Or – “Round Six!  Good Lord, Are They STILL Fighting?”

Iron Fist’s adventure in K’un Lun have been going on now for almost half a year, with twists and turns, the occasional backstab, and the debut of the sensational character find of 2007: Fat Cobra!  But as the mysteries and betrayals add up, and events gain momentum towards the end, I find myself just as riveted as I was when the whole thing began over six months ago… 

Previously, on Immortal Iron Fist:  The not-quite-every-century alignment of the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven creates a unique opportunity, wherein the seats of power and intellect interlock and the denizens of each city are allowed to interact and beat the living snot out of each other.  This time, however, things are more complicated, as Orson Randall’s daughter convinced Iron Fist that something is inherently wrong in K’un Lun.  Lei Kung, The Thunderer has raised an army of the oppressed women of the city, while Yu-Ti, the August Personage in Jade, is revealed to have been running the city as his own private fiefdom.  Of course, corruption runs rampant in ALL the Celestial Cities, and Iron Fist has pledged his assistance to none other than John Aman, the Price of Orphans, once Orson Randall’s greatest enemy.  While all this goes on in the city in the Heavens, back on Earth a nutjob named Xao has captured Iron Fist’s best friends (Luke Cage, Jeryn Hogarth, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing) and plans to tie them to the railroad tracks…  Well, actually to the TRAIN itself, which he will then crash through the dimensions, loaded with explosives, to destroy K’un Lun!

It’s kinda complicated…

Case in point, we start out with a flashback, as Wendell Rand (Iron Fist’s late father) races across the city of K’un Lun on his way to the portal that leads back to Earth.  He is confronted there by Lei Kung the Thunderer, who only wants to know one thing: Why?  Wendell pauses, and quietly admits, “I’m not the Iron Fist.  I had DOUBT in my heart…  I knew the showdown with the dragon would be my end.”  They silently face each other for a moment, as the shadow of Orson Randall falls across them both (figuratively speaking.)  Wendell leaves, and we cut to the same frozen mountains in the present day, as Jeryn Hogarth (Iron Fist’s lawyer and close friend) panicks that he’s going to be killed.  Luke Cage tries to calm him down, and a Hydra guard snaps, “SILENCE!”  “Shoot me,” fires back Luke hilariously, and keeps Jeryn talking.  Suddenly, the mysterious Mr. Xao arrives with Jeryn’s mother, and announces “Don’t worry, Mr. Hogarth…  She’s been well treated, and will be until midnight… when, if my train is not ready, I’m going to shoot her in front of you.”  He leaves, and Jeryn collapses, but Luke again intervenes.  “It’ll be okay,” he reassures, and Jeryn asks how he can be so sure.  “Danny has a plan,” Colleen Wing replies.  “Greeeaat. You know what the four more terrifying words in the English language are?” Jeryn asks.  “Danny has a plan.”   Heh…

Back in the mystical Nexus called the Heart of Heaven, Danny enters the temple to confront Yu-Ti.  He tells him calmly that he knows it all, about the gate to Earth, about the secret visits that Yu-Ti has been paying, and how his money funded the Rand family fortune.  “You.  IMPUDENT.  WHELP!” snarls the August Personage, and Iron Fist replies in kind.  “And you.  TYRANT.  You liar.  You PIG.  You spoiled BRAT!”  He lambasts the latest Yu-Ti, reminding him how his father was a compassionate ruler, a great man, and Yu-Ti himself is nothing but a criminal.  “Confess your sins,” offers Iron Fist, “and step down from your post.”  The August Personage refuses, and as Iron Fist leaves, he summons his Terror Priests, ordering them to destroy the Randall Gate to the real world.  Iron Fist and the Thunderer watch as the priests set off on their mission, and Lei Kung worries that they will succeed.  “Trust me,” says Danny.  “I have a plan.”  “Thos words do not exactly fill me with confidence,” replies his mentor…  Heh, again. 

Elsewhere in the city, the other immortal weapons (Fat Cobra, Dog Brother #1, Steel Phoenix, old whatsername and the other girl) drink and laugh together, sharing stories of their exploits.  The are suddenly joined by The Prince of Orphans, who has a proposition for them.  Work together, support Iron Fist’s cause, and save ALL their immortal cities from destruction.  Steel Phoenix stalks out in rage to confront his father, Lei Kung.  Swearing that it’s all a lie, he attacks his old man, is easily beaten.  In his defense, he did lose a hand in combat earlier in the day.  “For once in your life, son, ask yourself: How many more people can conspire endlessly against you?” asks the Thunderer.  He leaves, and Steel Phoenix is forced to confront the lies that encompass his life.  Years before, Wendell Rand travelled through the frozen wasteland, looking for his lost mentor.  What he finds is a shell of a man, strung out on opium, and finds that he still has love for the man who protected him, raised him for so long…  In the present, Mr. Xao prepares for his triumph, managing to open the portal to K’un Lun, and preparing his explosive train for takeoff.  “You know, Danny wanted this, right?” taunts Misty Knight.  “Danny wanted you to get in.”  Xao asks aloud why in the hell Iron Fist would want that, and turns to find the assembled immortal weapons stepping through the portal.  Iron Fist answers his question, with a dose of pure awesome.  “So WE can get out, you dumb son of a bitch.”

