Iron Fist #2
Writer: Ed Brisson
Penciller: Mike Perkins
Colorist: Andy Troy
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: 4/05/17
Plot: Danny gets roped into a tournament of champions to see if he is still worthy of his title as Iron Fist. While winning will restore his chi, the islanders seem to have other plans in mind.
Story: Iron Fist really brings an interesting idea to the table right off the bat by putting Danny in a position that is unusual for the character. In the past, Danny has no problems channeling his chi and utilizing the powers of the Iron Fist to their maximum potential. Along with this, Danny, as a character, normally has a fun loving and carefree style because he is the top martial artist and fighter around. Iron Fist just completely throws the character out of his natural environment and back to a place where he has to focus and work to regain his chi, confidence and full powers.
Putting Danny into this contest of champions is pretty fun and brings things back to the basics. It’s a neat little arc to send the character through and gets more interesting by having all of these different houses, which add uniqueness by presenting Danny with different challenges. The idea really forces Danny to do some soul searching as the Iron Fist; the characters feels defeated and at a point where he no longer believes in himself or that he’s fully worthy of his title. The story brings a nice idea of redemption and rediscovery into its plot that feels like something appropriate for Danny to experience.
As Danny wins his first fight, the story closely focuses on him absorbing the chi out of the enemy fighter, like the islanders said would happen. While part of his reaction is definitely to illustrate the simple fact that they weren’t lying to him, it’s easy to feel through Brisson’s writing that the character experiences a type of reawakening.
Iron Fist without his chi is a pretty sad idea, so it’s unimaginable what Danny is feeling right now. His character is in a mundane state, but this fighting should be good for him, and as he continues to fight and absorb chi, it will hopefully allow the Iron Fist to also regain his confidence and style.
Art: The art in this book also does a nice job of expressing the emotion that is going through Danny. There is a bunch of awesome close up facial detail that communicates a great deal of turmoil. Mike Perkins does a really fantastic job with the facial expressions Danny has on throughout the story but also fills in the rest of the panel with amazing additive detail to give the scenes such a full feeling. Danny has noticeable facial scruff, as if to imply his lack of confidence and attitude has the titular character “letting himself go” as the phrase goes. The attention to detail is really nicely drawn and just provides a great extra feeling to each scene.
The detail in the art for Iron Fist also extends into the fighting scenes and background scenery. The martial arts action in the book provides some great action sequences that are really nice freeze frames. They show off the fighting foundation of the character and the book itself, once again, helping to take Iron Fist back to his roots.
Along with this, the scenery and background art is absolutely beautiful. Iron Fist takes place on an island setting, and Mike Perkins wastes no ability to show that off and fully use it to his advantage. There are great background color choices to display the time of day and also provide some amazing shadow colors as well. The island has so many different little niche settings and Perkins really brings a fresh take to each panel.
Verdict: Iron Fist presents a really cool premise that should be a lot of fun to watch grow going forward. The issue delivers an unseen Danny Rand who needs to regain his confidence and find himself. Brisson does a nice job with dialogue and communicating the character’s current state of mind while Perkins nails the artwork and echoes the story and writing.