Power Man and Iron Fist has been consistently one of the most fun comics to come out each month. So getting a double dose is always great, but to get perhaps one of the best titles for an extra-sized issue and this timely? That’s fantastic. But to get a comic that’s the gang versus Krampus, that’s a perfect idea. Now whether the execution hits the mark is a different matter altogether.
Now, that’s an easy answer: it does. While the Annual has nothing to do with the running arc of Luke and Danny versus the New Pride, that’s by no means a bad thing. The art of a one-shot story has been greatly underappreciated in an age where stories are multi-issue arcs written for the trade, and annuals can become more like anthologies nowadays. So a story that’s written by the series writer in an annual, but also allowed to be its own thing is a nice gift of sorts. It doesn’t hurt to have a story that’s the Heroes for Hire and the Son of Satan vs the Krampus, that’s just good sense. Walker, as always, grounds the plot in something simple: in this case the Spider-Woman and Luke’s shared parental trauma of having to indulge in Christmas norms whilst dealing with children wanting toys, and getting to see Danny be the cool uncle.
Scott Hepburn and Matt Milla also do a fantastic job of illustrating the issue. While it’s not the same as what Sanford Greene brings to the table, Hepburn is able to evoke the loose style that’s helped distinguish this book from its competitors. Milla similarly brings the wide range of colors that’s made Daredevil look so great recently, which is a boon given the issue’s Christmas from Hell plot. That said, this book is most definitely worth it as always, and for an extra-sized issue even moreso. So if you’re looking for a book that’s not welded to a crossover or long-running plot, and is just telling a fantastic story, you’re in for a treat.
Five out of Five Krampuses