Or – “If They’re Immortal Weapons, How Come The Other Ones Are All Dead?”


Daniel Rand,  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.  More surprising than that is Danny’s discovery that he is not the ONLY Iron Fist in captivity…  Intrigued?  Click and read on!

IF2.jpgPreviously, on Immortal Iron Fist:  Danny Rand lived for many years as the living fist of K’un Lun before finding out that there weref  other cities, other champions, other living weapons as powerful as himself.  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.  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…  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.  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.  His servant rushes in, warning that something is happening with the gate into the beyond.  Davos realizes that this is a bad omen, and it indicates that he may have to once again battle against the Iron Fist.  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.  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.  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.  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.  The weapons create a plan to escape, only complicated by the fact that it’s essentially impossible.  Worst of all, it gets them discovered, and Iron Fist taken into custody by the ruler of the city.  “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.  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.  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!”  Danny refuses to fight an old man, but the older Iron Fist draws up his chi, and preapres to fight.  “Sorry, young Fist.  I’ve been waiting for this chance at freedom for TOO LONG…”

This is a good issue.  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.  I’m warming to Travel Foreman’s stylized art, and the dialogue is excellent (“I don’t care what you do to me.  Burn my chest, kiss my @$$…  but I am not fighting an old man.”) but what really sells the book for me are the flashbacks.  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.  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.  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.


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.

Previous post

Review: Ultimatum #3

Next post

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Sneak Peek: Season Finale


  1. March 20, 2009 at 9:15 am — Reply


    I don’t think he’s the Iron Fist that got away, but merely the first who “sacrificed” himself to close the portal between the 7 Capital Cities of Heaven and Hell. All of the Fists followed in his example of courage and selflessness. However, as it seems now he’s been tortured over the eons and is now an Immortal Weapon of Hell.

    I loved Bru, Fraction, & Aja’s initial run and for the most part, the new creative team is slowly winning me over. There have been some missteps (like the Iron Fist 3099), but as long as they allow Danny Rand to be snarky and have the most ass kickin’ costume in the MarvelU, it’s alright with me.

  2. March 20, 2009 at 10:00 am — Reply

    I liked the Iron Fist of 3099. In fact, I’ve liked everything Swierczynski has done so far. He made the transition from Fraction to himself pretty seamless, while being able to tell different kinds of stories.

    This is a great book, and probably my favorite at Marvel right now.

  3. Ricco
    March 20, 2009 at 10:04 am — Reply

    From what Davos and The Thunderer have said the story of the Iron Fist and the cities is a vast lie that was told to Danny and the other fists.For exemple Thunderer knew about the eigth City, the killer of Iron Fists and were the Rand fortune came from but never told Danny. For all we know the 7 weapons that were trapped in the 8th city were sacrificed/tricked by their leaders.

  4. Jim
    March 22, 2009 at 2:25 am — Reply

    It was tough to lose the intial creative team who totally kicked this series into a great realm. I wasn’t so into the new team’s first forays but Sweierczynski has been pretty good after a few initial missteps. The Orson Randall noir one-shot was especially terrific. Foreman will always suffer compared to Aja but he gets the job done. The Immortal Weapons are a big bonus draw on this book, in much the same way that Luke Cage, Misty and HFH crew were. I’d like to see this book continue to be as good as it has been, although the supernatural element sometimes stretches it a bit too far for my taste. I’d like Danny to be a more street-level super, IMO.

You know you have something to say, say it in the comment section