What connections does Iron Fist have with the Phoenix Force? New Avengers #25 explores this peculiar relationship that goes back centuries.
New Avengers #25
Hundreds of years ago, in the mystical land of K’un Lun, Master Yu Ti is haunted by prophetic nightmares of a flaming bird and a girl with hair crimson. The following days finds Yu Ti among his people searching for answers to the questions his dreams and visions are giving him. Finally, he finds the proverbial girl of his dreams and invites her back to his temple to be trained as the first Iron Fist K’un Lun has had in 75 years. In the present, keepers of a sacred scroll learn the secrets of that past encounter and they are to deliver a particular message to the Iron Fist of the present to do what he must or Earth will fall.
This issue might attract a little bit of ire from readers. First, readers who may read the X-Men titles trying out the Avengers books (like I have been trying out the X-Men books as an Avengers reader) will likely feel as if they were led astray from the AvX banner at the top of the book. Regular Avengers readers may be curious why there’s a break of any kind of true forward movement until the end. This has become a side effect of the dreaded “event fatigue”. Since events are so common place, particularly at Marvel, readers have come to expect, perhaps unfairly, to have every issue that has mentions the main event to directly mirror or add depth to the events of that main story.
That’s actually never been the case. Event tie-ins rarely ever truly, and directly, delved any deeper into the main story. They’ve always been satellite stories that would either add some extra depth to a storyline in the main title or simply show how other characters that were not main players are handling the larger issue at hand. This issue plays a little to both of those ideas.
Iron Fist is not really going to be one of the more major players of the Avengers Vs. X-Men story. He’s going to have stuff to do in the story, sure, but, in the course of plotting the main story, the writers behind AvX decided that he would bring Hope to K’un Lun. So, if he does that, why wouldn’t Brian Michael Bendis use The New Avengers to explain a little more about why he might do that? In the course of giving him that task, why not use this as a little bit of a “what if” type of story that adds the extra layer of the Iron Fist having a tie to the Phoenix Force? It’s something purists will likely buck, but the idea, for me at least, works. Why not add a little complexity? It may work in the long run, or it might fail, but, either way it gives us a little more to ponder as the story plays out.
When reading the issue, I found myself wondering where this was going, but by the end, I realized that Yu Ti, like anyone else who’s ever dealt with the Phoenix, or knew of its existence, is obsessed with what it is and what it means to the cosmos as a whole. Whether you fear or welcome the Phoenix, it’s importance is undeniable. Isn’t that basically what’s going on in the main AvX title anyway?
As with any issue of New Avengers, Mike Deodato and Will Conrad gives the book an absolutely unique and gorgeous look. Like Salvador Larroca’s Invincible Iron Man, I could stare at the art in this book for hours. Both books are wonderfully illustrated and makes it real difficult for anything else at Marvel to come close in comparison. This is a title that as soon as I see Deodato and Conrad on the cover, I know I’m in for a visual treat. Add to that Rain Beredo’s colors, and you positively cannot deny the beauty of each issue.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Cool story that goes back centuries to give Iron Fist something to do in the present. Gorgeous art from Deodato, Conrad, and Beredo.||Not exactly going to wow new readers wanting to read anything AvX related looking for more fights or purists who might bemoan the idea that K’un Lun has ever had contact with the Phoenix Force, but that didn’t bother me at all.|
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