IRON FIST #7
Writer: Ed Brisson
Penciller: Mike Perkins
Colorist: Andy Troy
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: 9/6/17
How do you wind down an Iron Fist arc? The answer is by ramping things up ten-fold and giving mindless creatures the kung fu skills of Shang-Chi. You also point out Danny Rand’s tendency to babble during a fight; don’t all supervillains and superheros babble to some extent? The end of the Seer arc is worthy of the Iron Fist and writer Ed Brisson. It was a job well done.
Plot: Our book opens with Shang-Chi standing over Iron Fist and the Seer standing off to the side commanding Shang-Chi to kill him. In Spider-man-like fashion, the Iron Fist tries to talk to Shang-Chi and convince his subconscious self to fight the Seer’s orders. This plan fails miserably and Rand is forced to fight Shang-Chi one-on-one. A fight he is unable to win until he convinces himself not to take it easy on Shang-Chi. He has to stop thinking of Shang-Chi as a friend and stop holding back. Once Rand does this, the fight between he and Shang-Chi is electric, literally. Realizing that Iron Fist may be up to the challenge, the Seer decides to change the odds by connecting the subconsciousness of the mindless ones with Shang-Chi so they all possess Shang-Chi’s level of fighting skills.
Rand runs, knowing that he doesn’t have the numbers to fight this battle. He is able to put some distance between himself and Shang-Chi because the mindless ones may have Shang-Chi’s ability but they don’t have is training. Soon Rand is surrounded and the Seer drops two semi-trucks on him. Though the semi-trucks landed on Danny, he destroys their beds, surprising the Seer and punching him in the face to try to break the connection. Rand calls Department H to clean up the mess, they take away the Seer and state they’ll make sure he never causes a problem for anyone down the line. They also clear the folks that were controlled by his mind and they make sure Shang-Chi is good to go. After joking about having his fill of kung fu, Iron Fist boards a jet to head home and find out who’s trying to kill him.
Story: Brisson delivered the kung fu throwdown, as Shang-Chi and Iron Fist put on a battle for the ages. We get about seven pages of Rand and Chi putting forth their best kung fu. No only did the epic throwdown deliver on the action front, they were also able to bring the arc’s story to a conclusion. The only miss in the story is that Brisson does not go in depth on the Seer’s backstory. The only motivations we discover are that he wanted it to be public and he wanted it to be big. While Brisson didn’t go in depth with the Seer or Choshin, the end of the book would lead one to believe that it’s only a matter of time before Choshin and Danny lock horns.
Brisson opted for an original storyline out of the gate. While I suggested that he borrow from Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker, this story acquitted itself well, and sets up a limitless future for the Iron Fist. It seems likely that Brisson will borrow, he already has, and when he does, it will likely be better than imagined. Iron Fist has down a style, now it’s up to the story-tellers to make sure the narrative jibes with the outstanding art. The beauty of having a character as entrenched as Iron Fist is in the mystical arts is being able to use things like Heavenly Cities and Immortal Weapons. I look forward to seeing Brisson’s additions to a very rich character.
Art: Mike Perkins and Andy Troy have nailed the imagery and mystical aspect of the Iron Fist. By now readers should realize that these two have familiarized themselves with the Iron Fist and believe in delivering art that long-time readers of the series will appreciate. It will also remind them of past books. Perkins and Troy really have Iron Fist down in an artistic sense.
That magic was on display in this issue of the Iron Fist when Shang-Chi and Rand battled for survival. While the overall settings were dark, gloomy, and were meant to portray a depressing setting, that was sharply contrasted by the fire and explosions during the fight scenes. The technique blends together the majority of the characters in each panel and allows the hero to stand out among the crowd in such a way that the eye can’t be drawn somewhere else. This makes for a more explosive showing of battle. In the end, part of what made this book so great was the artistic stylings of Perkins and Troy.
Verdict: The Danny Rand vs. Shang-Chi carrot wasn’t just dangled, it was dropped and fed the massive crowd. I love a well worked fight scene and love books that dedicate much of their inner space to the inevitable battle between two powers. Brisson, Perkins, and Troy showcased a little bit of everything in this arc and brought it home with a glorious fight between Iron Fist and Shang-Chi. This book was a success on many levels. I look forward to the future of the Iron Fist. — JW
Rating: 4/5 Stars