By Duane Swierczynski (writer), Travel Foreman & Russ Heath (artists), Matt Milla (colorist)

The Story: Danny Rand has had better days.  Having just celebrated his 33rd birthday, Rand discovered that all but one of his predecessors have died in combat at age 33.  Their killer is a beast called Ch’i-Lin, a mystical creature that feeds on the life source of the dragon that all Iron Fists draw their powers from.  Hiding in the body of a man named Zhou Cheng, Ch’i-Lin has finally come for the Iron Fist, and it will not stop until it has ripped Danny’s heart from his chest.

The Good: Any doubts I had about Swierczynski and Foreman not being able to deliver the same quality of stories achieved by Brubaker, Fraction, and Aja have gladly been put to rest.  Swierczynski has taken loose plot threads from the previous team’s storylines,– like the Iron Fists dying at 33, and the mysterious eighth Capital City of Heaven, and is fashioning them into some really dynamic and entertaining stories.  It helps that he has an artists as skilled as Foreman working with him.  Foreman’s art has a cool anime look to it that compliments Iron Fist’s kung fu heritage while still driving him forward in new directions.

The Not So Good: Foreman’s art suffers from some poor page compositions and erratic inking, with some pages having up to thirteen panels crushed together, obliterating any sense of detail and storytelling.  It wasn’t as bad in this issue though, so hopefully he realized his style looks best when it has the space come to life.  Also, the inks on some pages looking like they’ve barely been touched, while others are saturated in black.  A minor problem, but at times it was enough to distract me .

Conclusion: Under the direction of Swierczynski and Foreman, the future of Iron Fist is in good hands, and this continues to be one title I look forward to every month.

Grade: B

-Tony Rakittke