Former Iron Fist Orson Randall is in Hell fighting for his life and his soul. He’s signed up for a competition that consists of 24 fights in 24 hours. If he can win them all, then he will be allowed to walk once more among the living.
D’Kay is running the tournament on behalf of Mephisto, but he wants Danny Rand, the current Iron Fist, and Fat Cobra to join the fight as well. D’Kay is willing to make any ploy necessary to get the two warriors involved in the fight.
Bringing back Orson Randall is nice twist for this story. He was one of the best introductions in Ed Brubacker’s excellent Iron Fist series from the late-2000’s. This premise is straightforward and doesn’t do anything particularly unexpected. When D’Kay starts trying to convince Danny to join the tournament, you can pretty much guess which exact family member the demon is going to bring into this.
The pacing is a little slow and takes too long to explain its simple concept. As such, there are a couple of larger lulls in the comic where you’re left waiting for it to get to its point you caught onto from the get-go. Plus, Danny has nothing to do in most of it by design, so he and Fat Cobra are just milling about for much of the book.
That said, when it gets to the two major fight sequences in this comic, artist Damian Couceiro is up to the task of making them visually compelling, if oddly sequenced once or twice. His art style relies heavily on shadows to define the characters, leaving much of the comic looking gritty. It looks quite good and is well-suited to the premise, tone, and protagonist. Andy Troy uses washed-out palettes balanced by the flaming oranges and reds of the demonic settings and characters. The comic looks good.
Iron Fist #79 is slower than it needs to be and doesn’t throw any unexpected or fresh plot developments at the reader. That said, it is still fun, the characters are entertaining enough, and Couceiro and Troy make sure the comic, especially its fight sequences, look good. This one gets a recommendation, though it’s not required reading. Feel free to check it out though.
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