The Dig List: 8/1/07

The Immortal Iron Fist: The Last Iron Fist Story HC - Typically, smart comics don't have a lot of kicking, and comics with a lot of kicking aren't very smart. Well, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, David Aja, et al pretty much go all Reese's Peanut Butter Cup on our asses and smoosh the smart and the kicking together, and the end result is pretty excellent indeed. The main story - Iron Fist has to fend off Hydra in both his superhero and civilian identities while learning more about his legacy - is good enough, but the flashback tales to earlier wielders of the Iron Fist give the proceedings a very Starman "Times Past" vibe that it wears well. Plus, as I said, kicking. In the end, good enough that I actually think it's worthy of Marvel's overused and oft-abused "premiere hardcover" treatment.

Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 HC - I erred on the side of caution and got this from the library, since comics with a lot of hype usually end up disappointing me in the end (your Blankets, your American Born Chinese, and so on). But this, I have to say, was pretty good. And I generally have a pretty low tolerance for fantasy stories, too, but it really kept my interest. The world of the guardsmice was pretty fascinating, as there's really no aspect of their tiny existence that isn't fraught with danger, so watching the plot to tear down and reorder their society unfold really upped the threat level in an exciting way for me. And it certainly didn't hurt that the David Petersen's illustrations were so gorgeous. I was happy that the animals weren't cartoony, and actually looked real... well, the mice themselves might be dextrous talking mice who walk upright, but still. No one looked like they were going to break into songs by Phil Collins, Sting, or even Randy Newman, which would have been very easy to do here, and I appreciate the level of realism achieved. Could have been a bit longer - you could easily read this in one sitting - but on the whole, it's worth your time.

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