Or – “I Woulda Gotten Away With It, If Not For Those Meddling Immortal Weapons.”


Daniel Rand has been through hell…  Beaten, isolated, the brand of the Iron Fist flensed from his skin, he has still somehow managed to mobilize and reunite his fellow weapons, only to find himself faced with ANOTHER Iron Fist, this one the first of his line.  Can the latest bearer of the Iron Fist overcome the original champion of K’un Lun?  Or is the book of the Iron Fist about to get a new chapter?

Previously, on Immortal Iron Fist:  The city of K’un Lun is one of seven immortal cities, IF2.jpgeach with it’s own protector…  But the dark corners of myth and legend speak of an EIGHTH city, a lost city of corruption and evil, that can only be accessed through the combined powers of the immortal weapons of the other seven cities.  Traveling with his pals (minus Steel Phoenix, aka Davos, the schmuck who has tried to kill him for the pst 20 years) Danny found himself captured, forced to fight repeatedly for the amusement of a mysterious armored emperor, starved, tortured, isolated…  Yet, he still manages to communicate with his fellow Weapons (morse code dots and dashes in blood on the arena floor) and even makes contact with another prison who claims to be the FIRST Iron Fist.  Danny is stunned, however, when the mysterious emperor brings both himself and the other Fist out to the arena.  Seems that the emperor has figured out that they’ve been communicating, and now insists that the Fists fight to the death.  Danny isn’t willing to fight an old man, but sadly, his opponent has no compunctions about cracking HIS skull…

We open with an unread chapter of the earliest stories in the Book of the Iron Fist, the story that explains the lost 8th city.  Seems that even then, they knew that the gateway to the lost city was known to be a one-way entrance, so naturally, the rulers of K’un Lun chose to use it as a dumping ground for their various social detritus.  Through the power of the seven Immortal weapons, all those monsters that had been besieging the city were sent through the portal, and their Iron Fist went through as well to make sure that none came back to menace his home.  In the present, Danny Rand has realized what this Eighth City really is: Hell.  But even stranger is the fact that his opponent, while  a somewhat skilled combatant isn’t what he seems.  Were Luke Cage present, he might put it thusly:  “I know Iron Fist.  I worked with Iron Fist…  And you, sucker, ain’t no damn Iron Fist.  Christmas!” 

From the sidelines, the Prince of Orphans and the Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter put into motion a plan to distract their guard with her feminine wiles, and Danny easily defeats his opponent.  The ruler of the city calls for the killing blow, but Daniel snorts, “You want him dead?  YOU do it.”  The Daughter escapes, and quickly frees her cohorts, and Fat Cobra takes a moment to explain why their captors will rue the day.  “We’ve had time to heal…  And you’re not going to like it when WE touch YOU.”  Changming, the emperor, leas down to confront Iron Fist for his temerity, and his strike marks him for what he truly is: the actual first Iron Fist.  When Danny asks why he would turn on his people, Changming snarls, “I was the servent of the corrupt empire of K’un Lun, just like you.  They ABANDONED me!”  He strikes again, but is laid low by Fat Cobra (“DAAAAMN right!”) and the Immortal Weapons prepare to escape.  And since no one can tell who is innnocent and who is guilty, they’re taking everybody out of hell with them.  At the gate, Steel Phoenix prepares to greet what comes out of the lost dimension (with a rifle) and the evil ruler laughs that he will finally get back to wreak his vengeance on K’un Lun…

This was good…  A bit surprisingly good, actually.  The dialogue and interactions were nice, and the revelation that the First Fist ain’t no fist at all was well handled.  Danny manages to straddle a line between worldliness and tradition here in a way he hasn’t successfully done since Fraction and Brubaker left the book, and Travel Foreman’s art has settled down considerably (though Fat Cobra looks a bit like John Belushi, I don’t mind it very much at all.)  This issue is the best of Duane Swierczynski’s run, and I’m looking forward to the denoument of it all next time around, as well as some big changes reportedly in store for Iron Fist in the near future.  Immortal Iron Fist #25 nails an impressive 3.5 out of 5 stars, signalling what I hope is a return to monthly awesomeness for a book that does what every comic wants to: redefines the character without damaging that which has gone before.


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. MaximusRift
    April 26, 2009 at 10:44 am — Reply

    Of course there is some changes, it’s Dark Reign. Marvel has to make EVERY hero on earth misserable or they just aren’t doing their job. ;p

  2. ~wyntermute~
    April 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm — Reply

    “some big changes reportedly in store for Iron Fist in the near future.”

    Ut-oh. Man, next ish might be the perfect jumping-off point, in that case…. This “7(8!!) Cities of Heaven” storyline is one of my favorite reads in a _long_ time, but I’m just a big a Mortal Kombat (the movie) fan. There were moments in this issue, however, when the art was _not_ working for me… During the scene Matthew mentioned, when Daughter is macking on the demons, there were a couple of panels where it looked like she had some SERIOUS …. um, wow. I can’t even think of a polite way to put it… Looked like girl had a tummy covered with hair. Ick. :( Maybe demons dig that, however, I dunno. But there were a couple of other occasions where the artist’s shading/fill/lines were a little heavy/overdone for my tastes… When Fat Cobra delivers the “[…] We touch YOU!” line, I wasn’t 100% sure it was him.. All that shadow made me think John Aman was letting his freak flag fly…

  3. April 26, 2009 at 9:06 pm — Reply

    That’s actually the scene where I thought he looked like a disheveled John Belushi. Like I said, Travel’s work is BETTER than before, even though it’s not what I would have hoped. There’s still room for improvement, but the overall effect of the issue was a positive one.

  4. April 27, 2009 at 11:10 am — Reply

    I’m looking forward to the series of Immortal Weapon one shots that are planned for this summer. You can never have enough Fat Cobra

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