Written by: Alyssa Wong
Art by: Michael Yg, Sean Chen, Victor Alazaba
Colors by: Jay David Ramos
Letters by: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover art by: Leinil Francis Yu
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: March 30, 2022
Iron Fist #2 continues Lin Lei’s (aka the *new* Iron Fist) to retrieve the missing pieces from the shattered sword of Fu Xi before the bonds that hold Chiyou in place collapse. Meanwhile, a new villain arrives on the scene to make Chiyou’s captivity less certain.
Was It Good?
Hmm, I’m not sure what to make of Iron Fist #2. The first issue was just okay in terms of structure, pacing, and plot, but the main down point was the rather haphazard way Lin Lei became the new Iron Fist out of nowhere. There was no consideration for the legacy of the title or the process by which an Iron Fist is selected. In short, Lin Lei became an Iron Fist because the script said so.
Now, we’re into issue #2 and have a chance to see if Alyssa Wong addresses the elephant Wong placed in the room. In fairness, yes, Wong addresses the elephant in the room but not in the way you think or may be happy with.
We begin with a battle wherein the *new* Iron Fist battles a group of demons to snag the latest piece of the Fu Xi sword. His battle techniques are inconsistent and sloppy due to his inability to properly wield Shou-Lao’s chi (the dragon’s power). once he returns to K’un-Lun, Lin Lei is faced with allies and detractors who counsel and challenge him over the exact issue raised in issue #1 – How can Lin Lei be the new Iron Fist when he didn’t go through the process of becoming the new Iron Fist?
The answer is, in effect, he’s the new Iron Fist because we’re changing the rules about who and how an Iron Fist is selected. That’s it.
Did you ever know, intuitively, something wasn’t right? That something was off? Then somebody comes along with a very long, thorough, detailed argument for why something you thought was wrong is actually right. This issue is that argument. If you’re a fan of Iron Fist and were as perplexed by the changeup as I was, the response is “Yes, it’s different. We’re changing the rules, and this is how it is now.”
The legacy of the title doesn’t matter. The process doesn’t matter. A test of worthiness is irrelevant. The Iron Fist can be anyone and anyone can be the Iron Fist.
Truly, the entire issue is taken up with justifying the change, only pausing briefly to introduce a new villain. If this explanation works for you, then you are in for a good time. If you’re dissatisfied with an explanation that says “we don’t want to stick to the rules, so we’re changing them”, you may find this new iteration of the character flat, unoriginal, and pointless
Guess, which side of that fence I fall on.
Iron Fist #2 answers one of the biggest questions from issue #1 (How?) by throwing out the rules and writing an entire issue dedicated to saying “the rules don’t matter so we’re making new ones”. The net result is a character that’s significantly less interesting and special. At least the art in this issue is good.