This was one of my most difficult drops when I switched over to trades. I loved the first 10 or so issues of this book and the wait for this trade was rough. Now that I've read it, man, this is possibly one of the best comics of 2008. The core idea of a tournament of immortal weapon-champions facing off is awesome. The opening bout may have been the strongest as Iron Fist faced off against Fat Cobra. Naming the moves remains one of the coolest things about this comic, and Fat Cobra's were awesome. All of the champions are cool, but Fat Cobra and Dog Brother #1 are probably my two favorites, but there is potential with all of them. Bride of the 9 Spiders is creepy though... Je je je je. Mr. Xao was a good villain, but he couldn't really deliver a confrontation at the end, since physically he didn't bring a lot to the table, but at that point, things were wrapping up anyway. I also dug the use of Yu-Ti as a title with mortal men able to pervert the message of K'un L'un. I can appreciate the use of the Heroes for Hire in the story, but I almost would have preferred to have their pages be used for more immortal weapon story since those new characters are so tremendous. In fact, I had planned on skipping the trades after Brubaker and Fraction left the book, but if I need to pick up book 4 to find out more about the Eighth Capital City and get more on the weapons, I may just stay with the title.
David Aja's art is awesome. The tournament moves looked fantastic. The Prince of Orphans powers looked quite awesome. His battle with the Steel Phoenix was intense, as was Steel Phoenix's brutal match with Tiger's Beautiful Daughter.