IRON FIST: THE IMMORTAL WEAPON #1
Written by Kaare Andrews
Art by Kaare Andrews
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: April 9, 2014
I speak of thunder because this first issue is an action packed story that practically booms during the latter half, with action leaping from the page and hitting readers right between the eyes. Andrews’ stylized work gives this first issue a ton of energy and, as writer/artist on the book, there is an obvious synergy between the script and visuals. This is a dark look at Danny Rand, and some readers may find that jarring. There is no Zen here. There is no quipping with Luke Cage. There is no light. Andrews turns the rage dial to eleven and really zones in on the Iron Fist being a Living Weapon, and what that might entail. This issue stacks up with Moon Knight as far as intensity goes in All-New Marvel NOW! books and people reading that series will most likely enjoy this one. Andrews digs deep into the psyche of Danny Rand and heads immediately to his darkest hour, to the ghosts that haunt him, and how his past has brought him to this point. Andrews gives readers a solid mystery to chew on, we’ve got dangerous foes, cryptic messages and very few answers to fill in the blanks, which is perfect for a first issue. He sets a base for who his Danny Rand is, shows readers what he is capable of in his current state, and gives himself a very solid platform to work from going forward. With #1 Andrews has certainly set a precedent that this will be an action packed series dealing with some heavy aspects of his past, and that can only be a good thing.
Speaking of action, Andrews brings intensity and fire to the artwork in this comic with a style that feels like a mix of Grindhouse and 70s Kung-Fu films. The layouts used by Andrews and his skilled work showing Iron Fist in motion gives this comic an immense amount of energy and each page features dynamic elements that make the comic feel very fresh and alive. The colour palette Andrews uses throughout the issue gives the book a stark feeling, like darkness could envelope the entire story at any point, just as it is slowly consuming Danny Rand. Andrews does an excellent job of using his artwork to tell a lot of story. Being that he’s a one-man army with respect to telling this tale, he strikes a solid balance between scripting and letting the action do the talking. The stylized nature of this artwork may turn some people away from the story, as a matter of personal tastes, but his work suits the fluidity of Iron Fist’s martial arts well. Andrews throws down raw, gritty artwork that suits this darker take on Iron Fist perfectly, without changing the character completely. He infuses Danny Rand with immense power and grace all at once, and when that fist lights up readers are rewarded with some mind boggling panels that have sold me on this concept and this creator. This is an Iron Fist story I want to read, and I want to read it by the hand of Kaare Andrews.
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1 is perfectly embodied by it’s title. Andrews’ take on Danny Rand is dark and brooding, but not light on action by any means. This hyper-stylized book draws strength from electric pencils and colour work that set the mood brilliantly, and a mysterious tale that will hook you in and make you crave issue #2. All-New Marvel NOW! has ushered in some fantastic new titles, and Iron Fist: The Living Weapon is one of them.
The Verdict: 9.0/10