Two Graphic Novels by Brubaker

Ed Brubaker is perhaps my favorite writer in comics right now. I love his noir series Criminal, and have been enjoying his run on The Immortal Iron Fist, which he writes with Matt Fraction. Since the individual issues are so littered with obnoxious ads, I bought the graphic novel collection of the first story arc. It improved on rereading, and benefits from the absence of interruptive ads.

The Last Iron Fist Story
is a play on words, in once sense because it was supposed to be a miniseries that got picked up as an ongoing one. Danny Rand is a wealthy businessman whose secret identity is The Immortal Iron Fist, defender of the mystical city of K’un Lun. I’d never read the series before, and all necessary background was helpfully and skillfully incorporated into the narrative. Rand is attacked by goons, his company is in the throes of a hostile takeover, and someone else has been using the power of the Iron Fist. How this all ties together is an entertaining superhero story with a good segue to the next arc, enhanced by the moody art of David Aja.

I enjoyed Brubaker’s Daredevil: Hell to Pay vol. 2 much less. I really enjoyed the run that Brian Michael Bendis had on the title. In spite of my admiration for Brubaker, his follow up has never quite seemed to live up to what went before. Perhaps it’s that I find one of the central characters, Matt Murdock’s wife, an utter void. Even if she’s being moved off stage, which it seems might be the case from this collection, I think it won’t be enough to keep me hanging on. I’ve been waiting for a while for Daredevil to get good again. I think I’ll spend time on other comics that I enjoy. I’m sure if it does get good again, I’ll hear about it.

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