By Ed Brisson, Mike Perkins, Andy Troy, VC’s Travis Lanham, Jeff Dekal
Danny Rand has finished his global adventuring and returned to his old stomping grounds in NYC, eager to rest and read over the Book of the Iron Fists tome to find a way to return to K’un Lun. Unfortunately, someone broke into his condo and stole it, right as Danny’s newest adversary has arrived in New York himself…One of my favorite things about this series, and this volume of Iron Fist, is the focus on Kung Fu fighting. While some issues give it more consideration than others (such as Danny and Shang Chi’s duel last issue), Ed Brisson leans heavily on it, and paces the stories appropriately. Iron Fist should be a character of action, as Chris Claremont and John Bryne depicted him in his first series in the mid 70’s.
It works to Iron Fist’s favor, as events keep progressing which maintains interest from the reader. One minute Danny’s fighting a mystical death cult with a hive mind, the next he’s searching for a rare book that a dead man stole from him. Danny needs to return to K’un Lun in order to regain his Iron Fist chi, as well as redeem himself for allowing the city to be attacked in Kaare Andrews’ previous run. It’s this motivation that drives him to ask Sabretooth for help tracking down the thief.
Mike Perkins has illustrated every issue of this series so far, which impresses me as I’m sure its still biweekly. On such a demanding schedule, it makes the quality of his art even more impactful. Its moody, engaging, and concise. It reminds me strongly of the imagery he drew in Marvel’s The Stand adaptation. Part of me also wonders if Perkins style here is a nod to David Aja’s striking work on the character in 2006. Nevertheless, Perkins makes the character’s world his own visually. Every panel is dripping with atmosphere, in no small part due to Andy Troy’s balancing pale blues and dull reds.
With the Legacy renumbering (moving the number in this volume from 8 to 73), I’m curious both as to the number of issues Marvel counted to reach that number and why Iron Fist has endured so long. There’s a three page mini story at the back of the issue, retelling Danny Rand’s origin and how he joined the new version of the Defenders. It’s a little unceremonious, and maybe out of place, since this series has been pretty self-contained aside from some residual threads from the previous run.
However, this issue has maintained the same vibe and energy from its debut a short time ago: an action-packed series about Kung Fu, and a man’s quest for redemption. Short, sweet, easy to remember. Easy qualifiers for This Week’s Finest.