Danny Rand makes a return to a solo title, this time in “Iron Fist: The Living Weapon” #1 from Kaare Andrews with letters by Joe Caramagna. No credit box to be found anywhere in the story, which is magnificent, but appropriate considering the entire creative staff responsible for the production of this comic book is two people.
The issue starts with a full-page shot of Danny Rand, in shadow, wearing a shirt and tie and answering questions about his origins. Counter to the line of questions, down the other side of the page, is inner monologue of Danny’s evaluation of his interrogator. The line of questioning leads to immediate and almost all-consuming recollection of the Rand family’s journey for the lost city of K’un-Lun.
Andrews could wash the pages white under the pretense of snow, but instead chooses to depict the howling, snowy winds in a different manner, with flakes and clumps of snow obstructing the view, but also adding to the scenery. Andrews doesn’t take any of the linework lightly, giving every character and each prop weight and depth. He doesn’t use the standard issue, Crayola eight-count crayon box as the basis for his coloring, choosing instead to yellow up the imagery of the fateful trip, giving it a throwback appearance, like a comic book pulled from the dregs of a quarter box. Andrews does bust out the heavier, brighter colors when necessary and makes no pretense of paying homage while forging new trails. Bits of Frank Miller, Jim Steranko and Joe Kubert are visible in Andrews’ art, but he pushes beyond that to continue crafting his own polished style. Throughout the story, however, Andrews plays with that style, pulling back and minimizing lines, like when Danny wakes in the night and ponders the choice of choosing. Here, the artist uses minimal lines and no color to create a stunningly detailed figure flipping and kicking through five panels on the lower half of a page.
Andrews gives the reader plenty to savor in “Iron Fist: The Living Weapon” #1, while cracking open the mystery of Rand’s past once again. This could be construed as a misstep or a deconstruction, but really, Andrews is just looking closer at the life of Danny Rand and the death around him. I was initially cautious about the notion of another Iron Fist solo series and fully intended to avoid this altogether, but was convinced me to at least give this a try. Andrews has punched a hole in any flawed logic I would have been able to provide contrary to recommending this comic book with the utmost confidence. This is a solid re-examination of Iron Fist and appears ready to focus solely on Danny Rand.