now id never read anything about these two in my youth. im not sure if id have been able to appreciate them back then. so picking this essential was a stab in the dark that paid off (unlike, say essential dazzler). ill also keep an "iron fist" count if that power appears in the issue and a "sweet christmas" count.
this one starts with issue 50 which is like a textbook case of what a 50th issue should be, a bit of story, a bit of character, and an all out battle royale with some fun baddies.
Luke cages party to celebrate his being found innocent of his crimes is crashed by the stilletto and discus. stilletto is a really interesting villain in that he sees himself as a vigilante out to kill the criminal powerman, but he uses reckless methods. also he is motivated by religeon as well making him a bit deeper than the average badguy. plus his gimick of firing blades from his arms is cool.
a really cool battle that guest stars misty knight and colleen wing and ranges along a snowcovered roof and an indoor swimming pool. powerman keeps an angry misty knight from shooting stilletto by blocking the bullet with his palm. so hardcore. 5 stars for this issue.
the iron fist: nope
sweet xmas: nope
a nice 3 part arc where the boys take on crimeboss morgan and the robots of deadly nightshade. some fun cliffhanger endings and nihtshade is fun but the robots do feel out of place in a street level type mag like this. 4 stars.
the iron fist: couple of times against robots
sweet xmas: on page one
a fun one off issue where the boys use some nice teamwork against a bank robber called the incinerator. i guess this issue is most important in that danny and luke official become the heroeS for hire with business cards and everything. a wow danny sure has a beautiful head of 70s hair. 3 stars.
the iron fist: yup
sweet x-mas:luke thinks it at least
another good 3 star issue. luke and danny are guarding a car show when an old captain america badguy and his gang tries to steal the fantasti car. nice use of an obscure villain.
the iron fist: nope, the bad guys had prepared for it nicely
sweet xmas: a sweet sister, no xmas
mary jo duffy takes over and she shows a real flair for writing the stars of the book. that said this arc is not great. it had a lot of promise with the boys taking on the living monolith, a tough giant villain, but the x-men get shoe-horned into a pointless guest star appearance (i guess they thought it would boost sales) but it is great the way the art shows the contrast between the heroes fighting styles. IFs elegant kung fu and PM barroom brawlers style. its a fun contrast.
the iron fist: to shatter a mini-pyramid
sweet xmas: dont think so
this issue brings on Al augila who will become a semi-regular character. he makes a great contrast to the idea of the heroes for hire, ie that they might wind up working for the wrong side due to the nature of their jobs. aguila is a swashbuckler in zorro style. fun, 4 stars.
the iron fist: nyet
sweet xmas:dont think so
wow. this ones called the big apple bomber. its not exciting on the traditional super hero level, but its pulse pounding excitement with one one fight between IF and his new sparing partner who ambushes him cato-style in his living room. it also has IFs great supporting cast of misty and colleen and a great character, a former IRA bomber called alan cavanagh. its so nice to have an irish character with an irish name that doesnt start with o'. he also doesnt speak in the stereotypical kevin o'brian iron man way with "the wee folk" and "top o the morning" nonsense.
the climax of IF and the girls getting caught on the top floor of a bombed skyscraper feels all too dramatic and real. luckily theres a great scene of luke arriving to save the day. 5 stars.
the iron fist: nope
sweet xmas: nein
continues from the last but tells a complete story. great character stuff with misty hating alan for being a bomber. luke stuffs a 70s pimp into a rubish bin. IF and PM fight it out with the Halwani embassy and cavanagh saves the day by chucking the bomb out the window (but funny he didnt check where he was throwing it. it couldve landed on the busy street or something.) 5 stars
the iron fist: to bust a safe
sweet xmas: didnt catch one
getting tired so ill head off to bed just as things are getting great:-(
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