By Abdulkareem Baba Aminu
Title: Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #3
Writer and Artist: Kaare Andrews
Rage: Part Three begins with a dream sequence that drags Danny Rand through all kinds of pain, setting the tone for even more when our hero returns to K'un Lun to save the day. Between flashbacks and currently unfolding events, Kaare Andrews should've maybe titled this instalment 'Pain'. Boy, does Danny get some dished out to him.
Pei, the youngster sent from the land of our hero's childhood to call him back, is hospitalized, post-ninja attack, and is chaperoned by Brenda (whose character I just can't connect with for some reason). Her concern for Pei is more annoying than touching.
Other than that, the story just roars on and the arrival of evil forces to get Pei is sufficiently terrifying and fun, an odd but most welcome mix. The icing on the cake, however, would be the baddies' fight with loads of skimpily-clad, knives-wielding warrior nurses (a sentence I never thought I'd ever write!).
The art, while pretty good, isn't as great as in previous installments. The final page reveal, though, is a masterfully played one, inflicting even more pain on poor Danny, whose plate was already full.
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon is proving to be quite the enjoyable series. I'll continue to eagerly follow it. Heck, I even have a flash-forward in my head where I'm buying the trade.
Title: Inhuman #2
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Joe Madureira
OK, so it starts with a promising premise: After King Black Bolt detonated a 'bomb' that spread Terrigen Mists across the globe, many new Inhumans are 'activated' and their superhuman abilities emerge. But that's where it stops, for me. The problem, I think, lies with the lack of proper scale and how what's supposed to be a world-changing event is confined mainly to New York. Even an appearance by Captain America failed to energize the story, instead coming across as one of those company-mandated Wolverine appearances of many, many years ago.
New characters Dante and his sister are not well-realised and mostly fall flat. A 'confrontation' between Queen Medusa and Captain America – with so much potential for drama – also doesn't work, strangely. The overall story is devoid of energy, and lacking any awesomeness that a book involving Charles Soule, Joe Madureira and the Inhumans should. The only bright spot, for me, is the scene where Gorgon trains Dante and both characters bounce off each other organically.
At the very end of the issue, a character called Lineage shows up with info Queen Medusa finds compelling: Her husband's plans. But the pacing is clunky, leading what's supposed to be a cliff-hanger ending up making me want to jump off a cliff. Yes, it was that bad.
The Inhumans are among my absolute faves at Marvel and I've always had a notion that I'd lap up anything with them in it. This series, so far, has proven that wrong and I hope the usually-enjoyable Soule eventually redeems it. At least Joe Madureira's art is as beautiful as ever.
Abdulkareem Baba Aminu is a Bleeding Cool contributor, award-winning journalist, cartoonist and artist. The Nigeria-based writer has reviewed comics, novels, movies and music for a variety of platforms. He is currently the Editor of the Weekly Trust (the Saturday edition of the Daily Trust, one of the most influential newspapers in his country). You can follow him on Twitter @KareemReal