Or – “If They’re Immortal Weapons, How Come The Other Ones Are All Dead?”
Daniel Rand,Â the Iron Fist, and five of his fellow immortal weapons have breached the spaces between dimensions, and found the mysterious lost Eight City of Heaven, only to discover that even their superhuman combat skills and power up finishing moves aren’t enough to keep them from being imprisoned, tortured, and forced to fight over and over in ritual combat.Â More surprising than that is Danny’s discovery that he is not the ONLY Iron Fist in captivity…Â Intrigued?Â Click and read on!
Previously, on Immortal Iron Fist:Â Danny Rand lived for many years as the living fist of K’un Lun before finding out that there werefÂ Â other cities, other champions, other living weapons as powerful as himself.Â Having overthrown the corrupt city, killed the legendary killer of Iron Fists, and also joining the Avengers in his spare time, Iron Fist finally found his way to the lost EIGHTH city of heaven (by merging the powers of almost all the living weapons, leaving only Davos, the Steel Phoenix, behind) where they were promptly beaten up, beaten down, and forced to play endless rounds of LARP Mortal Kombat, and Scorpion always wins.Â Barely able to think, Danny is surprised to hear morse code coming from the cell next to his, a cell that has been inhabited for centuries by a man who claims that he and Danny have a lot in common…Â The prisoner claims that he is the original, the numero uno, the first bearer of the power of the Iron Fist!
Somewhere in the Himalayas, there is a bar, frequented by miners, monks, and the occasional lost traveller. remote and frozen, it stands as a rare bastion of human contact in a frozen wasteland.Â It is here that Davos the Steel Phoenix has chosen to hide out, keeping his strength up with what food they have and keeping his chi online by beating the crap out of the ocasional drunkard or group thereof.Â His servant rushes in, warning that something is happening with the gate into the beyond.Â Davos realizes that this is a bad omen, and it indicates that he may have to once again battle against the Iron Fist.Â In prison, Danny and the first Fist share their stories through Morse code, tapping through the cell walls to explain who they are and how they both arrived.Â Before he can hear the whole story, though, Iron Fist the younger is taken and thrown into battle against a monster that doubles in size with every strike.Â Using his strateegery, Danny lets the creature get huge, then slashes through it’s Achilles Tendon with a razor-hand technique.
The pool of blood gives Danny an idea, and he quickly leaves a message in the pools, allowing the various other weapons to get his message and communicate with one another.Â Travel Foreman does a lot of interesting things with this sequence, given Dog Brother #1 a great facial expression, and rendering a not-at-all sexy while half-naked Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter, which is not as ieasy as it might sound.Â The weapons create a plan to escape, only complicated by the fact that it’s essentially impossible.Â Worst of all, it gets them discovered, and Iron Fist taken into custody by the ruler of the city.Â “You and the others are plotting escape,” he says, and in my mind he sounds just like the old guy from Big Trouble in Little China.Â Danny laughs in his face, only to get hung up on MEATHOOKS, and the symbol of Shou Lao “flensed” (read: burned off) from his chest.Â Once back in his cell, Danny almost gets the secret of escape out of the original Fist before they’re both bundled into the arena. “I hereby declare… A DEATH MATCH!”Â Danny refuses to fight an old man, but the older Iron Fist draws up his chi, and preapres to fight.Â “Sorry, young Fist.Â I’ve been waiting for this chance at freedom for TOO LONG…”
This is a good issue.Â It may not be as good as the initial arc of the book, but it doesn’t suffer at all, bringing the clever, the funny, and even a kinda shock ending to the whole thing, as well as some shocking brutality that still works in the context.Â I’m warming to Travel Foreman’s stylized art, and the dialogue is excellent (“I don’t care what you do to me.Â Burn my chest, kiss my @$$…Â but I am not fighting an old man.”) but what really sells the book for me are the flashbacks.Â My only issue with all of this fooferaw comes in the fact that the previous arc flat out says “EVERY OTHER IRON FIST was murdered by this dragon-thingy,” and immediately afterwards we’re given one who got away.Â Yeah, the statement is hyperbole, and we’re dealing with centuries of history, but having the two moments appear so close together undermines the seamlessness of the history of the Iron Fist.Â Still, it’s not a deal-breaker for me, just a minor annoyance, allowing Immortal Iron Fist #23 to slip in under the wire and nail a 3.5 out of 5 star rating.