Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Top Ten Tuesdays - 10 Reasons Iron Fist Needs His Ongoing Back

I miss Iron Fist. It was one of the few titles on my pull list that was guaranteed to make me smile but it’s been nearly a year since that title has shipped. Sure, we got those Immortal Weapons one-shots, and I did like a fair bit of the stuff presented in them, but they don’t replace the Iron Fist ongoing that has left a gap in my heart. I could think of nothing better than having Iron Fist relaunch in the near future and here are ten reasons why that should happen.

#1 - Steel Serpent

Every good hero needs an even better nemesis and Iron Fist had Davos, the Steel Serpent. He was bigger, stronger, and wore purple instead of the yellow and green garb of Danny Rand. Davos was a lost soul who just needed a massive hug and a friend to take him out every once in a while. He didn’t quite get that but he did eventually find his place in the world by the end of the Brubaker/Fraction run. Now, he’s an interesting character who can really be mined to do some very cool things. He’s still got the heavenly city of K’un L’un under his control and he’s got a fist made of pure chi. I’d love to see him come back in some kick ass spy fu tale. Preferably, I think Davos could, or should, carry his own mini, but I'd settle for him doing his business as a more active cast member within Rand's title. He's drastically underused and he could be so much more.

#2 - The Costume

It’s a look steeped in the idea of what white guys in the 70’s thought kung fu looked like. He’s got an insanely bright yellow and green theme running that is maybe designed to blind his opponents. The shirt doesn’t even button together, he just leaves it open to show off his wicked chest tat he got from bear hugging Shou Lou the Undying, a massive dragon of power in K’un L’un. I don’t know if he’s paying homage to his origins or just getting his ab monkey on but either way it’s a look definitely reading to live on in this post-New Moon world. There’s a sash around the waist that channels his Ms Marvel side. The mask gives his head a sleek look but still shows off the manly stubble. Then there’s the booties, a constant area of scorn so I won’t even try here, I’d rather focus on the collar that blocks more peripheral vision that War Machine’s massive shoulder cannons. The whole ensemble is a bit goonie.

However, under David Aja’s studied eye, Rand suddenly re-emerged as a fashion icon to be heralded. He ditched the collar, and the top in general, and just kicked it in pants of fu and fists of fury. It was a great reinterpretation and one I think reads as a lot more user friendly and not so ridiculous.

#3 - The Fu

There are only so many kung fu characters within the Marvel U. Out of all of them, Iron Fist is quite possibly the best, and according the Marvel.com he is the greatest martial artist in the Marvel U, so who am I to even think of disagreeing with the company line. So, if we headline with the greatest practiser of the mystic arts then we can have a few of the others on the list spotlight guest in stories and arcs. Who doesn’t want a place for Shang-Chi and Elektra to appear and get their feet into a few nasty faces? The other Marvel titles spotlight brains and mechanical suits and the ability to fly or lift cars or stretch, so I’d like just this one title that gives me my monthly dosage of the mighty Fu. Not to mention a fu that can be channelled into a fist, or even bullets.

#4 - The Other Immortal Weapons

One of the big reasons that the relaunch of Iron Fist worked was because Brubaker and Fraction expanded the scope and cast of the title. Instead of just being one guy with a few friends he became the central figure of a mythological cast and within a dense and insanely awesome tapestry of a vista taking in new heavenly cities and a warrior for each one. Fans instantly warmed to the wenching ways of Fat Cobra but the Prince of Orphans would soon take on a much larger role within the overall story. Personally, I liked them all as an ensemble; there was enough variety that you constantly had something to appreciate. Now, they’re simply left off the map, unused characters in need of a home. Iron Fist and Friends would be a certainty to make my pull list.

#5 - Misty Got Pregnant

At the end of Duane Swierczynski’s run on Iron Fist a major bombshell was dropped on us and Danny Rand. He had recently been united with his old paramour, Misty Knight. It was exciting to see her back in use, and especially in partnership with Rand. She’s a fun and sexy character with a resourceful mindset and skill set. She’s an ex-cop with a bionic arm who still sports a decent afro and has wholly been able to win the heart of her kung fu man. And then she announced to him that she was pregnant. It was a chance to expand and progress the character to a completely new place, and a great match as old Iron Fist partner, Luke Cage, has also just had a kid of his own. They’re both about to go through fatherhood at the same time and this could seriously bring these two friends closer together.

I’d also like to see Danny and Misty hanging out in a backyard, bbq in the background, a beer in hand while the kid wanders around on the grass with the child of Cage and Jessica Jones. Imagine the banter and the kiddie adventures. It would be golden.

#6 - HYDRA

Throughout Iron Fist’s history there have been a pretty fair share of goonie bad guys. But to be fair, it was the 70’s and 80’s and even Cap fought Batroc and Daredevil was challenged by Mad Cap. There have been crappy villains for every awesome good guy but Iron Fist was blessed with a pretty ordinary rogue’s gallery, if you could even call it that. He got to stouche with Steel Serpent, which I’ll always be thankful for, and then he had HYDRA come after him and his homeland. I love HYDRA, many will know, but I especially loved them when they went after Rand Industries. And David Aja drew them. HYDRA became dark and seedy and very very cool. I’d like to see Iron Fist really take his fight back to HYDRA and bust some heads and some Mechagorgons. It’ll remain a little dream of mine, but I know one day. Oh yes, one day.

