By Matt Fraction, Roy Thomas, Len Wein (writers), Kano, Gil Kane, Larry Hama (artists), Dick Giordano (inks), A. Crossley (colors)
I was wondering if or when Ed Brubaker or Matt Fraction would take it upon himself to retell or retcon the origin of Danny Rand. Looking back on their run it’s surprising how Danny Rand was left out of their series of big origin stories. After all, he is the star of the series. But after reading this issue, it all makes perfect sense: why ruin a good thing?
For those looking for a fresh story, look elsewhere. This book is essentially a reprinting of Marvel Premiere #15 and 16 with a few pages of new story by Fraction which acts as little more than window dressing. What impressed me is how well the origin of Danny Rand still holds up. Sure, some of the dialogue and thugs are cheesy (the guys who ambush Danny in New York look like a bunch of frat boys), but for the most part it’s a pretty entertaining story with just a tad of Marvel 1970s goofiness thrown in for good measure.
Reading these two reprinted issues, it becomes very obvious how these stories inspired Brubaker and Fractions run on the books. If you’ve read their run, the narrative will be all too familiar; you’ll feel right at home. Another thing I enjoyed is how the old 1970s art by Gil Kane and Larry Hama has been completely recolored with computers. Normally, I would be against this sort of thing, but the coloring work by A. Crossley isn’t intrusive. Instead, it enhances the artwork in a subtle and respectful manner. If Marvel wants to do more of this stuff in the future, I wouldn’t be against it.
Sure, this book may just be a reprint, two stories for $3.99 ain’t a bad thing these days. (Grade: B+)
– J. Montes