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Are you as pumped about the ancient Avengers as I am? Jason Aaron has teased the team and introduced the origin of Ghost Rider, but we have yet to see the team really catch fire and do their thing. It appears he’s slowly unveiling the team and in this week’s issue of Avengers, we get to find out where the original Iron Fist came from. Or at least, the Iron Fist who was part of the Avengers.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
Aaron is joined by Andrea Sorrentino this issue which is a great treat for fans of his visually arresting style. Given this is a poetic solo origin story he’s a great choice to carry the history of K’Un-Lun.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue introduces readers to Fan Fei who lives amongst the people of K’Un-Lun in the Lotus House. She is found teaching humans how to fight. She is condemned for doing this and she even asks herself why she helps the people. This story takes place 1 million years in the past before humanity even created a society and spoke a language. It’s a fascinating story due to it revealing how old K’Un-Lun is, but also how the Iron Fist was born. I won’t spoil it, but her violation is directly connected to the power and her journey after gaining it is intriguing.
As the story progresses Aaron reveals Fan Fei’s resolve and heroism. She fights beasts on Earth to protect humans and even encounters mystical enemies too. She keeps fighting because it is what she is good at, but also because there is nothing else to do. Aaron has her fight all sorts of things, but it is the beast near the end that drops quite a cliffhanger on the reader. We are witness to what is possibly the first threat the ancient Avengers must stop.
Sorrentino draws a great issue utilizing his symmetrical panel layout to please the eye. Clever use of bubbles draw the eye and the characters’ resolve is always sound. Near the end of the issue, there’s a fantastic full-page layout uses smaller panels to show the brutal beating Fan Fei endures helping to hammer home her hard choice that ends the issue.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
My one complaint is that there isn’t much to the main hero. She is resolute and heroic to be sure, but her drive and purpose seem a bit lost. She fights because she must, but the person underneath the Iron Fist is never revealed. She is your archetypal hero, maybe by design, but that makes her very simple and uninteresting. Her journey is compelling, but the woman underneath is yet to be revealed.
Is it good?
This issue continues to prove Aaron’s ancient Avengers are not only an intriguing new idea but a necessary one. The exploration of this team is exciting due to its ability to add a mythical nature to the mighty Avengers. Knowing Aaron he probably has this team’s future plotted for many trades and I for one will be ready and willing to read them all.
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