Matt Fraction (Writer), Khari Evans (Penciler), Victor Olazaba (Inker), Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic, and Paul Mounts (Color Art)
On Sale 5/29/08
The latest issue of Immortal Iron Fist is another history lesson courtesy of Matt Fraction. For this lesson we are told the action packed tale of Iron Fist, Bei Bang-Wen, and his unlikely team up with a similar warrior named Vivatma Visvajit. As with other historical Iron Fist stories, this issue can be read as a stand alone or as a way to gain a deeper understanding into what it means for someone like Danny Rand to be named the Iron Fist.
Matt Fraction is one of the most critically acclaimed writers (of this new generation) and this issue is a great example of why. He takes two brand new characters and manages to imbue them with all the personality and camaraderie one would expect from fully established Marvel favorites. What makes this issue work so well is the journey of Bei Bang-Wen is told as though it was being spoken to you by a master storyteller; Fraction captures this energy and feeling magnificently.
A storyteller should be able to cause the imagination to conjure up images that truly bring the story to life. In the case of a comic, the artists’ jobs are to bring the story to life. With Immortal Iron Fist #15, that’s exactly what happens. The artwork by Evans, Olazaba, Djurdjevic, and Mounts perfectly compliments the story being told. The action scenes are satisfying, the stealth segments flow extremely well, the supernatural elements are given some striking imagery, and the character designs are top-notch. If I have one small complaint, it’s that I wish the color work was a bit more vibrant. However, this is quite a minor complaint as it follows the tone of the series up to this point and any major change may have seem out of place.
I am what you might call an irregular reader of the Immortal Iron Fist series, so these stand alone stories fit me just fine. If you’re looking for a solid story that’s complimented by some nice visuals and needs little commitment, do yourself a favor and pick up this issue. You will see why Fraction is considered one of the rising stars of the comic industry and why the Iron Fist series has been a surprise hit. If I have any real complaints about this issue as a whole, it’s that the story is fairly predictable and that it has next to nothing to do Danny Rand – the main character of the series. Still, a great read nonetheless. (Grade A-)