Or – “Round Seven!  FIGHT!!!!”

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It’s all been building up to this… 

The Prince of Orphans!  The Daughters of The Dragon!  Lei Kung’s Secret Army!  Dog Brother #1!  The Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter!  The Hordes of Hydra!  The Bride of Nine Spiders! Luke “Sweet Christmas!” Cage!  Fat Cobra!  And that Iron Fist kid…

Know this, dear friends:  Heads will be BUSTED.

Previously, on Immortal Iron Fist:  K’un Lun is a city under siege, both literally and figuratively.  As the IF1.jpghordes of Hydra, led by the mysterious Mr. Xao, attempt to break through the dimensional void and attack the city from without, the selfish and short-sighted rule of Nu-An, the latest August Personage In Jade, threatens to destroy the city from within.  Iron Fist, with the assistance of the Prince of Orphans and Lei Kung the Thunderer, has finally found the truth about Nu-An’s corruption, and he and his fellow Immortal Weapons have thrown aside their competitiveness and banded together to save all the cities of Heaven.  Xao, for his part, has created a magnetic bullet train that he intends to fire at K’un Lun, loaded with enough explosives to atomize Denver, and finally gain his long-awaited revenge against Orson Randall.  Or something.  He’s an Olympic-class wackaloon, so his plan gets an ‘A’ for style, and an ‘F+’ for clearity.  Either way, Xao doesn’t take into account the fact that Danny Rand has a plan, and that plan hinges upon Xao opening the portal to Earth…  so that the collected Immortal Weapons can kick every @$$ in a thirteen-mile radius.

This issue starts out in the distant past, finally revealing what Wendell Rand did after he left K’un Lun so long ago:  He tracked down his “father,” Orson Randall.  Of course, what he found was a man so addled by opium that he nearly crushed Wendell’s wrist before recognizing his dear friend…  Wendell tells his former mentor that he actually came here thinking that he might kill Orson, and Randall wonders why.  “Because you poisoned my dreams, you bastard!” snarls Wendell.  “The only thing I ever wanted…  The only thing I ever asked for…”  Before he can finish, Orson interrupts him.  “…Was the thing you could never be.” 

Back in the Himalayas, Mr. Xao looks into his portal to the unknown, only to realize that another army stands looking back at him.  Iron Fist quickly assesses the situation, and sends the others to defeat the legions of Hydra.  “I’ll stop the train,” he John Waynes convincingly, wondering if he’s going to survive.    Before they can be herded onto the train, though, Luke Cage, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing make their move, cracking skull as a only a steel-hard hero, a cyborg sistah, and a samurai white chick can.  With his diversion firmly in place, Iron Fist begins channeling his chi, and trying to tap into the specific electromagnetic frequency that powers the levitating train.  “To allow my chi to flow into the massive current the train generates…  to get swept up into it’s undertow…  I am a human bullet!”  FIRE ME, BOY!!!  Danny’s powers kick in, and he flies on waves of EM force, impacting and shattering the oncoming train into a billion pieces.  Both sides of the conflict are taken aback, and Fat Cobra cheers Iron Fist’s heroic demise…  until the yellow masked man rises from the wreckage.  “If there is some kind of warped and twisted god you pray to, Xao,” intones the Iron Fist, “now would be the time to start.”  He’s hardcore!  He’s hardcore!

With Earth and K’un Lun bridged, the finishing moves start flying fast and furious!  VAULTING MANTIS SPINE-SNAP!  EXQUISITE SPEED RELEASE!  BLOOD-HUNGER’S BLADE!  THE STABBING NEWLYWED!  HELL’S UNFURLING HURRICANE!  CHEESE SAMMICH WITH EXTRA PICKLE…  OF DOOOM!  (One of those may, possibly, have been made up.)  While six of the Immortal Weapons fight, the seventh resolves to finally prove himself to the father with whom he never quite saw eye-to-eye.  Davos, the Steel Phoenix, finds and follows The August Personage, who intends to flee the city in a fit of cowardice.  Davos finally ends up on the right side of the fence, stopping the escaping ruler in his tracks.  “You may rule K’un Lun, but you’re not MY master.  And I’ll be cold in the ground before I call you “Yu-Ti…”  You’ll always be Nu-An to me.  You’ll always be a little WORM.”  He knocks “Yu-Ti” out, but is faced with Lei-Kung’s other child, the unnamed servant girl and her army of extradimensional women.  As Hydra’s mooks swarm into their city, Davos makes his first good decision in years, and fights alongside the Army of Thunder.

