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What You Should Be Reading – Iron Fist: The Living Weapon

Back in 2008, when a little known B-list Marvel character called Iron Man was being made into a movie, I was raving about how it was the perfect choice for Marvel to launch a franchise and beseeching everyone I could to pick up the book before it got big. Seven years later, a few months before the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man/Tony Stark is known around the world and has become an A-list character in his prime.

God, I love saying “I told you so”.

Now, that being said, Iron Fist is not getting a movie, he’s getting a series on Netflix, but for fans of Iron Fist, that should be enough, who needs a movie right? How do we sell others on the idea of Iron Fist?

“Think Tony Stark, but with Kung-Fu.”

Who is Iron Fist?

Danny Rand (Iron Fist) is a billionaire industrialist (tends to be a lot of those in comics huh?) who has some severe childhood trauma. When he was a child, his father took him and his mother on a trip to look for the mystical city of K’un L’un, akin to Shangri-La in literature. Deep within the Himalayas, Danny’s father was pushed to his death by a jealous business partner and while trying to protect him, his mother was eaten by wolves. As Danny was about to be killed, archers from K’un L’un came to the rescue and he was granted entry into the city. The city of K’un L’un only opens to the real world once every ten years, so he trains for revenge while he grows up. In order to gain what he needs for vengeance, until he fights his way to face the guardian dragon of K’un L’un, Shou-Lao the Undying. Upon defeating the dragon, the winner becomes the guardian of K’un L’un, but instead, Danny abandons the city to seek revenge on those who killed his parents.

Why You Should Read Iron Fist: The Living Weapon

Since Matt Fraction has been writing the character in the late 2000’s the world building in Iron Fist has been exquisite and the depth of the stories have been amazing. If you think Tony Stark is a bit of an entitled dick, Danny Rand is the guy for you. I wouldn’t call him emotionally stable, but he knows who he is, his faults and his strengths, and he constantly seeks to better himself. Pair that up with a man caught between the world of technology and mysticism and you have a great mix.

Where to Start

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon

– The current volume on shelves now, only ten issues have been out so far, so get to it! This volume right now fleshes out Danny’s origin story and what it means to be trapped between technology and mysticism.

The Immortal Iron Fist: The Complete Collection Vol. 1

– The previous run of Iron Fist (The Immortal Iron Fist) was much more fantastical, based in mysticism and explores his relationship with the city of K’un L’un. Definitely read it if you want to know more about the world of Iron Fist and his place in the pantheon of heroes.

The Immortal Iron Fist: The Last Iron Fist Story

– Danny Rand has always known that the Iron Fist is a title, and that he is not the first. This volume explores what it means to be an Iron Fist, what that entails, and why Danny Rand might be the last of that long line.

In short, Iron Fist: The Living Weapon has such an amazing art style right now and in my opinion, is one of the best written books being put out by any publisher. The current run is only on issue #10 so you have so few issues to catch up on. If you decide you love the character, you absolutely must read Matt Fraction’s run. Believe me when I say that Iron Fist can be the next breakout character for Marvel.

Go and read Iron Fist: The Living Weapon, I guarantee you that you won’t be disappointed.

About Terence Chen

Terence Chen
is someone who realizes that his love of comic books since he was a child is one of only things allowing him to understand pop culture right now. He's irreverent and irrelevant most of the time, but every once in a while, he can put together a few coherent thoughts. He is currently a contributing writer on the Workprint. You can follow him on twitter @ErrantBachelor, and read his personal ramblings at TheErrantBachelor.wordpress.com

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