Iron Fist: The Living Weapon was a twelve issue series written and illustrated by the great Kaare Kyle Andrews back in 2014. Up until now, The Living Weapon had only been available in two separate volumes, but the series is now available in a collected trade paperback. Is it good?
Writer: Kaare Kyle Andrews
Artist: Kaare Kyle Andrews
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Andrews provides a complete Iron Fist storyline that appeals to both veteran fans of the character and newcomers that the Netflix series has drawn in. Living Weapon alludes to Rand’s origin story, but only emphasizes poignant events that are relevant to the current storyline that makes the novel new reader friendly without boring those familiar with it. The story begins with Danny lost in the regret of abandoning K’un Lun for the opportunity for revenge against Harold Meachum. But when K’un Lun is threatened by a familiar face, Danny must overcome his demons to save those he loves despite being cut off from his powers. Throughout the novel, Kaare attempts to define Danny by his humanity void of his mystical fists, which makes this story significant.
If you aren’t familiar with Andrews’ creative talent, do yourself a favor with a quick Google Image search. Known for his cover art, Andrews really comes into his own when he’s given an action-centric storyline which is exactly what Living Weapon is. Andrews delivers a unique aesthetic that makes gives the impression of worn, folded paper as you can see in the image below. Andrews has a knack for creating dynamic and high energy splashes that is essential for a series like Iron Fist and it’s certainly on display whether it’s a depiction of Danny fighting ninjas midair or sparring with a 1,000 foot God.
Andrews also does a great job unfolding the mystery of the K’un Lun threat and develops a balanced storyline incorporates new and familiar elements to the Iron Fist lore. Ironically, Danny is actually the least likeable character in the majority of the novel as he displays a bitter and cynical attitude following his poor life choices. This disposition lends itself to the storyline and both Rand’s internal and external struggle, but it’s certainly off-putting to fans of the character. While I enjoyed the majority of the story, the finale was a bit on the ridiculous side of the spectrum and lost me in its fantastical nature. Up until the final showdown, I was impressed with Andrews’ story weaving and would still recommend it to those interested.
Is It Good?
You want action? Do you want it portrayed by one of the best high-energy illustrators in the business? The Living Weapon is your answer. Conveniently collected in a single volume, Kaare Andrews’ complete Iron Fist graphic novel is a great addition to your collection whether it’s your first taste of Danny Rand or you’ve been a fan for years.