Shang Chi, the Master of Kung Fu, has been taken over by the powerful Seer, who has been paid to kill the Iron Fist. Shang is an even more skilled martial artist than Danny Rand himself, and this puts the Iron Fist in great danger of being killed by one of his oldest allies.
Danny must stop his friend from killing him and bring down the Seer if he hopes to survive the night. That’s not even mentioning the dozens of other brainwashed followers, called the Sight, which the Seer has at his disposal.
This is a high-octane and action-packed issue, as well it should be. Much of the run-time consists of the Iron Fist fighting off Shang-Chi, the Seer, and the Sight. It’s wall-to-wall martial arts action, including a magnificent two-page spread of the moves and blows exchanged by Danny Rand and Shang Chi.
Ed Brisson is talented when it comes to knowing when to let the story write itself, and he knows how to not overload the plot. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I’ve read a comic with as simple and straight a plot as this Iron Fist series. That’s not a bad thing either. Sometimes, a plot can just be that simple.
More importantly, Mr. Brisson knows when to just allow Mike Perkins to go hog-wild. That’s one of the things that has made this series work so well, and it’s a principle that works this issue too. Much of the story is just kung fu fighting, and it works. It looks awesome, the moves are elaborate, and the blows are impactful and kinetic. It’s a hell of a read, and the color art by Andy Troy is damn stellar. He knows how to light up a scene.
Sometimes, the simplest route is the best one. Iron Fist is a send-off to old martial arts movies, so make the plot an excuse to go from fight to fight. That’s not to say there is nothing deeper going on; Danny’s failing powers and confidence definitely runs through the background of the entire narrative. However, the Iron Fist Netflix series would have been wise to keep things this simple.
Pick this one up. It’s easily one of the best Marvel books on the stands.
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