By Abdulkareem Baba Aminu
[*Warning: spoilers below for Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #2 And Silver Surfer #2]
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #2 from Marvel Comics
Writer/Artist: Kaare Andrews
Earlier in the story, orphan Danny Rand, after defeating the dragon Shou-Lao and gaining the power of the Iron Fist, decided to avenge his parents and set out, leaving behind K'Un Lun and the people who raised him. After last issue's ninja attack, an arrow-covered youngster shows up, telling Danny he's needed back home and the story begins to unfold.
After the wounded Pei shows up, and Danny calls his hysterical guest Brenda by a different name, she asks him: "Is that so hard? Are you special needs or something?" I was considerably upset, by this as I've got friends with special needs children and I felt the use of the condition to denote slowness was pretty damned insensitive.
Thankfully, that's the only bump and the book continues very well. The characters in the story are intriguing and even the death of Sparrow (who appears for a few panels before she is snuffed out by her brother bad guy Davos) has gravitas.
Some of the story is understandably told through a flashback, employing an old-folded-paper effect which enhances mood. In one of the flashbacks, when Danny's mom asks him to promise vengeance on his murdered father's behalf, it's one of the most powerful, emotionally raw scenes I've read in mainstream comics recently.
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #2 tells a powerful tale. There are monsters, there's politics, there's strife, there's magic, there's emotion and there's action. This one's got it all. In fact, I was breathless by the last page, boasting of a helluva homecoming that's got me genuinely worrying for Danny. The writing here is brutally clear and it's the perfect foil for his stunning, fast-paced visuals. After all this, I'll gladly submit my jaw to Kaare Andrews' Iron Fist every month.
Silver Surfer #2 from Marvel Comics
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Mike Allred
I'd be damned if Silver Surfer #2 didn't feel like the latest issue of a long-running series by a constantly-collaborating creators, complete with tone and tons of pre-established continuity. Dan Slott promised readers in the beginning that Mike Allred and he will dish out cosmic stories with a grounded feel to readers, and it's more than evident that they've delivered.
Dawn Greenwood, an ordinary girl-next-door-type character is pulled into the Impericon as a hostage, so the Silver Surfer can rescue the residents of the alien, space city. There's many a twist and turn in the deceptively simple-looking story and one of the wallops came from the Never Queen's motives to destroy the Impericon. And that's only one aspect of this tightly written comic book.
Silver Surfer #2 is loaded with stuff. Cosmic-space-alien stuff and warm-friendly-earthling stuff as well. And don't forget the entire-universe-in-danger-aspects, too. The comic is, to me, like a giant tutti-frutti chocolate sundae as it is well-populated with a variety of delicious elements. Slott, Allred and co.'s story feels familiar in the way a comfortable t-shirt fits, even if it's brand new.
A slew of new characters populate the pages, but are so well-written that they feel familiar. I swear, I half-expected to smell newsprint a la 80's comic books. The rest of the creative team's in top shape too, as Laura Allred's colors are in a perfect marriage with her husband's art (tacky pun definitely intended). And when at the end of the comic Dawn announced to Norrin Radd that she'd save him, I became double sure that this comic is definitely a cosmic treat.
Abdulkareem Baba Aminu is a Bleeding Cool contributor, newspaper editor, award-winning journalist, cartoonist, comic book creator and painter. The Nigeria-based writer has reviewed comics, novels, movies and music for a variety of platforms. He is currently the Editor of the Saturday edition of the Daily Trust, one of the most influential newspapers in his country. You can follow him on Twitter @KareemReal