This issue really heated things up, bringing all the plot elements to a rapid boil and adding just a dash of character redemption for Steel Phoenix (the former Steel Serpent.)  Brubaker and Fraction nailed the plotting, and the characterization is awesome, with great moments for all.  Luke, Colleen and Misty are in rare form as they await the inevitable upshot, and the scene with the immortal weapons gives us some wonderful moments of Fat Cobra brilliance, but the main thing that really sells this issue is Iron Fist.  Danny is like Hannibal Smith, waiting for that moment where he can love the plan that’s coming together, even while everything seems to fall apart around him.  It’s nice to see him back in form, serene in the midst of even the madness that is the battleground in the Heart of Heaven.  David Aja’s art is as beautiful as ever, giving great expression to even the masked characters without cheating us on the kung fu…  I only hope that the new creative team, recently announced, can keep up the quality.  It’s a 5 out of 5 star effort all around, another winner from the best title Marvel puts out…


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Sanlear
    April 15, 2008 at 8:38 am — Reply

    “I only hope that the new creative team, recently announced, can keep up the quality.”

    I’m still in denial that the current team is leaving. I can only hope the same thing.

  2. Cory
    April 15, 2008 at 9:28 am — Reply

    I really love this series. I was apoplectic when it was announced that Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker would be leaving. Here was yet another title that Quesada seeks to ruin. If Quesada is so scatter-brained that he compulsively has to shift the creative teams off new and promising titles then how the hell can he expect people to become interested in any new series he’s trying to promote? Iron Fist was probably the ONLY new title by Marvel Comics that I have been consistently buying in 18 years!!!

    I strongly dislike the X-titles, I detest anything by Bendis, and the recent team on Iron Man is trying its best to copy Brubaker’s Captain America yet failing miserably. Yet when promising new series are introduced they’re cut-down faster than a sci-fi series on FOX. Newuniversal was supposed to be an ongoing series but Quesada made sure to fuck that one up. Immortal Iron Fist is universally recognized as Marvel’s best new series in decades, but then Quesada decides to remove the creative team that put it there.

    [Yes, I know Newuniversal returns for a 6 issue stint. It’s still not the same. Newuniversal was promoted as an ongoing series. This was yet another of Joe Quesada’s frequent LIES. So when eveyone is reading the hype coming out of COMICON this Summer, they’ll know to take everything Quesada says with a planet of salt.]

    I believe it’s time for Marvel Comics to FIRE Joe Quesada and Dan Buckley and whomever else is running Marvel Comics into the ground.

  3. Baal
    April 15, 2008 at 10:23 am — Reply

    Wow. That last post is more entertaining than the review.

  4. April 15, 2008 at 10:52 am — Reply

    I’m one of the regulars who has a fangasm each time Immortal Iron Fist is mentioned here on Major Spoilers, or anywhere for that matter. The final panel in which Danny Rand backed by his fellow Immortal Weapons & an army of ninjas is indeed pure awesome.

  5. Josh P.
    April 15, 2008 at 11:35 am — Reply

    It’s funny, but I think the only reason that Quesada would replace Fraction and Brubaker on Iron Fist is because they wanted to leave for whatever reason. It would then make sense that Aja would leave at the same time.

    If it has been reported elsewhere that Quesada replaced them to piss people off, please correct me.

    As for newUniversal, isn’t that just another case of Warren Ellis over extending himself and letting his Big Two workload slide?

    Seriously, I don’t always like Quesada’s editorially driven decisions, but the only times he’s replaced creative teams against their will is….I really can’t remember.

    He seems to get a lot of flak for not replacing creative teams when they’re running months behind though.

  6. April 15, 2008 at 7:44 pm — Reply


    Please stop with the character assassination. You don’t know any more than the rest of us about the inner workings of Joe Quesada’s brain.

    Wow. That last post is more entertaining than the review.

    Well, that wounds me more than you can ever know. :)

  7. Josh P.
    April 16, 2008 at 12:49 pm — Reply

    Entertaining like a car wreck.

  8. Kip
    April 16, 2008 at 11:33 pm — Reply

    Thanks for the review! It has certainly got me–an admitted DC fan–interested in reading IIF or for that matter, anything else with Fraction’s name on it ( anyone else notice his Eisner nomination? ).

    I have a friend that colors under exclusive contract for Marvel and asked him about how assignments are handled, does he pick what he wants to work on or what. Well, Joe Q ain’t the MAIN culprit here: the writers and artists can be very fickle and prone to creative burnout (need I say fill-in issue?) and often ask for new jobs in order to spark their juices. THESE ARE SENSITIVE AND MISUNDERSTOOD CREATIVE ARTISTS! hehe

    But seriously, editors and other administrators frequently ask or recommend certain talent for particular jobs because in their opinion it would sell well.

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