THE BOYS ARE BACK – 6.5/10.
There are few partnerships in the Marvel Universe that can match the warmth of Luke Cage and Danny Rand, AKA Power Man and Iron Fist. In fact it’s surprising that Netflix is giving both heroes their own shows considering how much better they work as a team. If you are unfamiliar with the characters and their long history then the short version is Cage is an ex-con with unbreakable skin and Rand is the CEO of a major company with mystical kung fu abilities. They formed an agency together named Heroes for Hire which pretty much did what it said on the tin, and generally had a lot of adventures while bickering comically. They’re the odd couple but with super powers and now the band is getting back together again. Actually that kind of depends on which one of them you talk to.
This very fun issue brings the pair back together after a lengthy time apart. Luke has a family now and Danny has a company to run so that doesn’t leave much time for adventuring. They’ve reunited to welcome their former secretary, Jennie, back into society after serving 5 years of a murder sentence. Jennie lays a guilt trip on them, convincing them to get a family heirloom back from a local mobster named Tombstone. The heroes agree and pay Tombstone a friendly visit, which quickly gets unfriendly. However the duo ends up leaving with the necklace which they return to Jennie, who as it turns out may not be the sweet, innocent girl that they remember. While Luke reassures his wife that this was a one-time reunion, Danny starts planning for the permanent return of Heroes for Hire.
Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room right away. You either like Sanford Greene’s artwork or you don’t and that will make or break this comic for you. Personally, I think it is fantastic, adding a unique feel to the title perfectly matches thee laid back tone of the writing. It gives the comic a fun, retro feel and also allows for a lot of visual humour within each panel. This is actually a very funny comic and David Walker’s writing perfectly reflects both the established history between the old friends and where life has taken their relationship now. This is best demonstrated by Iron Fist’s total amusement at his best friend’s attempts to stop cursing as requested by his wife, Jessica Jones. Although it should be noted that Jessica is quite the potty mouth herself.
There is a very believable dynamic between Luke and Danny, with Cage often serving as the responsible adult to Danny’s excitable child. Iron Fist purists may not like this playful representation of the character but it works perfectly within the context of this new continuity. While both characters are portrayed in a light hearted, fun way it is made very clear how capable they both are as fighters, making short work of Tombstone’s hired goons. But even then they continue to quip during the fight, just helping to further set the tone for this new title. So despite Luke’s protests it seems as if Heroes for Hire is back in business and while the story hasn’t really begun yet it’s clearly going to be a lot of fun. Bring on the fiddle faddle!
POINTS OF INTEREST
- I wonder what part Jennie’s new friend, Black Mariah will play in the larger story. She doesn’t seem like a big player so that means the role of big bad is still up for grabs.
- Even after all this time Danny is still convinced that Jessica hates him, although Luke doesn’t exactly do anything to help with that.
- Loved the gag of people taking selfies with Power Man and Iron Fist whilst they go about their business.
- They had to get at least one Sweet Christmas in there didn’t they?