Sunday, September 30, 2007

Josh Hechinger on Iron Fist (Comment Pull Quote from "Comics Out" this week)

[The nice thing about Fraction Brubaker and Aja's Iron Fist]:

It's less "everything you thought you knew about the character was wrong" and more "everything you forgot about the character was great".
[Matt Fraction has posted comments on this blog in the past -- maybe he will pick this up as a blurb or something. I like how your little comment is accurate, but it also captures something important about the philosophy of Fraction's work generally. "Let's have fun and tell good stories instead of hype-ing massive self-serious crossover events" seems to be his ethic].


marcwrz said...

That comment really, really does sum up the series. I love me some Iron Fist.

Morgan Jeske said...

Nail on the head all the way there. You get the sense reading his work that he is never talking down to the concept or nature of the material.
Fraction is probably my favorite writer of comics at the moment.

Marc Caputo said...

Josh's comment is definitely accurate, yet I fail to see how you make the leap you did. Fraction writes 2 other books for Marvel - Punisher War Journal (which I don't read) and The Order (which I do), both of which are borne of a "massive self-serious crossover event". Furthermore, Iron Fist began in the "Choosing Sides" one-shot Civil War tie-in, which is THE most cynical thing about these company-wide events.

So, Fraction may not be hyping them, but he sure is condoning them.

Also, until we get some statement of division of labor on the book (I've asked Fraction on his blog and got a vague answer. However, I've started an e-mail dialogue with David Aja and he claims Fraction is to be given more credit.), I'll still continue to believe that Fraction's responsible for the crazy ideas and some of the plotting, yes, but I'm sure that Brubaker's got SOMETHING to do with the quality.

Brian G said...

The Immortal Iron Fist is the best kung fu movie you never saw. It’s one of the few comics that lives up to my expectations every single time I open an issue. I think the beauty of the collaboration between Fraction and Aja seems to be that their both coming to the table with a lot of really amazing ideas in terms of sequential storytelling. I don’t think solely Aja is coming up with all the crazy panel layouts or the other way around and from reading a lot of Fraction and Brubaker’s other work, I feel confident that it’s not the case. It’s still interesting to think about though, I’d really love to read an Iron Fist script and compare it with Aja’s interpretation or any of the other artists. For instance on page 4 of issue 9, how much of the page layout and panel composition was called for in the script, and how much of the resulting sweetness was solely a result of Aja being a mad scientist with a pencil. There is so much cool stuff going on in the page, I especially like the small circular panels which draw focus to certain things and the 7th panel which has a panel inside of itself. In the end I just love it because it’s like nothing I’ve seen before. I also dug the hell out of the Annual, Fraction writing for Chaykin is just insane! Iron Fist is the shit because he’s a KUNG FU BILLIONAIRE!

James said...

I didn't get to the comic shop last week, and today there were sold out of Iron Fist and the Annual! Plus, blogger is in German for me lately and I don't know why! WHAT.

Josh Hechinger said...

It's not just Iron Fist either. With the exception of The Order (which I haven't read), all of Fraction's Marvel work seems to be about telling good stories with the characters he's given.

His Spider-Man Annual was all about why the Peter/MJ marriage works. Not just in an in-universe sense, but in a "look, there's perfectly good stories to be told with these two as is" sense.

Iron Fist is still a stand-up guy, a little bit naive, and always under the shadow of his magic kung-fu hometown. Bru and Fraction have just taken all that and run with it.

And Frank Castle is still very much The Punisher even when running into super-villains. Which is the black comedy goldmine that PWJ mines.

(And nothing to do with anything, but seeing my quote up there was a nice surprise. Thanks.)

Geoff Klock said...

Marc: but don't you think that the Inititave banner is just a marketing thing to sell books, rather than intrinsic to the way the books work. Don't you think if Civil War had not just ended the books would look basically the same.

I know I am probably being unfair with the division of labor on Iron Fist. When I see something I like I think of Fraction because I like Fraction's other work, and do not like what I have read of Brubaker. And I have said crazy good things about Aja many times, but you are right -- I should have said something about him here as well.

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