A mystery brews that threatens other-dimensional spaces, and Danny Rand — with a little help from his friends — is faced with saving heaven itself from this well-resourced, clandestine enemy. With the skillful hand of a legend writing the tale and superb production values, Iron Fist: Heart Of The Dragon #1 does a lot of things right.
The titular Danny Rand has an interdimensional gate in the Manhattan skyscraper that serves as his home and corporate headquarters. With his diminutive companion Fooh (if you liked Uncle Iroh, this guy will be familiar), he's getting ready to do a quick tour of the Seven Heavenly Cities, home of the champions called the Immortal Weapons (Iron Fist is one). Things don't go according to Rand's plans as colorfully garbed guest stars hint at the danger ahead from almost the opening bell.
As noted, Larry Hama is a legend in the space of comic book writing, influencing generations of creatives who followed him. Here, he wields each tool in the box with deftness and skill, deftly illustrating character through dialogue. It should be noted the work of David Wachter, Neeraj Menon, and Travis Lanham, who showcase (for example) the depth of Luke Cage in sitting on a couch or ripping apart aggressive zombie ninjas. Even the likes of Dog Brother get enough panel time to get a sense of them, if not the full picture.
The threat here is one specific to the area of influence Rand inhabits and adds some interesting villain-for-hire wrinkles (in a bit of an inside joke there) as the true architect of the challenge remains hidden from the reader. This is a mild wrinkle as the likes of Taskmaster and Lady Bullseye doesn't show up without deep pockets, and their specific assignments are pretty intense. That thematic deficit is perhaps the only real criticism of this otherwise fantastic issue, and that will likely bear out in future issues. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Iron Fist: Heart Of The Dragon #1
By Larry Hama, David Wachter, Billy Tan
AN IRON FIST EPIC FROM LEGENDARY CREATOR LARRY HAMA! Someone is killing the ancient dragons that power the HEAVENLY CITIES, and only IRON FIST and the DEADLY WEAPONS can stop them if they can discover who they are in time! Zombie armies, mystical portals, dragon hearts, some of the Marvel Universe's deadliest fighters all converge in one action-packed extravaganza, and the fate of all worlds hangs in the balance! LARRY HAMA and DAVID WACHTER are building a story that hits as hard as the Iron Fist itself!