Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon, Volume 1: Rage Review (Kaare Kyle Andrews)

Where to even start with this failure? 

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.

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon Volume 1: Rage

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