Bargain Bag: Immortal Weapons

Immortal Weapons #1–5 written and drawn by various

The Immortal Iron Fist was a fantastically good comic book – the job done by Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker and David Aja on the character of Danny Rand, the introduction of the legacy of Iron Fists, and making a martial arts superhero comic book work at all in the current climate is simply amazing. It was a shame they decided to move on to other things, but at least they left behind some great comics and the scope for more.

There were two reasons I picked up these comics, another Gosh! bargain pack (£5 for the five issues): the examination of the legacy of the immortal weapons of the immortal cities (as introduced by Fraction and Brubaker); and the fact that Jason Aaron was writing one of the issues (I think my recent posts indicate why). The first issue, a story by Aaron about Fat Cobra, is the best of the lot – Fat Cobra hires a writer to compile the story of Cobra because he has drunk so much in his lifetime that he can’t remember all the details. This allows for the interesting parts to be highlighted (such as being the only survivor of a team of kung fu commandoes put together by Union Jack to take down Hitler’s secret death squad of SS ninjas, or the food-eating contest in Olympus versus Hercules and Volstagg), but also revealing the more prosaic and unfortunate aspects of his life. It is illustrated well by a selection of artists and is a good story with lots of kung fu references.

After this, the the quality of the remaining stories is uneven: the story of the Bride of the Nine Spiders doesn’t really add up to much and the art is a little on the ugly side; the story of Dog Brother #1 is a downbeat tale with an ending that turns it and finally sees the arrival of the lead character; the story of Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter (written by Duane Swierczynski, the man who took over the reins after Fraction and Brubaker) is a bit silly and slight; the final story of John Aman, Prince of Orphans, is more like what I expected from this mini-series, with an adventure that included Danny Rand, a giant dragon, and Aman fighting ten thousand dead warriors, comprising a good comic from writer David Lapham and artist Arturo Lozzi, which is almost as good as Aaron’s story.

The series also has a back-up story running throughout, a five-part tale by Swierczynski about the current Iron Fist; it’s a rather slight tale as well, not helped by the transition in art duties from the interesting Travel Foreman to the rather ugly stylings of Hatuey Diaz (a hint for Marvel: artists who draw ugly spandex costumes on their heroes shouldn’t be used on superhero stories, even if they are good artists). All in all, an unsatisfactory package, with only one cracking story and lovely covers by David Aja.

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