Review: Iron Fist: the Living Weapon #1
The Immortal Iron Fist was one of the series that really got me into comics. I have an Iron Fist tattoo. So as you might guess, I was quite excited when I heard about the new Iron Fist series. Iron Fist: the Living Weapon is a great start to a new series and leaves me excited for future issues.
Kaare Kyle Andrews fits a surprising amount into one issue. Between the history lesson on how Danny became Iron Fist and how badly he has been doing recently, this issue could have been bogged down to the point where it became boring. What keeps it feeling like a brisk affair is Andrews pacing and use of space on the page. But more on the artwork later. As I’ve stated in numerous reviews for #1s, there needs to be a hook that brings readers back month. And with Marvel upping the price to $3.99 on a lot of books, that’s more important now than ever. The hook of Danny’s past coming back to haunt him is a great story beat for this type of character. I loved the idea that Danny’s life is crumbling around him yet he hooks onto his version of the past. His romanticized view of the past is ultimately hurting him in the present. In a way, it could be Andrews looking at the anticipation for the series and how comparing it to the past is a bad thing. Or I’m just looking for a metaphor where there isn’t one.
The Danny Rand we see here is a broken Danny. He’s troubled by what he has seen and all but given up on life. It’s a dark direction that seems odd at first given the previous volume of Iron Fist, but becomes clearer as the issue goes on. Kaare Kyle Andrews slowly layers Danny’s troubles in a way that the reader at first disagrees with his new attitude, but slowly comes to understand. We don’t necessarily like Danny as a person but see that he can come back from the cliff that his past has put him on. He’s that wounded puppy that we all want to save (which the girl he bangs calls him). It’s a very interesting position and one we haven’t seen for Danny in a recent comic.
Andrews’ artwork is simply beautiful. It invokes Aja’s work from the previous volume, but has a life of its own. The constant use of nine or ten panels to a page is an interesting choice that works well for the flashbacks. Andrews’ use of panel structure works surprisingly well given the limited color scheme that Andrews uses. There is only one instance where it is difficult to tell what is going on, but it’s explained in the words. Not major issue, but adding some light to one scene would have fixed this. I hope that Andrews had enough time to prepare for this series so the artwork can stay at this high of level. And while it doesn’t exactly bother me, I’d like to see the old Iron Fist symbol back instead of the new version.
Iron Fist: the Living Weapon #1 gets 4/5.
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