Power Man and Iron Fist #5
Writer: David Walker
Artist: Flaviano Armentaro
Colorist: John Rauch
Cover: Sanford Greene
Sometimes you just need to laugh through an entire comic for all the right reasons and this issue of Power Man & Iron Fist will have you doing just that. It’s a self contained story after the events of the first arc and before the guys get pulled into a Civil War II tie-in. So if you missed out on the first four issues (shame on you if you did) you can still dive into this one without feeling lost or needing to know a lot of character history.
Cage and Iron Fist had a fight with Manslaughter Marsdale and it was recorded and the embarrassing beat down was uploaded to the net where it will live forever. The local DJ is talking about the fight on air and the broadcast gets the attention of Marsdale who doesn’t take too kindly getting roasted. It’s a story that’s told from a couple of different points of view until Cage and Iron Fist show up at the local radio station to set the record straight. So with both parties headed to the same destination you know it’s about to go down…again!
Walker has thrown some humorous moments in his stories at times but this is the first that seemed to hit great comedic beats on every page. The DJ pretty much steals the show here as Walker lays out some of the best and natural dialogue for this character. He actually sounds like a legit radio personality which was a relief especially since some writers just rely on dated and stale dialogue for this type of character. Not only this but to bring back a character like Manslaughter Marsdale who hasn’t been seen in decades was a nice touch. Being that Cage had knocked out some of his teeth I ended up reading Walker’s dialogue for him in a Mike Tyson-like voice. There’s a pretty huge cast in this issue and Walker doesn’t waste any of their time or the reader’s with them. Each has a purpose and moves this issue along at a nice pace.
Flaviano handles the art in this issue with John Rauch on colors and it carries the tone and energy of the story in great fashion. This is Flaviano’s first Marvel work and hopefully not his last in this series here. He nails and amplifies Walker’s narrative which helps with the comedic moments as well as the action scenes set up throughout. The redesign of Marsdale works both to update the character but still leaves some room for jokes from the DJ. It was also good to see that he kept the studded fist braces from the old design. Rauch keeps things bright and helps make Flaviano’s work jump off the page.
As enjoyable as the series has been it’s still a bit of an adjustment getting used to Walker’s Iron Fist. Fans of Danny know he’s been quite the serious and determined character the past couple of years so this happier and more laid back Danny was a bit of a shock. Walker makes it work though and has made this one of the best buddy comics on the shelf. There’s a chemistry between Danny and Luke which Walker tapped into pretty quickly and it’s only improved since the first issue.
With everything so serious in the Marvel Universe right now this was a breath of fresh air so if you want a good laugh pick up this issue of Power Man and Iron Fist. There’s also a great variant cover by Khary Randolph and Emilio Lopez if you can find that!