IMMORTAL IRON FIST #17
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Travel Foreman
I have an apology to make to Mr Swierczynski. I've done nothing but criticize him and his appointment as the new Iron Fist writer since it was announced. It was partly due to how poorly the new Cable series he was writing was doing and partly due to my being upset over Fraction, Brubaker and Aja all leaving Iron Fist at once.
This was an unfair stance on my part and Swierczynski proved me wrong with his debut issue on Iron Fist this week. He did an excellent job following up on one of the most critically acclaimed runs in recent memories and he deserves credit where credit is due for his attempt at filling those shoes.
However, as much as I found myself liking his first issue, despite my numerous misgivings coming into the issue, there were still some problems. Chiefly among those was the fact Swierczynski doesn't really do anything new here. Just about every single plot detail sprung out of what Fraction setup last month, right down to the crux of the issue and how Iron Fists have failed to live past the age of 33.
While he's doing a great job with what he's inherited, based on the weak flashback version of Iron Fist he created for this issue, I'm still not sold on whether or not he'll be able to stand on his own without Brubaker and Fraction's subplots holding up his stories.
Regarding the new artist, Travel Foreman, this was not the best work I've seen from him, but I enjoyed it more than other people seemed to. The final battle with Iron Fist and the mysterious Iron Fist killer from Ch'i-Lin, which I assume is the mysterious 8th Capital City setup at the end of the 7 Capital Cities storyline, was excellent, if a little muddied (maybe the inker?). Loved the giant dragon Iron Fist attack Danny pulled out, too.
Verdict - Check It. It's similar to Gage taking over for Ellis on this week's Thunderbolts. Swierczynski had huge shoes to fill and he did an admirable job, but there are some problems, which may or may not iron themselves out, that prevent this issue from reaching the heights that the previous creators took the book to.