The Sparrow continues her bitter duel with Choshin, as Sabretooth and the Rat of Twelve Plagues maul one another. Things begin to look truly grim for K'un-Lun until the Iron Fist returns with more ferocious back-up.
With Iron Fist #77, we conclude "Sabretooth: Round Two," and it's a bombastic conclusion to the arc. Though this series has never been light on action, the entire issue is an extended sequence of war raging across the Immortal City. The Sparrow fights Choshin. Sabretooth fights the Rat of Twelve Plagues. The people of K'un-Lun fight the forces of Liu-Shi. The Iron Fist himself squares off against Choshin. There's fire, punching, and stabbing.
It's well earned, too. This has been a great story arc, and Choshin and his allies have been made into compelling enough rogues so that this big, climactic finale is cathartic and entertaining.
Choshin being a pathetic sexist is even contextualized a bit more beyond the simplistic dialogue between he and the Sparrow last issue. He is a true traditionalist, and that is why he is dangerous while being obsolete. The comic makes that point far better in this issue as opposed to the last.
The finale itself doesn't shake anything up too much, but it is a satisfying conclusion nonetheless. It leaves the story with a positive feeling to balance all the doom-and-gloom of the bulk of this arc.
The layouts are the roughest part of the comic. While I usually find myself greatly appreciating the fight scene murals of Brisson and Perkins's Iron Fist, it does often make it hard to follow the exact sequencing of the fight itself. In a climactic finale like this, it would be better to have a genuine and traceable ebb and flow.
Perkins's hyper-realistic artwork is as glorious as ever though. Even if the fights can be difficult to follow, he makes them as epic as the Iron Fist deserves. The way he can play with shadow to create depth and detail improved by his own great inking is phenomenal. Andy Troy overlays all that with a realistic color palette to bring it all together.
Iron Fist #77 brings this epic to an exciting and satisfying conclusion. With tons of action, good leads, and phenomenal art, it earns itself a strong recommendation. Give it a read.