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The Immortal Iron Fist: The Last Iron Fist Story (Marvel Comics, 2006; #1-6)

We’re just a few days from Iron Fist’s Netflix debut.  What better time is there to talk about Iron Fist comics?

Set against the backdrop of the first Civil War, Brubaker and Fraction’s first story arc sees Danny Rand fending off Hydra’s assaults on both Iron Fist and Rand Industries.  To further complicate matters, Danny’s predecessor as champion of K’un-Lun has popped up.  Not only should this be impossible, but it’s messing with his mojo.

Combining Ed Brubaker’s talent for clear, specific character voices and Matt Fraction’s smarmy, harried sense of humor makes for an approachable Iron Fist.  Not only does it balance the serious and snarky sides of the character, but it would be an excellent introduction for a reader who doesn’t know much about him*.  The character development does not stop at Danny, either.  The previous Iron Fist and the Steel Serpent both get time in this arc.  Brubaker and Fraction also spend a little time in each issue introducing other Iron Fists throughout history.

This book has a huge art team, largely because of those historical flashbacks.  David Aja provides the bulk of the art, with a few pages per issue from various guest artists.  The variety those pages provide is fun, and the various artists and colorists who provide them do stellar work.  Aja’s work is always some of my favorite, and this title is no exception.  Between the fantasy elements and Hollingsworth’s muted-but-varied palette, Aja’s lines take on a different flavor than his other work like Hawkeye.  It’s looser, more organic—and a very natural style for the sense of motion that Iron Fist’s action requires.

I tend to bring up Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye run with some frequency.  The Immortal Iron Fist predates that book, but thanks to a couple of free issues I picked up on Comixology when I first started reading comics, it’s how I knew to pay attention to Hawkeye.  And, it adds Ed Brubaker to the equation, which is always a boon.  So if you find yourself looking for more Iron Fist after seeing the Netflix series, this run’s a no-brainer.

*If you want a darker, more serious take, Kaare Andrews’s Iron Fist: The Living Weapon is also a very strong standalone, but it trades away humor for a kung-fu revenge vibe.

Collected in

  • The Immortal Iron Fist, Vol. 1: The Last Iron Fist Story (#1-6, material from Civil War Choosing Sides #1)
  • The Immortal Iron Fist: The Complete Collection, Vol. 1 (#1-16, Annual #1,  Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall and the Green Mist of Death #1; Immortal Iron Fist: The Origin of Danny Rand #1; material from Civil War: Choosing Sides #1)


Writers: Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction | Artists: David Aja (1-6) with Travel Foreman & Derek Fridolfs (1-5), Russ Heath (3, 6), John Severin (2), Sal Buscema & Tom Palmer (2) | Colorists: Matt Hollingsworth (1-6) with Dean White (2), Laura Martin (6) | Letterer: Dave Lanphear | Covers: David Aja | Assistant Editor: Alejandro Arbona | Editor: Warren Simons


Art Ops: How to Start a Riot (Vertigo, 2015; #1-5)

Throwaways: Volume One (Image Comics, 2016; #1-4)