Review by: daccampo

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Avg Rating: 4.1
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Size: pages
Price: 3.99

Matt Fraction gets his pulp on for this Iron Fist special. And this pleases me greatly. Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall and the Green Mist of Death, follows the adventures of Orson Randall, the “Gold Age” Iron Fist. It’s a grand tale of adventure that allows Fraction to experiment with genres from Western to Crime to Horror, all in the context of this missing Golden Age legend straight from the pulps. Fraction’s supporting cast, featuring characters like Shadu the Shady,  recalls other fictional/historical characters from modern authors like Michael Chabon, Glen David Gold, or Paul Malmont.

I will say this: Fraction doesn’t handle this with the finesse of a Chabon or the sleek modernity of an author like Warren Ellis. It’s a fun romp, but it never fully settles into a deeper level of story. The adventure moves along in chapters defined by different artists, and while we come to understand the mystery and what’s at stake, it’s highly dependent on the current series, and serves as a weakness for an uninitiated reader. For this to truly work as a one-shot, the crux of the whole adventure, the conflict between Aman and Orson Randall, needed more room to breathe, to sink in more deeply, to create a deeper emotional resonance with the reader.

If you like one type of art, then this book may be a mixed bag for you. Because this special has it all. An “occult speakeasy” illustrated by Mike Allred. A western piece illustrated by Russ Heath. A moody horror piece illustrated by Lewis LaRosa and Stefano Gaudiano. Personally, I completely dug the mix of art styles, but they are definitely different. Even the colors are vastly different; the bright water colors of Heath’s western segment are sharply contrasted by  Matt Hollingsworth’s moody coloring in the horror segment.

Story: 3 - Good
Art: 4 - Very Good

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