*WARNING - SPOILERS!*
Writer & Artist: Kaare Andrews
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Danny Rand aka Iron Fist, has appeared in numerous titles and events since his last solo series, The Immortal Iron Fist. Though he frequents Avengers teams and I particularly liked his role in AvX and the storyline that emerged from it, there hasn't been a solo title for quite some time - and I say to that, ’tis about time!
Kaare Andrews has not only given us a current and evolved Iron Fist, he is writing it all and covering all art duties.
The art channels a bit of Frank Miller, from the panelling to letting silhouettes and forms create the moods. Of course, Kaare is of his own league. There are 2 distinct panel backgrounds he uses in the flashback scenes, just very slightly overlaid, of folded and crumpled paper - one black and one in beige, but most likely white paper that has been aged - which gives a nice contrast between the current and flashback scenes. He also colours the whole damn thing, and because the majority of the work falls on him, its pure and total creative control. The last couple of pages feel like Sin City, if it was printed on red paper… with kung-fu and more ninjas.
Art: Jason Fabok
Colours: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
Cover: Jason Fabok / Tomeu Morey
Variant Cover: Andy Kubert / Jonathan Glapion & Brad Anderson
It is 5 years later in Gotham City. A lot has changed, and the (purple) gloves are off as confident, experienced Batman rocks the first appearance in these pages in his trasher armour battling Professor Pyg. Even Commissioner Gordon has gained more confidence, in terms of the 52, and with Batman, seem to have established their dynamic.
The pace is kept high through most of the issue and even ends with the commissioner himself in handcuffs. The underlaying elements to the entire event are placed sparingly and are capped by the very first page and the final panel, which simply add to the intrigue and curiosity of… ‘where will it go from here?’
With all the writers onboard for this, it is no surprise there is such a large amount of focus on all the different aspects of this story. It will take a while yet for things to unfold - explanations starting from the unknown antagonist on the very first page and the narration of ‘your allies have been slaughtered’, Bruce held by chains around his limbs, unmasked, hanging from the Bat-signal. The Bat symbol is carved into his chest and in the background, the city engulfed in flames. If that hasn't roused interest, I really don't know what will. Also, the 52 introduction of Jason Bard, who in this story, is handpicked by Gordon - which probably is and will be a very big deal.
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East of West Volume 2: We Are All One [trade paperback]
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All-New Ultimates #1
All-New X-Men #25
Infinity Companion [oversized hardcover]
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1
Batman Eternal #1