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Immortal Iron Fist Vol. 3: Book of the Iron Fist (Immortal Iron Fist (2006-2009)) Kindle & comiXology
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- ASIN : B00FRP7204
- Publisher : Marvel (January 21, 2009)
- Publication date : January 21, 2009
- Language : English
- File size : 215066 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Not Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 155 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #730,511 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This is Volume 3 of the trades collecting THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST series, and mostly it takes a break from Danny Rand. Instead, this one sweeps up the leftover issues which didn't immediately tie into Danny's current exploits. As such, it's more of an anthology, and appropriately titled THE BOOK OF THE IRON FIST. Readers of the ongoing monthly know that there exists a treasured tome, the Book of the Iron Fist, which not only contains the martial arts secrets of the fabled city K'un-Lun but also recounts the lives and times of past Iron Fists. This book is currently in the hands of Daniel Rand, the present Iron Fist.
THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST, Vol. 3 - THE BOOK OF THE IRON FIST collects issues #7 & #15-16 of the monthly series, IMMORTAL IRON FIST: ORSON RANDALL AND THE GREEN MIST OF DEATH, and IMMORTAL IRON FIST: THE ORIGIN OF DANNY RAND (this last one actually reprints MARVEL PREMIERE #15 & 16).
Down the long tumultuous centuries, there have been sixty-six Iron Fists, four of whom are featured in this collection. It kicks off with two stand-alone issues. Issue #7 tells the tale of the fantastic Wu Ao-Shi, the only woman to ever assume the mantle of the Iron Fist, and how pursuit of love and craft eventually makes her a pirate queen.
Issue #15 takes us back to the year 1860 and acquaints us with the cerebral Bai Bang-Wen, often the smartest person in the room. Bai Bang-Wen had planned out his own perfect and glorious demise, but is stymied when he is captured and enslaved after losing the Second Opium War. His Iron Fist abilities cut off, Bai Bang-Wen languishes as a slave. Then one day a man befriends him, who turns out to be his mystical counterpart from India. And now Bai Bang-Wen has a new quest and a new opportunity to achieve a perfect death...
Next up is the one-shot special IMMORTAL IRON FIST: ORSON RANDALL AND THE GREEN MIST OF DEATH. The cool pulp noir feel of the new Iron Fist series is keyed in large part by the presence of the dashing Orson Randall, Danny Rand's short-time mentor and Iron Fist predecessor. Randall is considered to be the Golden Age Iron Fist. This special delves more into his past, his time with his sidekicks-in-adventure, the Confederates of the Curious, and specifically, his many skirmishes with the relentless Prince of Orphans, who had sworn to hunt him down and kill him.
Issue #16 picks up Danny Rand's storyline. Fresh from his time in K'un-Lun (check out Immortal Iron Fist Vol. 2: The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven (New Avengers) ) and from participating in a holy kung fu tournament and then in a revolution, Danny returns to New York, accompanied by five Immortal Weapons, each a champion of one of the Seven Cities of Heaven (for those new to Iron Fist, Danny himself is an Immortal Weapon and is the champion of the mystical city of K'un-Lun). A new arc is introduced as Danny and the other Immortal Weapons investigate the rumor of an eight mystical city, although it's suspected that the gregarious Fat Cobra also wants to have mad fun in the Big Apple.
Danny's experiences in K'un-Lun and the discovery that his corporate empire was dependent on exploiting the seven mystical cities have soured him on his wealth, and the story details what Danny does to make amends. There's also a bit of the touchy-feely as Danny questions his relationship with Misty Knight. This issue ends on a tense note, as Danny, on his 33rd birthday, learns a horrifying truth from the Book of the Iron Fist. This sets things up nicely for the series's new creative team. But, man, do they have their work cut out for them.
Way back in the mid-'70s, writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane created Iron Fist in the pages of MARVEL PREMIERE. Issues #15 & 16 of that old school title first introduced the origin of Danny Rand and the Iron Fist, and they're reprinted here.
