Comic Vine Review

17 Comments

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #3 - Rage: Part Three Review

4

Iron Fist lashes out after seeing what has happened in K'un-Lun.

The Good

Kaare Andrews is taking Iron Fist on a twisted road, but when all is said and done, it's his artwork that's really leaving an impression. The rough and often gritter approach matches the book's tragic tone incredibly well, especially with the heavy use of shading when things get dark -- and that's quite often. He also delivers big time with the colors on more than a few occasions. There's a stunning display of chi and it'll likely make your jaw drop. Visually, it's a very satisfying book and it really drives home how messed up this latest tale can be. To top it off, it's not all depressing and violent! Young Rand and Pei -- when they're not covered in blood or have a face full of tears -- are absolutely adorable. There's also a nice bit of physical comedy when the hospital brawl begins.

When I saw we were diving into Danny's past yet again in the previous issues, I was concerned this would take a toll on the pacing because it's covering very familiar territory and, well, we all know the outcome, anyway. Thankfully, Andrews is able to balance both timelines well and, instead of having two completely different narratives, the past is used to effectively compliment the present's story.

I won't lie, I was really worried when I saw what happened to K'un-Lun. I feared the development was essentially wiping away IMMORTAL IRON FIST's creations and paving the way for an all-new set of supporting characters and villains. Luckily, not nearly everyone was wiped out and a number of characters still remain. That said, there isn't much exposition for them, so I can see the inclusion of the supporting cast being a little confusing to new readers.

This cliffhanger is sure to be polarizing, but keep in mind it's just the initial reveal. We need to wait and see how it's handled before judging, after all. Even if you're not pleased with the character's identity, we need to at least see how this came to be and what it means moving forward. At any rate, I definitely never considered this an option, so I'm curious to see how it'll be executed.

The Bad

This volume is taking a much darker approach to Danny Rand and the latest developments do justify a drastic change in his emotions. However, the depressing tone is laid on too thick at times. Having the word "DEATH" written across an entire panel (twice) feels unnecessary when the impressive artwork alone speaks volumes and conveys the bleak message all by itself. Additionally, Rand saying he only has two kinds of dreams -- and both are violent nightmares -- feels out of character. I get if we're shifting him into a different atmosphere for the sake of the story and I wouldn't complain if these are two dreams he has often, but those being his only dreams doesn't seem fitting for the decades upon decades we've seen of the character. Sure, his life has been hit by tragedies, but this comes off as a little over the top and trying a little too hard to keep things tragic.

The Verdict

IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #3 is a character-driven experience that attempts to balance fun and darkness, but mostly sides with the latter. Sure, there's a nice dose of levity with the hospital scenes and one specific moment in the past, but in the end, the more dire moments overshadow them. Andrews' artwork remains gripping and he dishes out some major developments in the chapter -- developments which can help me understand Rand's more stern and savage mindset in this volume. I'm sure many will have strong knee-jerk reactions to the cliffhanger, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens next!

18 Comments
Posted by micah

liking the new approach to the character. A little bit too dark at times, but that's understandable for this type of story.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

I wonder how they will put all this back together at the end.

Posted by Spideysense44

@micah said:

liking the new approach to the character. A little bit too dark at times, but that's understandable for this type of story.

this

Posted by MixMastaMicah5

Still loving this book. An interesting take on the character.

Edited by Geno

I already said this in another thread, but I am not a fan of Andrews' work here. Danny comes off as an immature douche here, and while one could argue the emotional impact of what he's seen in this issue to be the cause of that, it's still a very drastic departure from his usual self. You would think that upon seeing his master dead, the last thing he would do is further forsake his people by killing the one bit of K'un-Lun that remained - the tree of life. And frankly, more than ever before, he behaves as an angry foreigner in K'un-Lun, where in the past he had always considered it his first home. Here, nothing mattered to him except for revenge, and he victimized himself by blaming the city for everything bad that has ever happened to him. I can't refute that entirely, but frankly, he overcame this phase a long time ago.

Also, I still find it hard to believe Davos would join the villain. Not only did he reform and return to help his people throughout the course of the Immortal Iron Fist book, but he also mended relations with his father. To think that he would allow such a travesty is undoing many issues worth of character development.

Posted by HumanRocket

This and Original Sin 3 took the cake this week with the endings. Loving the gritty style.

