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Iron Fist: The Living Weapon Volume 1: Rage Paperback – 2 Dec 2014
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About the Author
Kaare Andrews is a Canadian comic book writer and artist and filmmaker known for his cover work on Incredible Hulk and many other comic books published by Marvel Comics. He was the first recipient of The Shuster Award for Outstanding Artist in 2005 for his work on Spider-Man: Doctor Octopus.
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Top customer reviews
The books starts off with Danny Rand being interviewed by and armature reporter/fan/social climbing stalker so of course they end up at his place. Danny is a disillusioned zombie of a man. Even a night of passion can't change the expression on his face; the only thing that seems to wake him up is an attack by a group of cyber/zombie ninjas. Later we learn Danny's funk is from knowing the fact that everyone has lied to him or hidden something from him. We learn the Rand family might not have been the picture perfect family after all. Slight spoiler even Brenda seems to have her secrets. Danny returns to K'un Lun to find it in ruins from some his previous foes. Now the best start but they did leave some interesting avenues to pursue in the next volume.
It is very dark, and definitely a different take on the Danny Rand character, but Kaare Andrews pulls it off nicely, with some stunning visuals and an action packed storyline.
It reminds me more than anything of Frank Miller's original run on Daredevil, and Miller's art style circa Elektra Lives Again is clearly a big influence on Andrews' - no bad thing in my opinion as that is one of my favourite graphic novels and Miller's artistic zenith.
This is well worth a look if you are searching for something a bit different than the run of the mill superhero book.
Well worth every penny!
The history of the character is as important to this storyline as any he's ever been in and there is a really close link to his origin and it is presented in a modern stylistic - horrific/supernatural manner that actually works and envelopes the reader in a wonderfully realised atmosphere.
The story is deconstructed and there is a desperate need for volume two once the end of this collection is reached - thus I withhold the fifth star from this review as it is not quite complete but it is thrilling, engaging, interesting and...refreshingly different.
Danny Rand aka Iron Fist goes back to the mystical city of K’un-Lun (via a portal at the bottom of his apartment block because convenience) which he discovers has been destroyed by a giant cyborg Akira-esque monstrosity that’s appropriated his dead father’s face. I guess he’s got to defeat this dad cyborg? Meanwhile, a journalist called Brenda and a little girl from K’un Lun called Pei must evade a spider-woman assassin and assorted ninjas who’re after them for some reason. Sprinkle in copious amounts of flashbacks to Danny’s youth training to become the Iron Fist in K’un-Lun and that’s the book.
It’s a piss-poor story because it’s hard to know what’s happening or why. Why is Pei, the little girl, so important? Why does she have dragon eggs? Why was K’un-Lun destroyed? Who is the cyborg monster and why does he have human flesh draped across his face that should’ve decayed twenty years ago? What is Danny’s goal in this story? Why wasn’t he in K’un-Lun to prevent its destruction? Why isn’t all of the focus on Danny - why do we have to see what Pei and Brenda are up to? Who is Brenda anyway? Why are the police suddenly after them? Who is the spider-woman assassin - did Kaare Andrews see that Saga had one of those and decide to appropriate one to hopefully make his crappy comic more popular?
What makes it even worse is the way Andrews has told it. One minute we’re in the present then we’re twenty years or so in the past. Then we’re back in the present. Then we’re back in the past, but only a few days ago. Then we’re even further back in the past, maybe fifteen years this time. Now we’re in the almost-present - now we’re in the present. Now throw in some pointless nightmare sequence! Then back to the past but only yesterday. Then the present, then back fifteen years again - then twenty years, now back to the present.
The crappy story is made totally baffling thanks to Andrews’ incompetent structuring of it.
The flashbacks don’t even add anything to the story. Andrews reveals how totally unimaginative he is with the inclusion of these scenes. We see Danny getting beat up by students who’re better than him until he gets better and beats them up. His tough sensei eventually becomes one of his best buddies. He’s even called “sparrow” by one of the characters, like David Carradine’s called “grasshopper” in the classic TV show, Kung Fu. How many times do we have to see these overused cliches in martial arts stories and what did Andrews hope to achieve with them here?
Then there’s Danny himself who is no longer upbeat or making jokes or has any levity to his character. No, Andrews writes him as a brooding, dark billionaire obsessed with his parents’ deaths when he was a kid. Danny is basically Bruce Wayne in this book. There’s so little character-work on everyone except Danny that it’s hard to care about what’s happening to them, while Danny’s such a miserable sod you couldn’t care less what happens to him.
Andrews is just trying too hard to make this book “badass”. Look at the quotes he’s plastered underneath the titles: “When offered life he chose death”, “Revenge is a weapon that cuts both ways”, and “Courage is only one step ahead of fear”. They’re so bad they’re like parodies of dumb ‘90s action movie taglines!
Throw in some sloppy art from Andrews - the flashbacks are presented in a way that looks like the pages have been unfolded and you can see all of the creases for some reason - and you’ve got one of the worst Marvel NOW! titles. I doubt even Iron Fist fans will like this because Danny Rand isn’t Danny Rand and the story is completely flat, uninteresting and confusing.
Andrews is an ok artist but he’s a dreadful writer. Iron Fist: The Living Weapon Volume 1: Rage is a complete and utter mess - don’t bother. Try Dragon Ball for a much better martial arts comic instead.