What happens when you agree to attend a kung fu tournament on a mysterious island with a random dude you just met in a bar? Danny Rand AKA the Iron Fist is about to find out!
The mystical city of K’un-Lun lies in ruins. The chi that fuels Danny Rand’s power is wavering. Can there be any future for the Iron Fist? Danny must push himself to the breaking point, finding rivals against whom he can prove his worth. But a bigger battle than he can handle may have just found him: On a mysterious island stand seven deadly kung fu masters. Can Danny run a gauntlet through all of them and regain his place in the world? As the game of death begins, the Iron Fist is in for the fights of his life – against the Serpent, the Wolf and more! As a dark history is revealed, the war for the chi of K’un-Lun is about to get very bloody! Collecting IRON FIST (2017) #1-5.
What’s the skinny?
Danny Rand has fallen on hard times. While away from K’un-Lun an unknown sequence of events led to the destruction of Danny’s beloved city. Not only is his home gone, but the Iron Fist has failed to fulfill his mission and ultimate purpose: protect K’un-Lun. To make matters even worse Danny has lost the ability to access that which gives him his power, the chi of Shou-Lao the undying. Our hero wanders aimlessly from street fight to street fight in a drunken stupor, looking for anything that will stop his connection to his power and heritage from slipping away.
Queue the appearance of random kung fu dude who knows all about Danny, K’un-Lun and his drunken wanderings. After a brief bar brawl Danny finds himself on his way to a mysterious island where he’ll face seven kung fu masters. The island is full of danger, mystery and a council of leaders who aren’t what they seem. Amid the flying fists and strangely unique opponents Danny will find a plot more treacherous than he could have ever imagined.
What’s the catch?
At the end of the book I was left feeling slightly unsatisfied with the conclusion between Danny and the primary antagonist. I have no doubt Danny will see this adversary again, but having said that I was still hoping for more than we got out of the final confrontation between the two. Basically the only negative here is this book left me with hunger for more out of several new characters, which can be a positive and a negative for Marvel as I’d like to read more books but I’m also bummed out exciting characters didn’t get more time in the spotlight.
Is it good?
Mike Perkins’ work is absolutely gorgeous and from start to finish he consistently delivered. Perkins incorporates a style that’s rich with heavy lines, deep shadows and gruesome scenes that worked perfectly with the dark tone of the story. The fight sequences were easily my favorite part of each issue. Not only were they drawn exceptionally well, but I also loved seeing all the wacky kung fu move names Brisson came up with being brought to life. I know the artist has done their job well when I find myself taking in the same panel several times over before moving on.
At its core this is a story of Danny Rand’s journey to rediscover his purpose in life after the destruction of K’un-Lun. Having failed to fulfill the primary directive of his station Danny will have to find out who he is without K’un-Lun and the chi of Shou-Lao the undying. While our hero struggles with an existential crisis he’ll have to battle his way through an island of kung fu masters that are hell bent on destroying Danny and the Rand legacy under the mantle of the Iron Fist. Ed Brisson pens his own chapter in the history of Iron Fist with unique ideas, exciting twists and interesting characters that build upon the existing mythos. This is a classic kung fu tale that showcases one of the best hand-to-hand fighters in the Marvel universe and also builds extensively on their origin story.