Grew up reading comic books in the 90's. Marvel fan at heart. Hulk, the Midnight Sons, and Marvel's cosmic universe are my favorites.
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Fresh on the heels of last week’s Netflix’s premiere of the Iron Fist television series, Marvel Comics unleashes Danny Rand’s latest solo series. Writer Ed Brisson along with artist Mike Perkins and colorist Andy Troy offer us the latest tale in the life of the Immortal Iron Fist. ComiConverse Contributor Mitch Nissen takes a look.
Review: Iron Fist #1
The last time Iron Fist was given a solo comic book series was back in 2014, a book simply titled Iron Fist: The Living Weapon. Written and drawn by Kaare Andrews, the series ran for twelve issues and acted as a pseudo death and rebirth of the character. It was Danny Rand‘s magnum opus. The book was highly stylized in its artistic style as well as hard hitting and intense.
Since then Danny Rand has appeared in numerous books here and there, most recently in the book Power Man and Iron Fist, still currently in publication. Some months back Marvel Comics announced that Kaare Andrews was crafting a sequel to his 2014 Iron Fist volume titled: The Living Weapons. As of yet there is no word regarding the state of this forthcoming book nor a release date.
While fans of Kaare Andrews eagerly await that book, Marvel offers us something else in the interim.
The Trial of the Seven Masters Part 1 or How Danny Got His Groove Back.
Danny has lost the power of the Iron Fist. His parents died so that his destiny as Iron Fist could be realized. The martial arts master of K’un Lun spent years training him, forging him into their immortal living weapon. Now, without the power of the Iron Fist, just who is Danny Rand? And how can he reignite the Iron Fist?
Danny has been searching the world for those answers. Traveling from country to country, Danny enters every shady underground fighting tournament he can find. Even without the power of the Iron Fist no fighter presents even the slightest of challenge. Then, in a dive bar in Vietnam, a stranger offers him a chance at finding the answers he seeks. Danny is invited to a mysterious island to compete in a martial arts tournament, one that promises to push him to his limits.
Simply titled Iron Fist, writer Ed Brisson presents us with an unusual Danny Rand. It’s a depowered and questioning Danny Rand. I regret to admit that I have not been following the Power Man and Iron Fist ongoing book. Whether or not that book sheds any light or not on where we find Danny at the beginning of this book I can’t say. But I can say that this setup isn’t entirely unfamiliar.
Kaare Andrews’ Iron Fist began with Danny also in a very dark place. Danny was trapped in the swells of anger and ultimately had to relearn what it meant to be the Iron Fist. Here Brisson presents us with a Rambo III like beginning with a touch of Ong Bak. The story of this first issue isn’t very substantial, but what issue #1 is nowadays? Brisson judiciously sets the stage for what looks like a forthcoming homage to the film Enter The Dragon.
I ask, what better place is there for a character like Iron Fist to be?
Now if only someone at Marvel would pit Iron Fist against Shang Chi…
My only nitpick is with the depowering of the hero. There’s no Iron Fist in Iron Fist? Really? What’s next, no magic in Doctor Strange? Oh wait…
How can I put this objectively? Mike Perkins art is awesome incarnate. A few months back I reviewed Gerry Conway and Mike Perkins’ run on Carnage, my first encounter with Perkins’ art. I became an instant fan. It may not have the distinct flavors of Kaare Andrews or David Aja’s art from previous Iron Fist books but I can say a solo Iron Fist book has never looked better. Unless your name is John Byrne.
Mike Perkins’ art and Andy Troy’s colors give the book a dark and gritty persona. The art contains a tortured realism which reinforces Ed Brisson’s story. The underground fight club sequences are short and a bit underwhelming dynamically but that choice appears deliberate. Towards the end of the book Perkins and Troy showcase a real fight complete with the names of the attacks in each panel a la Fraction, Brubaker, and Aja’s Immortal Iron Fist volume.
As a fan of Iron Fist, if I could ask anything of this creative team, I’d love to see the return of the other Immortal Weapons in some capacity.
If this first issue is merely a taste of what’s yet to come, Iron Fist is in good hands.
Ed Brisson’s story seems to be leading toward a path not to dissimilar from the film Enter The Dragon or the Tournament of the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven from the Fraction/Brubaker/Aja run. For a character like Iron Fist this prospect of a story feels perfect.
I haven’t been reading Iron Fist from the beginning, but I have been reading him for quite a while. Long enough to realize that Iron Fist is one of my top favorite Marvel characters and one of Marvel’s best kept secrets. It is my sincerest hope that Brisson, Perkins, and Troy’s take on the character succeeds.
From what this initial issue has given us, the book looks very promising.
What do you think of this new Iron Fist book? Let us know in the comments below!
Mitch Nissen is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @NinjaMitche
Danny Rand has lost the power of the Iron Fist in the new Marvel Comic by Ed Brisson, Mike Perkins, and Andy Troy. Dark, gritty, and hard hitting, this new volume of Iron Fist takes Danny Rand down a dark and violent path. This first issue shows a great deal of promise for the future.