A.X.E.: Judgment Day has had its fair share of one-shot tie-in stories featuring a specific character, and Iron Fist gets a go this week. Essentially these tie-in stories have allowed creators to test the characters as they are judged by the Celestial, determining if everyone on Earth should live. High stakes and a chance to explore character is a good combo, and Alyssa Wong, Michael YG, and Marika Cresta get to test not one but two characters in A.X.E.: Iron Fist #1.
The two main characters in A.X.E.: Iron Fist #1 are Loki and Iron Fist, who are tested together partly due to simultaneously being in the same place. This issue opens when the two are facing off a giant dragon, then jumps back to “before” and then jumps again to “now.” This supplies enough context to understand where the story goes while setting up your interest.
It’s an exciting pairing to get Loki and Iron Fist interacting, which writer Wong captures well. Loki’s mischievous and a bit carefree, while Iron Fist is deadly serious. Wong takes the story in interesting directions, too, like a flashback to Loki as a child. Loki is written well throughout the issue and maybe even steals your attention. He’s a trickster for sure and delights in it, but he’s also having moments of clarity.
The only downside to characterization is how Iron Fist seems to be in a rage, or at least very intense, every step of the way. He gets a moment on the final page, but mostly he’s reacting to Loki or the situation rather than the story delving into his personality. He gets to show off his heroism, but mostly he’s running in one gear. But hell, there’s a scene with a bunch of hammers you won’t want to miss, so maybe it’s a wash!
YG and Marika Cresta share art duties and get to draw some epic stuff in this issue, like the Celestial attacking a commercial plane Loki and Iron Fist are on. This full-page splash is epic, with some of the best use of scale I’ve seen done in comics. Costuming also looks excellent throughout, with Iron Fist’s given proper movement and detail. The acting for Loki is top-notch, with various moments of confusion, worry, and even anguish.
Colors by Chris Sotomayor keep the book looking bright with a decidedly comic book feel. There are a lot of energy effects in this issue which offer up proper lighting and glow on characters. Volume on faces is always on point, creating a more dynamic look.
As far as this story ties into the event, it does its job. Both characters get judged and must undergo a trial as they are tested. At this stage, it’s a bit early to tell if either will matter in the event’s finale, but if you are even slightly interested in Loki or Iron First, give A.X.E.: Iron Fist #1 a shot.
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