Written By: Larry Hama
Art By: Dave Wachter
Color By: Neeraj Menon
Letters By: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Art By: Billy Tan, Lina Jin
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 5, 2021
In Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #5, the enemy that started this calamity is finally revealed. It is a Hierophant, presumably from Heven, one of the Ten realms that previously waged war against Asgard. By killing the mystical dragons and stealing their hearts, Hierophant is able to absorb their chi and become all powerful. With the shocking death of the last remaining dragons last issue at the hands of a supposed ally, it seems all is truly lost. Or is it?
Was It Good?
Yes, and it was a little bit better than the last issue for pure story simplicity. Now we know who’s killing the dragons and why. You could argue it took a little too long to get to this point, and this issue doesn’t set up anything remotely resembling a motivation for the main villain, but the story clearly and simply sets up the finale in a reasonably satisfying way.
What’s It About?
Boom! Right out of the gate we’re at the Bai Fu Citadel and we see the Hierophant absorbing the chi from the hearts of deceased dragons. He’s literally wrapping himself in their power so he can generate portals into each of the mystical cities to survey the damage from his undead ninja armies.
When Hierophant arrives in Peng Lai, he’s met by Brenda Swanson aka Yama Dragonsbane who’s fully bought into the groveling acolyte role. She’s become so desperate to beat Danny Rand, she’s willing to submit herself to a power-mad demon bent on destroying the realms. The art for Brenda is especially good at capturing her crazed determination to win.
Back to Danny and the heavenly fighters who are still reeling from Okoye’s act of killing the last good dragons. She absorbs their chi in the same way as the Hierophant, and she tries (badly) to explain how the dragons told her to do it as an act of sacrifice that was necessary to restore balance. Danny and the fighters don’t believe her and Danny attacks to try and release the chi from Okoye.
You can tell their fight is not all-out as they still hold on to some respect from each other. Before things escalate further, Quan Yin appears to end the fight by confirming Okoye is telling the truth.
At this point, it would be easy to think the story has gone hippy dippy mystical in a weird way, but the art sells it. Quan Yin’s appearance and her direction to the heroes to work with Okoye as the holder of the dragon chi, looks and feels authentic.
Hierophant and Brenda appear through a portal. They attack Quan Yin, and Brenda “kills” her with a sword with a boost from Hierophant’s chi power. The heavenly heroes rush in and start a group melee in retaliation. Brenda charges Luke Cage but her sword breaks against his body and he knocks her out with a roundhouse.
Now, it’s all heroes against Hierophant. Realizing that, even combined, they might be outgunned, Fooh shouts a plan to destroy the gate generator back at Rand HQ to shut down all portals. If it works, Hierophant’s portals might collapse as well, trapping him. Fat Cobra performs a Fastball Special on Fooh towards the gate for Rand HQ and Hierophant takes off after him to stop him.
The heroes want to follow to help Fooh, but Dany knows it’s a ploy to lead Hierophant away and to give the heroes time to attack any weaknesses Hierophant has back at the Bai Fu Citadel. Fooh leads Hierophant through the portal to Rand while the heroes run through the portal to Bai Fu.
When the heroes arrive at the citadel gates, there’s one more dragon waiting for them, and it’s not a nice one.
Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #5 hasn’t let off the gas since issue #1 and this penultimate issue is no exception. It would have served better to get the villain reveal sooner and add some motivation for his realm-ending plan, but you can’t argue it hasn’t been exciting every page along the way.