Written By David Walker
Art by Sanford Greene & Lee Loughridge
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 18, 2016

And in this issue I realized Tombstone talks in a Janet Jackson whisper.

Danny and Luke are trying their best to calm down their monstrous friend while getting cars tossed at them or tossed themselves. Black Mariah reveals another side of herself as she watches these two sides duke it out. Resolution, though, doesn’t come with punches and kicks, and friends get to walk away with new perspective and new alignments.

This is basically my favorite issue thus far. With plenty of real talk, comedy, and perfectly timed cultural references, Power Man and Iron Fist #4 definitely delivers. On its own, this issue is an exciting story that makes good use of all of its moving parts, but it was also a great ending to the first arc of the series.

David Walker shows that he knows how to pack an emotional punch. The prologue was jarring in its content and consequences, a story of abuse and how victims sometimes end up being punished. It also contributed to Jennie’s motivations and gave a reference point for the plot. I’m glad that the conversation and background between Black Mariah and Jennie was thorough and that Walker didn’t leave any stones unturned. This interaction was a nice change of pace for Black Mariah and added depth to her as a character. My absolute favorite part of Walker’s writing was Black Mariah’s names for Iron Fist, my favorite being Chakra Khan (though Hong Kong Phooey itself was laden with some interesting metaphors). Beyond these factors, Walker manages to keep a good pace for the story and work together many moving parts amidst the chaos of the overall plot.

If there was one word I’d apply to Sanford Greene in Power Man and Iron Fist #4, it’s deconstruction. There’s a ton of rubble, but there’s also an ordered chaos as Greene pays attention to a lot of detail without losing the flow of the action or overshadowing the characters. In one scene, Luke shields himself from a car and you’d think that Greene had built one because of how specific the debris was. Lee Loughridge comes in to provide nostalgia, warmth, and energy throughout the issue. The flashback scenes are my favorite because they provide a distinct context and contrast to the main events of the story. These scenes are softer, starkly different from their setting and the primary story, and they hold much of the emotional power of the issue. Within the larger story, Loughridge employs a watercolor effect for some of the backgrounds and works with a warm palette to drive home the vigor within much of this issue’s goings-on.

Power Man and Iron Fist #4 was excellently constructed. I saw something new in each part of the creative team that I hadn’t seen before and that made the story stand out. While a wrap-up of the first story for the series, on its own it works as an evocative piece that addresses themes of friendship and pain, portraying them visually with specificity and detail. If you’re a fan of Danny and Luke and the power of friendship, give this issue a spin.

The Verdict: 10/10


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