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Friday, August 24, 2007 

Creative Loafing didn't mention a certain thing about Iron Fist

Charlotte's Creative Loafing weekly reviewed an issue of The Immortal Iron Fist, but may have missed one little thing, and, I think I'm going to have to disagree with one other thing they say here:
The Deal: The Immortal Iron Fist chronicles the adventures of the superhero known as Iron Fist -- aka Daniel Rand (that's his secret identity). For all intents and purposes, this is a kung fu comic book. The character Iron Fist was created in the 1970s during the height of America's kung fu mania. He starred in his own short-lived series for a bit and years later became the co-star of Power-Man and Iron Fist, which was cancelled after 125 issues. After that book ended, Iron Fist bounced around the Marvel Universe for a while, starring in a few lackluster series here and there. No one seemed to know how to make the character work. This current comic -- The Immortal Iron Fist -- is the latest incarnation of an Iron Fist solo series.

The Good: Remember how I said, "No one seemed to know how to make the character work"? Well, that was true ... until now. Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker understand the appeal and unique qualities of Iron Fist. They've transformed a poor-man's Bruce Lee into a complex, interesting and multilayered character.
First, my dissent on their saying that Danny Rand is a "poor-man's Bruce Lee". He may have been inspired by B-movies, but that doesn't mean he's just some crum-bum character, for heaven's sake!

As for not knowing how to make Iron First work, they didn't mention it here, but Danny Rand was de-facto killed off for a few years in late 1986 at the end of Power Man and Iron Fist's run. (More on that can be found in Wikipedia's entry.) In the early 1990s, this was undone when it was discovered that it was really a doppelganger who'd died, and Rand was eventually found, rescued and brought back to continue his work as a crimefighter again. But you see, it's not like they actually did try to do anything with Iron Fist, since they'd de-facto killed him for a time!

Interesting how they say "cancelled after 125 issues" instead of saying that it ran for almost a decade, as it did. Surely that wouldn't be a better way of putting it?

As for the new series itself, I just hope this isn't a sign that something's wrong here:
For a comic starring a kung fu fighter, The Immortal Iron Fist sure doesn't feature much, well, fighting. I personally don't mind the dialogue, but a few more punches and kicks wouldn't hurt.
You can say that again. I hope they aren't succumbing to recent PC-madness by throwing out the action-adventure themes that made books like this work years before. That's something that tainted some, if not all, of J. Michael Straczynski's run on Amazing Spider-Man. And if it wasn't that, then it was just a whole lot of forced mystical elements that really didn't fit the tone of the book.

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