Don't turn up your nose at this volume just because Danny Rand is only here for a bit. The other three Iron Fists are interesting enough that these issues make for good reading. I really enjoyed the story of the female Iron Fist, with its rousing, near fairy tale-like elements. And Orson Randall will always rock, never mind that he died a bunch of issues ago. Randall utterly belongs in the pulp age of Doc Savage, the Shadow, and the Spider. Where else other than in his era can an Iron Fist find himself contending against the buxom Cowgirls from Hell and a certain mad scientist and his monster?
Issue #16 is writer Matt Fraction's swan song, and he ends on a high note. His stuff in IRON FIST has just about got me convinced to check out his other works. Fraction is a solid storyteller, comfy with down-to-earth dialogue and mystical mumbo-jumbo speak. There's enough martial arts mayhem, but also there's good character development. I like that in telling the legends of Wu Ao-Shi and Bai Bang-Wen, Fraction, with some assist from Ed Brubaker, handles the narration in a conversational, tongue-in-cheek manner. Meanwhile, the artwork is taken on by a posse of competent artists. No complaints about any of them, as the various illustrating styles seem to fit the respective storylines. But David Aja remains my preferred artist for this kung-fu billionaire. Except that Aja has already moved on.
Fraction, Brubaker, and Aja have been so tremendous and have had me so invested in Danny Rand and in the Iron Fist mythos that, even with their departure, I'm still very much stoked for whatever's in store. Stoked, but, admittedly, a little nervous. With this series having been so outstanding, I worry that it can only spiral downwards.
I don't mind, every now and then, if the series explores the adventures of the preceding Iron Fists. The exotic, swashbuckling feel of those other eras complements the modern "realism" of the present-day Iron Fist. Marvel Comics doesn't boast as many legacy heroes as DC. But, in terms of range and potential, Iron Fist may just be the best legacy hero out there.
As for the production, the book is like the other ones. It has a dust jacket, nice faux leather cover with embossed lettering, and glued binding. My recommendation is to read the first two volumes out of the Brubaker/Fraction run, and stop....unless you are a big Iron Fist fan, which alas, I am not.
Honestly there were a few frames and dialog that made me cringe. I could see arguing for a 3/5 stars especially relative to the first two volumes. I may come back and revise the review after the next volume.
Books one and two established the larger world of the Iron Fist, or rather, Iron Fists. This book is Brubaker and Aja's last and is mostly stories of the various Iron Fists throughout history. Because stories of former Iron Fists are not drawn by Aja, he is not represented nearly so much in this book, which is a shame.
As has been the trend, the reproduction values are solid.
Top reviews from other countries
I also liked the stories from the Iron Fist of the Golden Age of comics, he is the Iron Fist who is on the cover brandishing a firearm, he has two firearms in shoulder holsters and is accompanied in his stories by a complete entourage of odd companions, this made me think a little bit of Doc Savage (in particular the film of Doc Savage, I have read wikis about the Doc Savage stories rather than read the books themselves). In these stories Iron Fist is on the run from the Prince of Orphans, one of the fighters in the tournament pitching all the kingdoms of heaven against one another for the privilege of a doorway to earth, who can transform himself into a cloud of mist and sort of seems like the ultimate fighter to be honest.
There is a story featuring Danny Rand, the present Immortal Iron Fist, dealing with his decision to give away all of his wealth as he has discovered its origin by this point and has decided to be rid of it as a result, but I liked the idea of being able to read the tales of past fighters in the way Rand's character has himself been portrayed as doing so with The Book of The Iron Fist. I liked the way that each story ended with the scribe and Iron Fist's trainer together inscribing the tale in the book. Maybe, since the story arc of Danny Rand is what this essentially a part of being Volume 3, it was a gimick or back up material in the comics which never caught on enough to become a separate title.