#7 - The Moves

No one else fights like Iron Fist, and the other Immortal Weapons. Kung fu is a particular style on its own but when infused with the mystical ways of a heavenly city then what you are left with is something truly fantastic. Watching the Immortal Weapons in the tournament of the heavenly cities was a true delight. Where else in the Marvel U can you see, and have detailed, different fighters exercising their abilities to execute moves like; the cudgel of misfortune, the burning chi thunderfoot, or the devil’s skullcrusher? I miss those moves, watching and reading them, and as much as I would like to see them turn up somewhere else, anywhere, I would most like to see Iron Fist and Friends dropping knowledge on some bad guys in this way.

#8 - The Bromance

Luke Cage and Iron Fist shared a title for 75 issues, and change, and now they only get to hang out in varied Avenger hideouts and we never get the touch of bromance that was so strongly developed throughout so many years of living together above that movie theatre and charged hot cash for their good deeds. Luke Cage and Danny Rand were the original odd couple, one born and bred on the streets of the Bronx, while the other found his tutelage in the mystical heavenly city of K’un L’un. One has unbreakable skin and massive strength and the other can charge his chi into his fists and bring down Helicarriers. I want a road trip with Cage and Rand and I want them to fall back in love with each other, in that bromantic way that made them one of the guiltiest pleasures for years.

#9 - David Aja Art

David Aja burst onto the scene with the relaunch of the Iron Fist title and he instantly wowed the crowds, from the snobs to those in the cheap seats. He is an amazing artist and yet he did struggle to keep up with the monthly schedule. A variety of fill in artists brought us the flashback pages so that Aja could get away with doing less than 22 pages a month and still have the comic ship on time. To be honest, I didn’t even mind. It was worth a few fill in pages to get the main story through Aja’s beautiful vision. He structures a fight and a page spectacularly well and I cannot understand how he’s only done fill in issues since he left Iron Fist. It’s a true shame that he hasn’t been placed on a title to keep bringing us some great pages. When Aja left, Travel Foreman took over duties and sadly it was a big step down. There was a noticeable difference in quality and scope and I know that bringing Iron Fist back doesn’t guarantee a return of Aja as well, but one can always hope. This was always be a dream to see a reunion, even if it is with a completely different writer. However, if we couldn't get Aja back I'd gladly take Ryan Stegman as the man behind the pencil.

#10 - To Prepare For A Movie

Marvel is churning out a stack of high quality movies now through their own flick production company. The big guns of the Avengers are getting the treatment now but it was rumoured that Marvel were letting some other directors and writers pitch to take on the burden of a flick for a lower tier Marvel character. Iron Fist is certainly of a lower tier, I admit, and he’d also make a really kick ass flick if done right and passionately. The origin is a bit muck-mouthed at times but if you rework it just right then, and then you make with the fu. You put Rand on the streets, you keep Misty Knight, you hold off on the Cage element until the final frame, and you get Rand kicking some low-level HYDRA ass and the Steel Serpent making his way back to get some revenge, which you constantly show us through flashbacks of the origin. This movie could be dominant and I constantly cross my fingers because with it would be a new launch and that is ultimately what I’m hanging out for.


One day, my friends, one day the fu of the chi shall return. And when it does, what will you think? Do you want Iron Fist to return, and if so what would you be looking for from a new series?

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mrpeepants said...

I'm currently playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 right now. I thought how cool it was that Iron Fist was playable in game and how its a shame that he doesn't have an ongoing. If it weren't for his series to be well received at the time of the game release he might have not been included. Seeing him in the game also reminded me of David Aja. thumbs up to his art.

Anonymous said...

Kill the word "Bromance" Please.

Anonymous said...

The one reason Iron Fist won't come back: sales.

Anonymous said...

Uttam Narasimhan

Another Marvel post, along witht the Thanos and cover of the week...

I wonder how long will it take for a "How much do you hate DC" post appears up here

Ethereal said...

I miss IF too. I think Shadowland would be alot better if there was still an IF ongoing. Maybe they can give him to Hickman after Shield and Secret Warriors finishes up. They could probably give it to Diggle, too, once Shadowland finishes up.

Ivan said...

All this complainers better be buying - and enjoying - The Rise of Arsenal.

Ivan said...


Anonymous said...

yeah, better be buying Red Hulk and Hulked out Heroes

OOOpsie ! =)

forrest said...

I can't even tell if these anonymous guys are serious anymore.

Here's a simple tip for you, Mr.Mous. If you don't like Marvel, don't read a post about Marvel! It really should be common sense! I don't like gay porn, but I'm not going to watch it, comment on it and complain that all their videos are just 2 guys fisting each other.

