ADVANCE REVIEW: ‘Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon,’ Issue 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Iron Fist Heart of the Dragon #1 - But Why Tho?Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1 is written by Larry Hama, illustrated by David Wachter, colored by Neeraj Menon, and lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham. It is published by Marvel Comics. Danny Rand, better known as the Immortal Iron Fist, tests out a teleportation device that can bring him to any of the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven. However, he soon discovers that an army of undead ninja-as well as mercenaries including Taskmaster and Lady Bullseye are killing the dragons that reside in the cities and stealing their hearts.

Hama is well known for writing the G.I. Joe comics, particularly the original run at Marvel. However, he began writing comics with an Iron Fist serial that introduced Colleen Wing and Shao-Lao the Undying—aka the dragon that granted Danny Rand the power of the Iron Fist. Needless to say, Hama’s body of work makes him a perfect fit for Iron Fist, as his script is packed full of the mysticism and martial arts that define the character. He also manages to incorporate modern elements, such as the Seven Heavenly Cities from The Immortal Iron Fist series and the newest Iron Fist Pei. Even Danny’s old friend and fellow Hero for Hire Luke Cage makes an appearance!

Where Hama’s script stumbles is in the dialogue. I know that a lot of comics back in the 70s and 80s utilized long and often portentous dialogue; Chris Claremont’s work is a particular example of this. However, nobody in the real world uses phrases like “fallacious honorific” or “Limburger-stuffed roadkill.” I had to suppress a laugh while reading some of the lines; however, Danny’s assistant Fooh has a rather hilarious turn of phrase on the old adage “when the crap hits the fan.”

Wachter’s art has a grit and style to it that reminds me of Frank Miller’s early work on Batman: Year One and Daredevil. His characters feel extremely detailed, such as the death’s head mask that Taskmaster wears and the rotting flesh of the ninja zombies. The action is also super hardcore, with Danny ripping off undead ninja’s extremities and using them as weapons and even using one’s head as a projectile. As befitting a martial arts story, many characters have their own unique fighting style, with Danny moving too fast for the eye to see and Pei using her small size to her advantage.

Rounding out the artistic team is Menon on colors. When Danny uses his Iron Fist, his hand seems to literally ignite, the golden energy slicing through the air with every move he makes. Danny is also wearing his classic green and yellow Iron Fist costume, which makes a striking contrast to the black robes the undead ninjas wear. The Under City, where Danny and Fooh travel to, has a reddish-orange palette that feels like the reader has literally been transported underground.

Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1 is a solid beginning to a new Iron Fist story, featuring all the mysticism and martial arts that are associated with the character. If you are a fan of Iron Fist or other martial arts heroes like Shang-Chi, you’ll definitely want to give this a read.

Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1 is available wherever comics are sold and through Comixology via our affiliate link.

Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1
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TL;DR

Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1 is a solid beginning to a new Iron Fist story, featuring all the mysticism and martial arts that are associated with the character. If you are a fan of Iron Fist or other martial arts heroes like Shang-Chi, you’ll definitely want to give this a read.