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Immortal Iron Fist: The Complete Collection Volume 1 Paperback – 24 Dec 2013
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I'm not going to recap the plot of this book, you can find that anywhere else, just know that this pretty much contains everything Fraction did for The Immortal Iron Fist, and for this price, it's a steal. Aja does incredible art as always, with the colours working perfectly. Not all of it is drawn by Aja, however, and while most of the other artists are just fine, they pale in comparison. Flashback scenes litter the main issues, and they actually provide the more interesting story, but without Aja's art. Strangely enough, the finale of the storyline (issue 14) is entirely drawn by someone else, which I thought would ruin the sense of consistency right when it was needed most, but Tonci Zonjic, penciller for the issue, has a style I almost thought was Aja. You can see differences if you look close, but they really managed to keep it looking right.
Annual 1, I hated. I thought it poorly written and poorly drawn, both art styles it switches between. It's shoved right in the middle of a story that otherwise has good momentum, and while it's kinda necessary, I would have preferred to just skip it. There are then 3 other issues that break up the story that tell the stories of 3 previous Iron Fists. The first, the pirate queen of Pinghai Bay, is awesome. The second tells the story of the previous Iron Fist, Orson Randall, and his run-ins with The Prince of Orphans. I didn't like this issue much at all. The third is more in the vein of the first, telling the story of Bei-Bang Wen, with the perfect strategic mind. I like this one, but less than the first.
Then finally there's issue 16, which is straight Fraction/Aja story dealing with where the series is headed next after the events of this story. I liked this issue, less action, more character depth. It was the first time I felt like I was getting to know Danny. This series does a great job of characterising everyone else, but he always seemed like a bit of a blank slate to me, the tear between who he is and who the iron fist are never really explored in enough detail to stick before. And then there's a short issue for Path to Civil War, which is fine but it's a bit random. Then another random 2 page story. I think those are just there so this book can contain everything Fraction did on this series, and I appreciate that. It's messy but complete.
At the price of around £15, I'd recommend this wholeheartedly. Most fans prefer this to Hawkeye, so maybe you will too. Either way, nobody can deny that the story being told here is epic and a bit of a comic book classic. Great addition to any collection.
This is honestly my favorite Marvel comic. It takes a b-list kind of nothing character from the 70s and turns him in to a genuinely compelling character and you can read this comic without having any prior knowledge of the character or really the Marvel universe in general because it takes place in a somewhat standalone setting. The art by David Aja is fantastic and uses several styles to tell the history of the Iron Fist. The only downside to the art is that there is the Iron Fist Annual issue which has some generally bad art that looks even worse compared to the rest of the volume which was drawn by a master. The volume contains the Last Iron Fist Story and the Seven Cities story arcs as well as several side stories about past Iron Fists and a one shot related to the Civil War crossover storyline which has nothing to do with anything in this series. This is a great comic compiled in a substantial volume and I recommend it to really anyone.
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