It’s hard to tell if Kaare Andrews even likes Iron Fist, because he’s been putting the guy through hell ever since the first issue. From the graphic flashbacks of his parent’s death, the destruction of K’un Lun, and the brutal death of his former master, The Thunderer, Andrews has been breaking Danny Rand down layer after layer. So don’t expect anything different in this issue as we go further down the blood soaked path that’s packed with some of the best storytelling Iron Fist has received.
Andrews employs some Shaw Brothers type of brutality to Danny as his hands have been destroyed and he’s facing a creature that’s wearing his father’s face. Making this a two tier attack on both a physical and psychological level that establishes some very good character building along the way. Andrews also makes sure that the small supporting cast of Brenda and Pei are just as capable and fierce as they’re dealing with their pursuers.
Andrews continues to bring something new and refreshing to a character like Iron Fist who’s been around for some time. What’s refreshing is that he does this without retcons that erase years of history or just throwing in silly concepts. He introduces a new twist to the mythos, and we find out that defeating Shou-Lao isn’t the final test of the Iron Fist. It isn’t a forced plot element and he seamlessly fits it in during what are several pages of some of the best dialogue in this issue – referring to the traditions of K’un Lun, the place of women in their society, as well as just a great interaction with some bullies. Andrews then brings this all back to what is one intense meeting between a young Danny and his destiny.
When it comes to the artwork, Andrews is just as proficient with his visual storytelling as with the written story. So if you were enjoying it in the first issue then you have nothing to worry about here. Just look at that cover because that’s NOT an exaggeration of what happens to our hero here. The action is brutal and ugly in a way that makes you wince and feel Danny’s pain. The noticeable palette change for the flashbacks is a really nice touch that makes those scenes look like kung fu movies from the 70s. It did take a minute or two to take in the visual design of the villain here, because he or it is such a huge monstrosity that has so many parts things get a bit confusing. However, that may be the idea behind this creature and that’s okay.
Anyone who is a fan of Iron Fist should be reading this just for the mere fact that Andrews is doing something fantastic with this character and making him feel new all over again.
Till next time!