Wednesday, August 12, 2015

IRON FIST #11

”A FINE DAY’S DYING!”
Author: Chris Claremont | Artist: John Byrne | Inker: Dan Adkins
Letterer: John Costanza | Colorist: Don Warfield | Editor: Archie Goodwin

It’s a Monday in New York, the Big Apple sky as clear as it ever gets these days, the air brisk and cool, hinting at a winter lurking just around the corner.

Monday morning, and right off the bat, things are happening.


The Plot: Danny Rand meets Misty Knight and Colleen Wing at the Manhattan South Medical Complex. There, Misty reveals to Danny that her father has suffered severe brain damage from Angar’s mindstorm, and now lives in a haze of confusion, even believing Colleen is dead.

Danny and Misty leave Colleen to take a walk around the complex’s grounds. The Wrecking Crew appears in search of Doctor Donald Blake, a friend of Thor’s, to use as bait to lure the Thunder God into their clutches. But Misty and Iron Fist challenge the Crew instead. Meanwhile, aboard a tramp steamer en route to the U.S., Alan Cavenaugh suffers through nightmares about his past in the I.R.A. while a trio of men eavesdrop on him.

Back in New York, Thunderball captures Misty and Iron Fist is forced to bargain with the Wrecking Crew. He offers to break into Avengers Mansion for them and disable the alarms so the Crew can sneak in and wait to ambush Thor. Wrecker agrees to this plan and sends Iron Fist away on his sinister errand.

Continuity Notes: At the issue’s start, as Iron Fist travels to the medical center, he's observed by attorney Matt Murdock and his girlfriend, Heather Glenn, as well as Marvel staffers Jim Shooter and Roger Stern. At the hospital, Danny arrives just as Misty’s roommate, Jean Grey, is discharged in the care of her boyfriend, Scott Summers, following injuries sustained in X-MEN #101.


Footnotes remind readers that Colleen’s father faced Angar in issue 1 and that the mind-meld between Iron Fist and Colleen occurred in issue 6. (Though that second footnote mistakenly says issue 16, a milestone this series will never actually reach.)

There's a very odd two-page flashback when the Wrecking Crew appears. No character has the flashback; it's simply described by the omniscient narrator and seems to be an account of the Wrecker’s last couple appearances in DEFENDERS #19 and FANTASTIC FOUR #168, as well as some behind-the-scenes material showing how he reunited the Wrecking Crew.


One of the men spying on Alan, unseen from the reader’s perspective, is shown to play with a boomerang.


My Thoughts: Every great run has a dud here and there, and this story serves that purpose for the Claremont/Byrne IRON FIST. It's not a bad story, and the Wrecking Crew are fun villains – but it's kind of uninteresting. The weird mid-fight flashback nobody needed, the battle that lasts an entire issue and isn't very tense or entertaining… it's just boring.

That said, Byrne at least draws the heck out of this issue, as usual. His Wrecking Crew is a group of huge, imposing bruisers, and the action is fun to look at even if the overall fight is a snoozer.


The best parts of this issue are all the random cameos at the beginning. We have a pre-editor-in-chief Jim Shooter, which is fun to see (I think he was a proofreader or something at this point in time), and I'm always glad to see the seventies versions of the X-Men pop up, and it's interesting to chart their non-X-MEN guest/cameo appearances, as written by Claremont, during this period (there will be another before this series is over).

But overall, there's not much to say about this one. It's just… there. And, after the fun Golden Tigers storyline and the Master Khan epic that proceeded it, that's not enough.

2 comments:

  1. Shame this is such a dud; I've always liked the Wrecking Crew. I wouldn't want them headlining a major story, but they're great "before we get to the main villain" foils, or serve well as the villains of a story where the important stuff doesn't involve the specific battle of the hero vs. the villains (if that makes sense).

    I'm always glad to see the seventies versions of the X-Men pop up, and it's interesting to chart their non-X-MEN guest/cameo appearances, as written by Claremont, during this period

    Indeed. I had no idea this issue showed Jean getting discharged from the hospital after X-MEN #101. If I ever find a way to make an X-aminations book, this'll have to be one of the extras I slot into it.

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    1. Teebore -- "...the villains of a story where the important stuff doesn't involve the specific battle of the hero vs. the villains (if that makes sense)."

      It does. Some of the Wrecking Crew's defining appearances for me include SECRET WARS, where they're just sort of Dr. Doom's shock troops, and THUNDERBOLTS #1, where they're just there to make the new super-team look good.

      The X-Men connection is tenuous, but it's interesting to see them bounce around a bit like this. I talked a bit more about it in the IRON FIST 15 post that just went up today.

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