Writer: Larry Hama
Art: David Wachter
Colors: Neeraj Menon
Letters: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: 1/20/2021
IRON FIST: HEART OF THE DRAGON #1 follows the chi-powered warrior as he takes a social trip to the Under City through Fooh’s newly-expanded magical gate. On arrival, they find the city besieged by undead (not zombie) ninja hordes. It seems all cities with dragons are under attack, and it’s up to Iron Fist and Fooh to stop them. Did I mention Luke Cage is babysitting Pei and Gork (a dragon) back in NYC? Well, it’s going to be a busy night for the Immortal Iron Fist.
Was It Good?
You bet your sweet horse stance it was good. Larry Hamas knows how to speak buddy cop/action story like nobody else. Years of being the ultimate G.I. Joe comic writer will do that.
The art is is gritty and solid. The colors are a bit muted, but I didn’t mind too much. Overall, this is a well-written and well-drawn action comic.
Short Story Long
We begin with a Father-Daughter chat of sorts as Iron Fist shoots down Pei’s pleadings to go with him and Fooh through the portal to one of the magical gates. Danny gives a fatherly “no” because Fooh has been tinkering with the gate to make it go to all the magical cities instead of only K’un-Lun and the results might be unpredictable. Danny heads to the gate while Pei and Gork are left in Luke Cage’s hands as this evening’s babysitter.
Fooh and Danny pass through the gate to visit Under City in the middle of an attack from an army of undead (not zombie) ninjas. Danny fights them off, and they’re told by the city leaders that all magical cities with dragons are under attack. The leaders task Danny with going to the citadel to protect their dragon.
Danny and Fooh arrive at the citadel, and with the best possible homage toe Eddie Murphy’s The Golden Child (1986), they have to traverse a series of obstacle to get to the dragon’s lair. Making short work of the obstacles (with a little huffing and puffing from Fooh), the duo make it to the dragon’s lair to find the dragon is already dead with its heart cut out.
This killer is none other than Taskmaster, back in more badass form than his current solo title.
Taskmaster has been hired to collect the dragon hearts for an unknown buyer. Danny and Taskmaster fight, but Taskmaster gets away with the heart. Danny doesn’t chase him because he realizes simultaneous attcks on dragons means Pei and Gork are in danger.
Fooh and Danny skedaddle back to NYC to find the penthouse under attack from more undead ninjas led by Lady Bullseye. Luke and Pei put up a good fight long enough to hold out until Danny arrives and turns the tide. Sensing they no longer have the advantage, Lady Bullseye retreats with her undead ninjas.
While our heroes regroup, Quan Yin, Mother of Mercy arrives to ask for the help of the Immortal Iron Fist.
If it seems like the review is short and fast, that’s because it is. Tthis issue zips through like lightning. But, the story doesn’t feel rushed or lacking. There’s plenty of setup, all the characters are established in short order, and Hama does what I wish every comics writer would do – use the action to further the story. There’s not a single panel or scene that’s wasted and it’s a pure pleasure to read.
IRON FIST: HEART OF THE DRAGON #1 is everything you want in a clean, efficient, exciting, and entertaining action comic. The art is is dramatic and gritty, and the story moves at a high sprint. I wish the colors were a little richer because it does show as muted on the review copy, but that’s a minor quibble. Overall, this is an excellent book.