Monday, June 22, 2015

MARVEL PREMIERE #21

”DAUGHTERS OF THE DEATH GODDESS”
Writer: Tony Isabella | Artist: Arvell Jones | Inker: Vince Colletta
Colorist: Stan Goldberg | Letterer: Joe Rosen | Editor: Len Wein

You are Iron Fist -- and in the wake of your passing you have left Batroc the Leaper’s once-proud brigade battered, broken and defeated in the halls of the Meachum Towers.

Though you are now far from those halls, your deeds have precipitated a somewhat loud argument between the master of savate and those who hired him to destroy you.


The Plot: Batroc argues with Ward and Joy Meachum over payment for his attack on Iron Fist, then departs Meachum Towers in a huff.

Meanwhile, Iron Fist returns to Professor Wing’s office to find the place ransacked and the professor and Colleen missing. While there, Iron Fist is attacked by a woman named Misty Knight. Iron Fist defeats her and follows a vision of the ninja underground to a hidden temple of Kali, the Hindi goddess of death.

In the shrine, the leaders of the Cult of Kara-Kai -- two women named Shaya and Ushas, together known as the Living Goddesses -- have the Wings captive. They order their cultists to kill Iron Fist. In the ensuing chaos, the Wings are freed and Professor Wing transforms into the ninja. The ninja’s sacred book is destroyed, which separates the ninja from Professor Wing. Thus freed, the ninja prepares to kill Iron Fist.

Continuity Notes: Ward Meachum’s inner monologue reveals that he knows Iron Fist didn't kill his brother, but he's playing along with Joy’s mistaken belief that was the case in order to use her for his own purpose.

Misty Knight makes her first appearance here, after being named last issue as Colleen’s business partner. Right off the bat, Misty is shown to be a capable martial artist, briefly holding her own against Iron Fist. Colleen also demonstrates martial prowess for the first time, fighting alongside Iron Fist against the Kara-Kai cultists.


The mysterious book is finally given a title in its final appearance: The Sacred Volume of Kali.

My Thoughts: Another writer brings with him a few new twists. Doug Moench introduced Joy and Ward Meachum and partnered them up, but now Tony Isabella has added the twist that Ward is simply using his niece for his own ends. I'm really not sure whether this is a good idea. I mean it's not a bad idea -- yet -- but what's gained by it? Perhaps Isabella is setting Joy up to see the light, but right now she seems pretty unrepentantly against Iron Fist.

Anyway… hey, it's Misty Knight! It's astounding how many of Iron Fist’s trappings and cast members were put into place before he had a solid, regular creative team. Thomas and Kane gave us K’un L’un. Moench and Hama gave us the Meachums and the Wings and teased Iron Fist’s new status quo in New York. Now Isabella and Jones have confirmed that status and brought in Misty, to boot. And we're still an issue away from the series gaining the writer that will carry it through to completion!

Otherwise there's not a ton to say about this one. The stuff with the ninja, the cult, and the book is all somewhat vague, but a blurb on the final page says that all of it will be explained next issue, so at least Isabella is aware that he's not making a lot of sense.

Jones’s artwork is perhaps a tiny bit better than last issue, but it still reads as very amateurish. And for some reason, Stan Goldberg has decided to color the green parts of Iron Fist’s costume in a very murky, almost brown shade. It looks really ugly.

After a promising first issue, Isabella’s brief run has become as lackluster as those that came before it. But on the plus side, it looks like he's set on finishing up the ninja plotline, thus hopefully clearing the decks of all lingering traces of the previous regimes before the arrival of the next writer in this long parade.

4 comments:

  1. I forget, does Misty have her bionic arm at this point, or does that come later? Or does it just not come up in this issue?

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    Replies
    1. It's not mentioned here to my recollection. I believe the bionic arm was an invention of Chris Claremont.

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  2. // Shaya and Ushas, together known as the Living Goddesses //

    No relation to Ego the Living Planet, the Living Tribunal, the Living Pharaoh (who became the Living Monolith), the Living Mummy, It the Living Colossus, or Morbius the Living Vampire.

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  3. Your link to this issue’s review from the Iron Fist master page goes to #19 instead, just FYI. And while I’m mentioning that: Clicking through the link at the very top of the list on said master page returns an error instead of (presumably) an introductory post. You’re welcome to delete this comment when you’ve fixed that stuff if you like.

    ReplyDelete