Topside, in the snow, Misty and Colleen have fought their way to where Xao’s men are holding Jeryn Hogarth’s (Iron Fist’s lawyer’s) mother.  The nameless goons threaten to kill the old woman, but Misty cooly stands her ground.  “You might manage to bring down one of us, or maybe even both of us.  But I promise you this… that before we die…  We will blind one of you.  We will kill two of you.  And three of you will never have children.  EVER.”  Daaayum.  Misty does good smack-talk.  Xao’s men choose the better part of valor, fleeing even as the battle rages on around them as, not far away, Iron Fist confronts the mysterious Mr. Xao on the edge of a cliff.  Fist tries to talk him down, advising him to give up, but Xao isn’t interested, stating only that he will be avenged.  Danny points out that there’s no one left to avenge him, but Xao smiles a smile that’s as crazy as a football bat…  “There is an eighth city, Daniel Rand.”  And with that revelation, he steps of the cliff, falling silently to his assumed death.  Flashback to Wendell and Orson, as Randall finally tells his adoptive son the truth:  he is not, and will never be Iron Fist.  The power of Shou Lao can sense like souls, and Wendell Rand isn’t worthy.  “The Iron Fist isn’t a gift, Wendell… It’s a curse.  A curse that’ll be passed on to your kid.  Your SON will be the Iron Fist, if you let him…” 

With the fight over, Lei Kung muses that they need a new August Personage, a leader worthy of the name.  “Master, isn’t it obvious?” Danny asks.  “It’s YOU.”  Danny then points out that his daughter will make a fine Thunderer, as well.  Just then, Lei Kung’s other child arrive, and throws himself on the mercy of the freshly minted leader of the city.  “I am a criminal… I am your prisoner…  I have done terrible, terrrible things.”  Lei Kung tells Davos to return with them to K’un Lun, and find his true destiny, watching over the egg that will rebirth Shou Lao the undying, the dragon who bears the power of the Iron Fist.  “You will protect her, until she need no such aid,” offers Lei Kung, as Davos agrees.  As for the Immortal Weapons, they find themselves confronted with a different “shining city”:  New York.

I’m not sure, but I think this may be Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction’s swan song on this book, but even if it isn’t, it’s a good way to end the sprawling saga of the Seven Cities.  Plus, Fat Cobra on Earth equals comedy gold.  Regular artist David Aja is MIA this time around, but the chores are ably picked up Tonci Zonjuic, Stefano Gaudiano, (who I think is the regular inker) Kano, (appropriate given the Mortal Kombat overtones of this storyline) and former Heroes for Hire penciller Clay Mann, who has the kind of cool name that only pro wrestlers and cartoon characters have.  I honestly didn’t realize that we weren’t looking at the regular artist at first, which is impressive in itself.  This is one of those rare books that balances character, continuity, action, emotion, and suspense, and really outdoes itself, becoming more than the sum of it’s parts.  Immortal Iron Fist #14 is that rarest of beasts, a 5 out of 5 star book, and maintains Danny Rand’s run as Marvel’s most quality book, an excellent read month in and month out.

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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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5 Comments

  1. Carswell
    May 10, 2008 at 10:40 pm — Reply

    I love me some Fat Cobra!

  2. May 11, 2008 at 11:45 am — Reply

    I can only hope that Marvel puts out that Immortal Weapons vs. Hydra splash in poster form. Absolutely fantastic, any by far my most favoritest move was Davos’ “Bastard’s Black Heartcrusher”.

    I agree even though Bru & Fraction still have 2 issues left on this title, this issue definitely felt like their swan song. I can only hope that we’ll see a series of one shots … or maybe an Immortal Weapons title as they make their home on our plane of existence.

    Immortal Iron Fist is indeed full of awesome.

  3. mosdef
    May 12, 2008 at 12:33 am — Reply

    i havent read this book ever, but i have heard nothing but praise. i cant wait till it comes out as a hardcover, and this was the funniets review yet!!! cyborg sistah lol, CHEESE SAMMICH WITH EXTRA PICKLES OF DOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!

  4. May 12, 2008 at 8:17 pm — Reply

    I really liked this book, and agree with most of what you said, but it felt a little anticlimactic. I mean, c’mon… anyone can beat up some Hydra sissies. The train punch was nice, but I really wanted more. Anyone else feel that?

  5. ~wyntermute~
    May 22, 2008 at 1:04 am — Reply

    this, and the whole “7 Cities” storyline, was TOTALLY five-snowflake material… Buuuuuuuut… I marked out hard for the first “Mortal Kombat” movie, so mebbe i’m a little bit biasededed…. (seriously though, the art was “artistic”, but still action packed. The story’s balance of “once upon a time” and “meanwhile, back in the now” was paced AMAZINGLY, and the characters were just gold. Add it all up, and that’s the best of the comic book medium.)

    three cheers for the Immortal JOHNNY CAAAAAAAAAAGE!!!!! ….

    er, sorry… i mean… the Immortal DANNY RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANND!! :D

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