What Brubaker brings to his Marvel work is a retro vibe. His good comics feel like familiar seventies comics modernized. What Fraction brings is a smart blockbuster. His comics feel like big Hollywood movies written by John Sayles. Lots of set pieces, sure, but lots of humanity.
I’m not sure this issue is the perfect combination–I haven’t read seventies Iron Fist–but it sure seems like it. When the Heroes for Hire show up to save the day, when Danny and Misty reconcile in a sentence… it all feels like perfect Marvel Brubaker.
And the ending, when Orson sacrifices himself to give Danny the power to beat Davos–Steel Serpent, still not sure how it makes sense for him to have known about Orson but Danny never did (ah, the Brubaker retcon)–it works. Fraction makes the scene work. It’s not cheap, it’s not weak, it’s glorious.
The Last Iron Fist Story, Part 6; writers, Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction; artists, David Aja and Russ Heath; colorists, Matt Hollingsworth and Laura Martin; letterer, Dave Lanphear; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Warren Simons; publisher, Marvel Comics.