I’m back from the comic shop again this week and I got 4 new comics:

  • Walking Dead 41
  • Local 10
  • Usagi Yojimbo 105
  • Th 99 First Light Preview
  • I bought no hardcover books this week. I had to buy a new pair of shoes plus there was nothing that caught my eye. Meanwhile here are a couple of reviews of recent comics.

  • “Chance in Hell” by Gilbert Hernandez (HC)
  • This is another of the gifts I received for my birthday and it’s a good one. Gilbert Hernandez (one of the “Love and Rockets” guys) tells us the story of a woman who is born in the worst of circumstances and escapes into other supposedly better circumstances. That’s as close as I can get to describing this book in a sentence because it really is an interesting and far out story. Gilbert is an excellent storyteller who doesn’t miss a beat. I like his drawing and his layouts a lot. It’s a well crafted story.

    The story itself is a strange one. It’s filled with bizarre and horrible everyday circumstances yet there is a strange air of fantasy to it all. The world of “Chance in Hell” is recognizable as our own but it isn’t organized quite like ours. It’s like an alternate dimension but it’s really just the dimension of fiction. That’s all I’ll say about the plot because I wouldn’t want to give anything away.

    So if you like stories that are not like everything else that’s out there check this book out. Recommended.

  • The Immortal Iron Fist: The Last Iron Fist Story (HC)
  • I haven’t read any new Iron Fist comics in many years. I did read a bunch of the old Claremont and Byrne issues when the Essential Iron Fist collection came out a couple years ago. That stuff is still pretty good.

    This new Iron Fist book is written by Ed Brubaker (“with” Matt Fraction whatever that means). He’s a writer who, though I like his crime comics, I’ve never really gotten into his super hero work. I’ve never heard of the artist (David Aja) but he does a good job. They also had Russ Heath and Sal Buscema draw some flash back sequences. I found this worked exceptionally well.

    The story heavily involves Iron Fist’s past and gives us a little history of others who were gifted with the Iron Fist over the centuries. It’s a pretty cool story but there are a couple of things that bothered me about it. These things are to be found in other stories too.

    First, why send a Kung Fu guy up against a thousand armed men? How did they not shoot him? Iron Fist fights about a million Hydra agents armed with automatic weapons and never gets shot. It’s never explained how he doesn’t get shot they just say his Kung Fu is really good. Huh? I’m sorry, knowing martial arts doesn’t mean you can dodge bullets. And he wasn’t dodging much anyway. Not a major thing but when ever that happened it took me out of the story.

    Power creep. A lot super hero books are guilty of this. When a writer wants to make a character more “interesting” he gives him new power. Before you know it a super hero has fifteen new powers and is hard to beat in a fight. So then some new writer has to strip the character back to basics and remove some of his power. That’s the super hero cycle. In this book Iron Fist learns he will be able to do all sorts of magical things with his Iron Fist. Power leap in this case.

    Overall the book is well done. The story is interesting and moves along well, the art is good and the artist can tell a story, plus you get a little of Luke Cage to be nostalgic about. I’ll be along for the second volume. Give it a read.