Writer David Walker of Cyborg, Shaft, FURY: S.H.E.I.L.D, Secret Wars Battle World & Number 13 will team with artist Sanford Greene of Runaways, Uncanny Avengers, Wonder Girl & Sonic The Hedgehog for an ongoing Powerman & Iron Fist series at Marvel Comics. More details at Fast Company
With the awesome success of Marvel’s Daredevil series, and AKA Jessica Jones to follow it, Marvel and Netflix seem to have a boon on their hands. Luke Cage is cast for his own self-titled series. But before Marvel can bring them all together, they have to adapt their premier Kung Fu hero, Iron Fist.
Rumors have been swirling that Marvel doesn’t know how to adapt Iron Fist, given his mystical origin and the high level of action the character will demand. Iron Fist is the one I’m most anticipating, so I thought I’d give my thoughts on story, tone, casting, and how to make the Heroes for Hire duo work.
The beginning of a new year is often a time for reflecting on connections between past and present, allowing us to recall how we have reached our present point. After all, none of us exist in a vacuum. Whether it is through acceptance, rejection or (more likely) a complex combination of the two, who we are is a reaction to what has already passed. Comic books, with their never-ending narratives, are a good example of this principle. Each new creative team picks up where the previous left off, free to add, subtract or straight-up ignore as much as they (and/or editorial) desire. At the same time, regardless of how much alteration may occur, there remains a sense of continuation with the past, the impression each creator leaves on a character’s history.
Overview: In the premiere issue of the new Iron Fist ongoing Kaare Kyle Andrews wastes no time letting the audience know what kind of story this is going to be. Dynamic layouts, and a decidedly dark tone, make for a very different Danny Rand than many may remember. I thought Andrews did an amazing job on the artwork, and the story was good enough to pique my interest, so I’ll definitely check out the next installment.
Story: I felt like the story was pretty good. Andrews managed to set the tone of the series and give us some insight into Danny’s past. I expect for there to be a bit more specificity next issue, now that the initial set-up has been dealt with. I do feel like Andrews still has some work to do in regards to rounding out Danny as a character, but it’s only been one issue, and it was clear he wanted to focus on the feel and attitude of the book to start things off. I think based on this one issue that he has the potential to make this a very exciting book, and I hope he continues to grow as a storyteller and keep this title improving, because I find the premise intriguing and I want to see Danny use that damn iron fist more!
Art: One thing that was very impressive this issue was Andrews’ handle on layouts and visual storytelling. From his choices of giving the flashbacks a vintage look, down to seemingly crumpled paper and muted color tones, to his saturated color scheme and expressive inks during the action; Andrews NAILED it. I flipped through the book three or four times after reading it just to witness the frenzy again, and study the subtlety with which he controlled every moment and every panel. He used effective methods to convey the sudden change in tension halfway through, like showing Danny standing somberly by a window; only to then move into a close up of the girl in his apartment’s face as she screams “NO!!”, before jumping to a shot of Danny bursting through the window to take care of business. The art was exciting, the colors were extreme; pages full of red, white, and black–a favorite color scheme of mine– with occasional gray tones and flashes of orange and yellow when a helicopter explodes. If the story itself approaches the quality of the artwork, this will quickly become one of the best books at Marvel.
Conclusion: I really didn’t know what to expect from this, and I was pleasantly surprised to find an exciting book with strong potential. The poor side of me is bummed this book is 3.99, especially because I think Iron Fist might struggle to sell copies as is, and the higher price doesn’t help it’s chances. I do however think that Kaare Andrews is on to some thing here, and with a bit more meat to the story, and some fleshing out of Danny and an established supporting cast; this book could blow people away. What did you wonderful people think of Iron Fist? are you keen for more K’un Lun Kung-Fu? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!