Story & Art: Kaare Kyle Andrews
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Review by Patrick McAleer
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1 sees Marvel re-launch one of their cult favourites into his own title. Taking on both writing and art duties, Kaare Kyle Andrews delivers an emotional gut punch.
In the opening pages, Danny Rand (Iron Fist) recounts how he first ended up in the mysterious city of Kun Lun. This begins beautifully with a close-up of Danny Rand’s brooding yet solemn face, punctuated with flashback imagery seeping in at the lower half of the page. What follows is a heart-breaking tale of a family torn apart by a patriarch’s descent into madness.
The fact that the art is delivered on top of pages that are given a battered and crumpled look is a lovely touch, evoking no doubt how often Danny Rand has recalled these events in his mind. Old memories stashed in his back pocket are pulled out every now and again – like picking at a scab so it won’t heal.
In the present we witness the rather empty and vacuous life that Danny Rand seems to live. Pills and promiscuity pepper his life as he yearns for something, anything, to give him meaning. These pages in the present are given a noirish feel, as Danny sits in his penthouse bedroom enveloped in red and black. A beautiful four panel silhouetted training sequence stands in stark contrast to the reds whilst still delivering on the aforementioned noirish tone.
Rest assured there is plenty of action in this first issue, as Iron Fist must deal with some undesirables who attack him whilst searching for someone else. And in learning who that someone else is, it appears Danny is destined to return where it all started for him.
It is hard to believe that what we are reading here is the fruit of just one man’s labour. Aside from the lettering by the always excellent Joe Caramagna, this entire issued flowed from the mind of Andrews. The dude is the proverbial ‘all-rounder’. Not just an engrossing story but beautiful art, some fantastic panel choices, and no two pages looking the same. First issues should be bold and make a statement, and it would appear that with Iron Fist; The Living Weapon #1, Kaare Kyle Andrews has gone above and beyond.
Pencils & Inks: 5/5
Patrick is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @RepStones.