Posted by dagmar_merrill

One word: Brutal.

Posted by CommanderShiro

I like this different approach to Danny.

Posted by ScrappyDont27

Part of me likes the dark and gritty Rand but I wouldn't mind him lightning up little bit every now and then, the hospital scenes are great.

Posted by RedLantern23

Quickly losing interest in this book. It just doesnt feel like Danny Rand.

Posted by chaosonearth11

I really enjoy Iron Fist. I haven't read any of the earlier stuff yet. I see a lot of people are disgruntled by the difference in author's take on Danny Rand. I will agree the character is dark but I would be if I went through what he did. I also feel every writer throughout comics has a spin on a character what's wrong with going against the grain a little bit. Everyone goes off of earlier continuity but sometimes it's just better to go off what's in front of you instead of earlier stuff. People in the comic world get so angry when something isn't exactly how it used to be. If everyone wrote the character the same way there would be nothing different or amazing. Once again I'm just another opinion but I think people should be a little more open to people who bend the rules and share their own interpretation on a character. After all they were allowed to take creative road for a reason right?

Edited by Geno

@chaosonearth11: It's true that every writer is entitled to put his own spin on the characters they write, but changes should come gradually and with good cause. While a lot has happened to Danny over the course of these three issues, he shows none of the restraint and discipline that he's well established with. Forsaking his people and threatening the Prince of Orphans (whom he damn well knows he can't handle) just seemed incredibly misaligned with the Danny Rand we've seen in the past.

Unfortunately, the real problem is that in the 616 Marvel Universe, everything has continuity. It's not an isolated story in itself, in which case Kaare Andrews truly has freedom to reinterpret characters. But when you are following up on something that's established, it would be nice to adhere to some continuity rather than going in a different direction right off the bat. Davos being the most incriminating example.

That's just my opinion, of course. The story itself, if you don't consider the nitpicky details, is still passable. It's nothing historical, but certainly not the worst book currently out there.

Posted by Owie

@geno said:

I already said this in another thread, but I am not a fan of Andrews' work here. Danny comes off as an immature douche here, and while one could argue the emotional impact of what he's seen in this issue to be the cause of that, it's still a very drastic departure from his usual self. You would think that upon seeing his master dead, the last thing he would do is further forsake his people by killing the one bit of K'un-Lun that remained - the tree of life. And frankly, more than ever before, he behaves as an angry foreigner in K'un-Lun, where in the past he had always considered it his first home. Here, nothing mattered to him except for revenge, and he victimized himself by blaming the city for everything bad that has ever happened to him. I can't refute that entirely, but frankly, he overcame this phase a long time ago.

I agree with this. I'm not the most in-depth reader of Iron Fist, but a lot of this seems kind of out of character and immature for him.

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Posted by IronArrow043

Well continuity just went out the window, and i really hope the dumb blond reporter doesn't become the love interest. I really don't like how this series is turning out just hope the netflix tv show ignores all of this.

Edited by Ms-Lola

As a new fan to the character, I appreciated the bit of rundown with his past and how he came to be in terms of choosing between immortality and returning to the world to exact vengeance. Considering what he's witnessed, I found it completely believable in how Danny reacted.

As for Danny coming off darker, well in this issue, I think it's pretty understandable. When he's in a scenario less stressful (understatement of the year), then I will judge for myself if he's too dark. The interplay between him and Brenda prior to all this hell coming about annoyed me since it focused on his inability to remember her name properly. If that's what will be considered Iron Fist's lighter side, then I would rather him be an angsty character.

Speaking of Brenda, I am glad I have been proven wrong in that she was used as solely a prop for bad jokes. Turns out she has some decency to her and if this can be expanded on, I wouldn't mind.

Interesting battle in the hospital. I don't know what to make of it, haha, but I can say it wasn't bad.

Oh, but I think the art was off when it came to Danny himself. The older Danny. The few panels of his face close up were awful.

Posted by Geno

@hislolita: I would suggest reading the Immortal Iron Fist if you want to find out more about the character and mythos. If you enjoy Living Weapon so far, it builds on some plot points established in that book. I strongly believe that the predecessor conveys Danny's character much better, but that aside, it would be a nice read in between waiting for issues of this book to come out.

Posted by Ms-Lola

@geno: Thanks, I've put it on my list.