Kaare Andrews takes his almost-one man show into the mystical realm of K’un Lun in “Iron Fist: The Living Weapon” #2, explaining the nature of the upheaval there that was violently brought to Danny Rand’s attention last issue. Those who missed that issue or were otherwise not inclined to pick up this one need only take one look at Andrews’ beautifully dynamic and fiery cover, which is dominated by the dragon Shou-Lao with Iron Fist striking a pose in its gaping maw. There’s no such occurrence inside the comic; Danny doesn’t even appear in costume; but that piece of art alone makes the comic hard to pass up, although there’s nothing as compelling as Danny Rand doing his impersonation of Dragon Chow.
The horde of zombie cyber-ninjas comes close, though, as does Andrews’ first flashback look at a soon-to-be besieged and still gorgeous K’un Lun, which also features another look at the city’s resident and impressively rendered sacrificial dragon. Equally impressive is Andrews’ initial attack on the city, which oddly yet fittingly looks like “Apocalypse Now” comes to Asgard. Andrews goes on to deliver a true hauntingly apocalyptic vision on the issue’s final page. Richly colored and vividly composed images like this are trademarks of Andrews’ work, and are the biggest artistic merits of this issue.
The story isn’t totally confined to K’un Lun, though; things pick up where they left off in Danny’s apartment last issue, where Andrews takes the opportunity to provide a few comic moments before the story takes its darker turn. There’s also a flashback sequence to the Rand family’s ill-fated journey to find the lost city that led to the creation of Iron Fist, which is a well-placed recap and continuation of the character’s origin. This is actually a welcome break from the story, as Iron Fist’s beginnings have not been documented countless times the same way those of higher-profile superheroes have been. Andrews colors this part of the story in the expected muted and sepia tones, but adds some visual trickery with an overlay mimicking folded, crumpled paper that’s as much an unnecessary gimmick as it is the enhancement it was meant to be.
Andrews turns in an incredibly strong effort that’s worthy of a look. “Iron Fist: The Living Weapon” #2 is a beautifully drawn and accessible issue for those unfamiliar with the character, and is told well enough to even entice readers who never had any prior interest.