Let’s face it: I didn’t like the Netflix version of Iron Fist that much.
But what about a recent Marvel series, The Immortal Iron Fist? Co-written initially by Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker, with art by a number of talented pencilers (including Fraction’s Hawkeye collaborator David Aja), I read this large volume and thought, “I wish the Netflix show had been more like this.”
Wanna know why?
Here’s what this series did: it made Danny Rand a legacy hero. He was the 66th martial artist to be known as the Iron Fist, the Immortal Weapon of the city of K’un-L’un. There are a total of seven such heavenly cities sitting in some sort of other place that only lines up with the world as we know it every so many years, and every eighty-eight years, the seven cities can converge and have a massive martial arts tournament between their various immortal weapons which actually determines how often the winning city can converge with the Earth.
But what happens when the previous Iron Fist, a man long thought dead, a man who fought in the trenches of World War I, appears not looking too much older than Danny, knowing a few tricks involving chi manipulation of the Iron Fist itself that Danny’s never heard of, and who knows there’s something wrong in the world. He doesn’t want to fight Danny. He wants to teach him before it’s too late.
This volume was just a ton of fun from start to finish. Besides the standard guest appearances from Luke Cage, Misty Knight, and Colleen Wing, Danny meets up with a lot of weird and wonderful martial artists, Immortal Weapons like himself, as they take on treacherous others and the hordes of Hydra. There are flashbacks to previous Iron Fists, particularly Danny’s immediate predecessor Orson Randall, the “Golden Age Iron Fist” who had a series of what look like pulp adventures with a small team of helpers that included Danny’s father Wendell. This is Iron Fist as the hero of a martial arts epic, with all that those words imply.
I would highly recommend this book. Ten out of ten creepy spider women.