Power Man & Iron Fist Sweet Christmas Annual #1
Writer: David F. Walker
Artist: Scott Hepburn
Color Artist: Matt Milla
Review by: Vivek Kembaiyan
Sweet Christmas! This first Power Man & Iron Fist annual is aptly named. On Christmas Eve, Luke Cage, his daughter Danielle, and Danny Rand go shopping for the hottest new toy. But there’s something weird going on at the store. Hijinks ensue as Luke, Danny and Jessica Drew (Spider Woman) square off against a villain, with some help from unexpected quarters.
Scott Hepburn’s line art and Matt Milla’s colors work perfectly in this story. Hepburn deftly captures a wide range of emotions in adult and children alike throughout. He also makes full use of each panel, using action in the background to advance the story without distracting from what’s up front. The art team manages to strike the right tone on each page, whether they are showing the dreary wait in line to get into the store, a crying baby, or action-packed demon fights.
This issue brings home the true meaning of the holidays, which can get lost in the scramble over gifts or overlooked while our heads are stuck in screens. Series writer David F. Walker imbues the story with his trademark mix of political commentary, humor, and memorable character interactions. The book also benefits from a refreshing heart-to-heart between Luke and Jessica about the challenges of parenthood. And readers who are keeping track of Luke’s family-friendly curse-word substitutions throughout the series will pick up a couple more here. Walker hits all of the right beats, including some very appropriate cameos, for what should become a classic comic book Christmas story.
Verdict: Buy! Annuals can be hit-or-miss, but this one is completely on-point. It delivers on its promise of a holiday story worthy of Danny and Luke and the Sweet Christmas moniker.