Anyways, I was sad when Immortal Iron Man didn't come back from hiatus. I would give a new series to Kieron Gillen (auto-spell tried to away Morton Violent) or Rick Remender and Jerome Opena. I would also love an All-ages Baby Power Man and Iron Fist series featuring their kids.

Two-Bit Specialist said...

@forrest - Cage's kid is a girl. If anything, it would be Power Gi... nope, that's taken. Maybe Jewel or Knightress, like her mom.

Anonymous said...

can't you take a joke guys? come on

forrest said...

It would be Lady Power Man.

koottie said...

I love my Bruce Lee super hero and I would love to see Iron fist in an ongoing in stead of some of these new ongoing. I mean does Black Widow really need a book? She has no powers

Matt Duarte said...

I was really disappointed with Iron Fist in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. His powers are pretty lame considered to all the other characters, they take forever to do, and he can take a beating quite easily. He is only really useful for his "Healing Hand" move, which comes real handy during boss battles.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

@Anon2 - I actually don't mind the word 'bromance', I've strangely warmed to it, but I am a bromantic kind of guy, perhaps that's why.

@Anon2 - I laughed at your quote and that made me feel bad. Poor IF, maybe Marvel should give him to Image or Dynamite, they'd be happy with half the sales that Marvel expect.

@Forrest - oh man, I'd love a Gillen IF title, that would be the absolutely business. And don't joke about Lady Power Man, that sort of thing has a way of happening.

@kootie - I like that Black Widow got her own ongoing, I'm really starting to dig that they try with these smaller characters, and the BW title seems to be getting good reviews.

Ivan said...

@Anon 8 - Yeah, cause if the guys were reading those titles they'd be getting AWESOME reviews at this blog.

Philipe said...

I read the first two arcs of the Iron Fist comic...and I was kind of enjoying it but I don't know...I dropped it right before the whole Seven Cities thing (so yeah, I never really got into Fat Cobra and why he's soooo awesome).

I think sales were low because Marvel already has a street-level comic with Daredevil. DD has ninjas and martials arts and he's cooler because he's blind and miserable, while Danny is rich.

Maybe the answer would be to strip Danny of his wealthiness...that could put him in a more interesting situation. Kung-fu master and CEO don't really go together, do they?

Digressing a little, I think the same could be said about the X-Men. Man, wasn't it great when they were living in that dumpster of a place in Australia, as opposed to being billionaire popstars in San Francisco?

Anonymous said...


@Phillipe: good call man, missery is always a good hook for most of the comic books for street level characters (excluding batman lol).

I just wish a good movie could be done about IF. A good pick could be Josh Holloway. Just sayin'

Matt Jackson said...

YES and YES!

I couldn't agree more that ol' Danny needs a book again. It very quickly became one of my favorite books to read, just as it got canceled.

Sigh. Here's hoping he doesn't get too messed up during shadowland and is able to come out of it with a brand new book.

Anonymous said...

so we are heading into an unstoppable load of more marvel posts, how original

Philipe said...

I don't see an Iron Fist movie happening anytime soon. Maybe if Marvel decides to revamp Daredevil (they already took the rights back from FOX, right?) Danny could show up as a supporting player.

forrest said...

@Philipe: I don't know if I'm correct but I seem to remember at the end of IIF Danny Rand's business went down the toilet and he was broke. Someone correct me on that if I'm remembering it wrong. Oh and he was trapped in a mystical prison for a few months and had a pretty rockin' beard. There's a step in the direction of misery.

Kirk Warren said...

@Philipe - Maybe not soon, but Iron Fist does lend himself well to movie treatment. YOu could adapt the Bru/Fraction run as a trilogy of sorts, too. If Cap, Thor and Avengers work out well, I'd expect more properties to be mined and that leaves Iron Fist as a likely candidate, especially with his prominence as an Avenger for the last while. With more and more remakes/nostolgia movies in Hollywood, there's also the 70's kung-fu vibe this could have and channel for more pull.

Jeremy said...

I think the main reason I dropped Iron Fist was because of the art. It was such a HUGE drop in quality from Aja to Forman. Luckily, all of this great run is collected in one awesome Omnibus, and it remains one of the decade's best comics.

THE BEATY said...

I so agree imortal iron fist is one of my favorite comics

Ryan K Lindsay said...

@Forrest - yeah, Swierczynski had him spend some time in 'hell, the eight heavenly city, and when he got back he had that cracking beard and his business was in tatters, not sure what they're doing with that plot thread right now, or Misty's precarious situation.

@Jeremy - I agree, Foreman really was such a change from Aja, he just couldn't visualise what Swierczynski was writing, such a shame.

@Philipe - I don't think Fox has given back DD just yet. They hired that writer and I am sure they would have given him some time to get his script in order.

@EVERYONE - it seems that the latest, and new, arc on Bendis' New Avengers will deal strongly with Iron Fist, as well as Dr Strange, so I do believe I will be picking it up, even if just for that arc. Might as well try it.

IronFist Fan said...

I totally agree with this post..and i just hope After the shadowland event Iron Fist will get his own series back

IronFist Fan said...

@Ethereal Yes Hickman is a smart writer he can handle Iron Fist well.

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