Back in September, I first reviewed Power Man and Iron Fist, written by David Walker and drawn by Sanford Greene. In 2015, I spoke with Greene about working on what was then an upcoming project. I joked with him about the old Power Man, the one with the tiara, the old logo that showed him breaking a chain that I jokingly said was analogous to breaking the chains of oppression.
Fast forward to my initial impressions of Power Man and Iron Fist. I'm struck by the difference in my own opinions between my review of the storylines and artwork from issues 6 through 8, and my current mode of being totally blown away after the big reveal at the end of issue 13 is as wide as the Grand Canyon. While I can always appreciate Walker's dialogue, I guess the anticipation and expectations dulled my ability to discern the overall arc. Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees.
Way back in Power Man and Iron Fist issue 1, 2, and 3, it wasn't clear the direction all these things could go. Tombstone aka Lonnie Lincoln was under the protection of Power Man and Iron Fist after Black Mariah and her companion Jeanie Ross used street magic to get too close.
That act has set off a chain reaction of events that find Harlem, NY embroiled in a gang war on the streets of the Marvel Universe. As I've stated in prior reviews, the list of characters and names of black Marvel folks is extensive. That has made this overall work one of my most enjoyable comic book reads in months.
With Tombstone's initial show of weakness serving as the catalyst, a myriad of gangster forces are converging on the throne. Cottonmouth is out of Rikers and in cahoots with Piranha Jones. However, he can see his old friend is so enamored with the curvaceous, conniving Black Cat that he isn't properly vetting her ideas.
In his confusion, he fails to recall that simply having Black Cat around could be bad luck. She convinces Piranha to move on Tombstone, much to the chagrin of Cottonmouth. He warns them both that doing such a thing would do nothing but make Tombstone become even more violent, and eventually leaves Jones and Cat in protest of their small-minded plans.
I would also like to note that Black Mariah has been a cunning antagonist and strategist throughout. Meanwhile, in issue 12, Tombstone lures all parties into the Greenlee Projects under the guise that he has moved his criminal operations there to consolidate after suffering a brutal beat down at the hands of Alex Wilder. Like moths to the flame, forces representing all parties converge on the scene along with the book's title duo.
But Tombstone is called Tombstone for a reason, and all involved soon find that it is all a ploy to destroy his enemies in one fell swoop. Piranha Jones is dead and Cottonmouth mourns for his foolish, fallen friend. Also, Wilder's forces, and Piranha's forces lie dead in the explosive aftermath. But it is suddenly super-powered, magic-endowed, hell escapee Alex Wilder who has moved to up to being the single most dangerous and reckless individual in the book.
He now has upped the ante considerably with the acquisition and ingestion of a demon symbiote that he barely managed to subdue. Right now, no one knows what consequences lay in store for them because of Wilder's demonic power up to his already considerable abilities. However, resident street mage and self-professed Dr. Strange rival, Senor Magico alludes that Wilder is evolving into something that even he couldn't foresee. This book has just jumped into high gear!
Yes, keep reading this book! I know I will.