If you want to check out Iron Fist before the upcoming Netflix series, try out the series written by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction. It was critically acclaimed when it came out, but for some reason or another (i.e., monetary limitations preventing me from reading everything), I never got around to trying it out.
Until now, that is. Comixology digitally gave away the first trade paperback for free recently. So of course I read it. And yes, it is quite good.
Issue #6 wraps up the first storyline and leads into the next. This is where the action ramps up, with welcome assists from Luke Cage, Misty Knight, and Colleen Wing (Netflix viewers have already met the first two, and I’m assuming we’ll meet Colleen soon, too). Additionally—and this gets to the meat of the story—a previous Iron Fist fights alongside current Iron Fist Danny Rand (yes, I somehow never got into the most prominent superhero who shares my first name…so psychoanalyze whatever that means).
Superhero comics tend to handle themes of legacy and lineage rather well, and a martial artist superhero is a particularly good fit for such subject matter. After all, martial arts involve the passing of specialized knowledge down through the generations.
This is a more serious take on Iron Fist than when what we see in the current, more lighthearted Power Man and Iron Fist series. But both books are solid—which one you enjoy more may well depend on your mood at the time.
In any case, The Immortal Iron Fist makes me all the more optimistic about the Netflix series.
And fun fact: Apparently, Carrie-Anne Moss’s character in Jessica Jones, Jeri Hogarth, was originally the male Jeryn Hogarth, who ran Danny Rand’s company in the comics. I did not know that.
Writers: Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Publisher: Marvel Comics
How to Read It: back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology; included in The Immortal Iron Fist vol. 1: The Last Iron Fist Story (TPB)
Appropriate For: ages 14 and up