July 21, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: The Immortal Iron Fist The Complete Collection Volume 2

Finishing up the epic Iron Fist story, with a completely different creative team from the first volume.

The first collected edition of Marvel’s The Immoral Iron Fist featured a fantastic story from writers Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction, with appropriate artwork from David Aja (among others).  The story wasn’t quite complete, so it would obviously be handled in the second and final volume.

Why, then, was there a new creative team on the book?

To be fair, writer Duane Swierczynski and the various artists he works with aren’t bad.  They just aren’t as good as Brubaker, Fraction, and Aja.  It shows a bit.  It seems baffling, too, that Swierczynski is mostly finishing story arcs the other writers started.  At the end of Volume One, Danny Rand learned two things:  that there were eight, not seven, mystical cities, and every one of the 66 Iron Fists died or disappeared at the age of 33.  To make things more interesting, that book ended with Danny’s 33rd birthday.  I don’t know if that was the planned departure for Brubaker and Fraction, but Swierczynski (who’s done good work with Valiant’s Bloodshot) picks up the ball from there and runs with it.

It seems the eighth city was a form of Hell discovered by the leaders of K’un Lun and the other six cities, so they banished monsters and demons there through a portal that, except when opened, was only good one way or something.  An agent of that city is responsible for the death of every Iron Fist save one or two, and that death is part of a bigger ritual to devour the dragon egg in K’un Lun.  Danny is described by this agent as the weakest Iron Fist yet, but he does have some advantages in the form of his friends Luke Cage and Colleen Wing, plus longtime girlfriend Misty Knight, and the five other Immortal Weapons that accompanied him to New York to learn the secret of the eighth city.

Those five–Fat Cobra, Bride of the Nine Spiders, Dog Brother #1, Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter, and the Prince of Orphans–make for some colorful supporting characters, particularly Fat Cobra, who has had a very weird life.

Pictured: proof of Fat Cobra’s weird life.

But the problem is the series seems to be just playing with the toys left behind by the previous creative team.  It doesn’t work as well as the fantastic first volume.  I’m not sure I would recommend this one to anyone who isn’t a huge Iron Fist fan after reading the first volume.  I think I would have preferred Swiercszynski working his own story ideas rather than finish off someone else’s.  The other Immortal Weapons all got a special issue each included in this volume, which offers up some different story styles, but all things being equal, this volume is not essential reading after volume one.  It’s good, but it’s not as good as the other one.  Eight out of ten Iron Firsts of the future.