarious scene where they are in an elevator and Jeryn asks if Danny's been funding the New Avengers where Danny tries to deny it before admitting to it.

From there, we get to see the other Immortal Weapons and their search for information on the rumoured Eigth Capital City. This is a great scene as everyone is in civilian clothes. Fat Cobra is wearing a shirt and tie with glasses and is actually acting like an intellectual, which was a funny juxtaposition to his, "bring me my victory wenches!", persona during the tournament.

The rest of the issue focuses on Danny's relationship with Misty Knight that leaves it open ended and with his friendship with Luke Cage and his asking him to join him with his new charity in their old Heroes 4 Hire building. The latter scene featured a cameo by Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker, which was a nice touch. There were two others in that close up cameo, but I'm not sure what Aja looks like, so can't tell if he is one of them.

We end one of the best creative team runs in recent memory with Danny discovering that all Iron Fists have died at the age of 33 and only Orson had escaped that fate when he fled K'un-Lun at the age of 33. Just as he comes to this realization, Misty, Luke and Colleen show up with a surprise birthday party and a cake for his 33rd birthday as the issue fades to black.

Verdict - Must Read. This creative team made me read a comic about a guy who does kung-fu in a pair yellow slippers and it was awesome, that's how damn good they were. With how much they set up in this issue, I can't believe they're actually leaving the title, but I guess all good things come to an end.

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