Essential Power Man and Iron Fist—Volume 1

essential power man and iron fist volume 1 cover
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 7/10

Fun characters, fun stories

Not enough super-villains, some bad issues

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Power Man and Iron Fist (Volume 1)

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Chris Claremont/Ed Hannigan/Mary Jo Duffy/Steve Grant

Artist:  John Byrne/Dan Green/Mike Zeck/Sal Buscema/Lee Elias/Trevor Von Eeden/Marie Severin/Steve Leialona/Kerry Gammill/D. Hands/Ricardo Villamonte

# of Issues:  25

Release Date:   2007

power man and iron fist #57 cover x-men

Power Man and Iron Fist (1) #57

Reprints Power Man and Iron Fist (1) #50-72 and #74-75 (April 1978-November 1981). Luke Cage and Danny Rand have decided to team-up and make Hero for Hire the best company they can. Frequently aided by Misty Knight and Colleen Wing, the Daughters of the Dragon, Power Man and Iron Fist are out to bust crime, one paycheck at a time. With the help of the X-Men and other big hitters, Power Man and Iron Fist face threat after threat, including Iron Fist’s old enemy Sabretooth.

Written by Chris Claremont, Ed Hannigan, Mary Jo Duffy, and Steve Grant, Essential Power Man and Iron Fist—Volume 1 is the kick-start to Power Man and Iron Fist comic. With Power Man and Iron Fist #50 (April 1978), the old Power Man title merged with the Iron Fist title to make one series rather than canceling it. The collection doesn’t include Power Man and Iron Fist #73 (September 1981) which had a crossover with the licensed Marvel character Rom which Marvel lost naming rights to but the issue can be picked up for a cheap price for completists.  The collection is reprinted in black-and-white and features art by John Byrne, Dan Green, Mike Zeck, Sal Buscema, Lee Elias, Trevor Von Eeden, Marie Severin, Steve Leialona, Kerry Gammill, D. Hands, and Ricardo Villamonte.  The Issues in this volume were also collected as part of Power Man and Iron Fist Epic Collection:  Heroes for Hire (Power Man and Iron Fist (1) #50-70) and Power Man and Iron Fist Epic Collection:  Revenge! (Power Man and Iron Fist (1) #71-72, 74-89).

Despite being a second tier series, I was always a fan of Power Man and Iron Fist. The individual series were ok, but combining them was genius. You took a brawler whose style is to bust-up whoever threatens him and put him with a skilled fighter who is about precision and inner balance (Archer and Armstrong by Valiant also used a similar format). It makes two people who would normally not be friends the best of friends and it is a friendship that has continued to this day (despite a “break-up” in the grungy ’90s).

power man and iron fist #75 cover

Power Man and Iron Fist (1) #75

The series also showed a spike in interest in the 1990s when Sabretooth became a big player in the X-Men titles. Power Man and Iron Fist always had a half-way alliance with the X-Men (Claremont often wrote Iron Fist and some of this series) and Misty Knight was Jean Grey’s roommate near the beginning of the “new” X-Men’s run. When Sabretooth surged in popularity, issues #66 (found here), #78 and #84 (which are collected in Essential Power Man and Iron Fist Volume 2) became big sellers for a time and were even reprinted in Sabretooth Classics, but since then, the prices have fallen.

Like Power Man however, the Heroes for Hire aspect of the story doesn’t work. Constantly, Power Man & Iron Fist pass-up their “for money” approach to do the right thing. Heroes for Hire is just a bad idea. Superheroes don’t rent out their powers, and in theory, they should be protecting the people who can’t afford to be protected.

Power Man and Iron Fist is a fun series and a fun concept. I recommend picking up this book for a fun read. It definitely has its own feel, but like all series, there are good issues and bad issues. It is unfortunate that the series suffers from a lack of real super-villains. The comic really needed some heavy hitters to help make it a success, still it must have been doing something right to run to Power Man and Iron Fist #125 (September 1986).


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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