Friday, January 31, 2014

Review # 96: "Immortal Iron Fist: The Complete Collection Vol. 1"

I am really hopeful the new Iron Fist Netflix series is a huge hit. I'm talking "needs a feature film" huge hit. Why? So Harrison Ford can have his last, big action film hurrah.

Introduced in "The Last Iron Fist Story" by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, David Aja, and many more artists, Orson Randall could never be played by any other actor. The character is Indiana Jones and Han Solo with a little Dr. Richard Kimble and a lot of kung fu mixed in. Nothing like a good blaster at your side, especially when it's TWO of them: revolvers with bullets focused by Iron Fist chi. How cool is that? I find it impossible to read Randall's dialogue without hearing it in Ford's voice. Plus, he's old! It could work!

But for now I'll just have to keep dreaming and enjoy this book. The entirety of Brubaker, Fraction and Aja's run is collected in "Immortal Iron Fist: The Complete Collection Vol. 1" which - much like many stories in the 00s - completely revamps the title character. Well, maybe that's going a bit too far. Danny Rand is very much the same person from start to finish, however the myth surrounding him changes greatly. Suddenly he's not just the Iron Fist, he's actually the 66th in a chain of defenders of the mythical city of K'un Lun. And, by the way, there are six other so-called "Cities of Heaven." When they all align with earth, each city's champion does battle with access to our planet on the line.

Great comic storylines are never that straightforward, so there are many complications in the mix. First, Danny's corporation is under siege by a Hyrda-aided financier who wants to destroy K'un Lun. A K'un Lun which, by the way, is on the brink of a revolution sparked by gender and technological oppression. Also, the classic villain Steel Serpent is out to kill Rand and Randall. Like a great episode of Seinfeld, all of these plots weave together beautifully towards a spectacular climax. It pulls all of the cities' champions together along with Rand's closest friends Luke Cage, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing: the former "Heroes for Hire."

Like most people, I came into this with very little knowledge of Iron Fist's history, but there's enough cues in there to realize how much of it is being celebrated. That goes for entirely new history, as well, as the stories about Randall taking in Danny's father, the latter's quest to become the new Iron Fist (which also involves Steel Serpent,) and the tales of those who previously held the title of Iron Fist are excellent. Some are brilliant in their simplicity. It gives the series a different vibe from your usual superpowered fare, turning it mythical. Hell, this series would work completely in that kind of a world (especially considering the only against-the-grain superpower - Luke Cage's unbreakable skin - really doesn't come into play at all.)

So, please do me a favour: if you have Netflix, watch the new "Iron Fist" show when it comes out. A lot. Harrison Ford doesn't have much time left.

Any you may want to buy this book, too.

Rating: 9.5/10

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