I was a little worried going into this book. I've like Luke Cage in the modern comics for a while now, and had gotten introduced to he and Iron Fist as a team in some of the recent comics - first Earth's Mightiest Heroes and then Ultimate Spider-Man. So I figure, I like Luke Cage and I like the Heroes for Hire - I should give that dual book a go.
But reading older books with a modern frame of reference can be a little jarring, and I've had some trouble with these massive black-and-white reprints of older comics. I know not everyone has this issue, but I sometimes find them harder to follow than the full color counterparts. I was worried that might impact my enjoyment, since this was the first time the black-and-white omnibus was my *only* view into the series.
Turns out? No need to worry. Despite featuring a few different artists, everything was really easy to follow artistically. But the real gem here was the writing. Claremont was pretty good, but once Duffy got involved, I found I liked it even better.And while both heroes' pasts come back to haunt them in this collection, their friendship and their ability to work together despite massive differences broth professionally and socially held everything together.
This really is one of the best team-up superhero comics I've ever read. The character share the spotlight and the workload with a simple ease. It never feels like a character and their sidekick. It never feels like one of them could go it alone without the other. They don't always see eye-to-eye but they're always there for each other.
It's definitely not perfect. Some of the individual foes they face are a little less than fascinating, and they seem to sometimes have trouble deciding exactly how powerful Iron Fist's abilities are. And you may get a little tired of hearing both character's histories or find yourself unable to see the words "... like unto a thing of iron!" without cracking up. But if you're interested in these characters, its a pretty great read.