Evil Geek Book Report – The Immortal Iron Fist, Vol. 1: The Last Iron Fist Story
While discussing the new Hawkeye series, I was asked if I had ever read the Immortal Iron Fist one from a few years ago. I hadn’t, beyond what the character looks like I didn’t know a damn thing about him. I was told that the series was the first pairing of Hawkeye’s creative team, Matt Fraction and Dave Aja with the addition of Ed Brubaker. A bit of a dream team of sorts for the medium. It seemed too damn good to be true. When I finally got around to picking it up, I absolutely devoured it.
It started with Iron Fist’s alter ego Danny Rand who is the head of the multimillion dollar Rand Enterprises (kind of a lame gimmick they forced on the character back in the day) meeting with the Wai Go Company to discuss creating electromagnetic trains for them in China. Rand refuses and Wai Go threatens to buy their company. Danny dons his Iron Fist costume and takes to the roof tops to investigate which looks and seems reminiscent to Daredevil (likely thanks to Brubaker) so much so that they homage a specific Daredevil panel. Iron Fist discovers that Wai Go is funded by and/or in cahoots with the terrorist organization HYRDA which is unfortunate timing as hundreds of troops descend on him.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Danny can feel his Iron Fist powers being tapped into (so to speak) that’s both debilitating him and freaking him the fuck out. Enter the interweaving story. We’ve be seeing as an older opium addicted man that is being hunted down starting in China but moving his way towards New York City. We soon find out he is Orson Randall, the previous Iron Fist during the 1920’s. He’s a serious badass; picture pretty much Iron Fist with guns. We see flashbacks throughout of him in the Iron Fist suit during WWI. He finally meets up with Danny to inform him that something big is coming.
This pretty much melts Danny’s brain, because up to this point he had thought he was the only Iron Fist. He trained in the mystical city of K’un-Lun as an outsider in his youth to earn the mantle. It turns out there has been a lengthy succession of them; he is in a long line of many. Throughout the book we see flashbacks of other previous Iron Fists throughout different time periods and locations around the world.
This is only the tip of the iceberg because HYDRA is now tracking both Danny and Orson and allied themselves with someone who has a personal vendetta against both Iron Fists. School’s back in session though, because Danny still has got a lot to learn about the history of the Iron Fist.
I tore through this book, I honestly couldn’t get enough. It’s expertly told with the present day Danny Rand story interwoven with scenes of the other people who were part of the line of Iron Fists throughout history, which was a real joy to see. Some of the best parts of the book delved into the history Danny Rand and his father as well. It’s almost an espionage story told through the lens of mystical Kung-Fu. I know that sounds crazy but it’s a great read and it’s a lot of fun. There’s more to the story but it would really be a disservice to ruin all the surprises for you ahead of time.
Aja’s art is perfect for this. It’s not as dry or uncomplicated as the Hawkeye series. It’s a little more contemporary but it fits the mood of the story perfectly. In fact, he draws Danny Rand and Clint Barton almost identical.
This series validated the character again for a more modern audience, but it’s a shame that it wasn’t long for this world. Iron Fist would soon be regulated to more of a background character as part of a team, suffering the same fate as Spider-Woman. That’s too bad, because in the right hands he’s an interesting character with a lot of great mythology to explore.
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Posted on August 22, 2013, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Reviews and tagged COMICS!, David Aja, Ed Brubaker, Evil Geek Book Reports, Iron Fist, Marvel, matt fraction, Orson Randall. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.