By Duane Swierczynski (writer), Travel Foreman (artist), Matt Milla (colorist)
The Story: It has long been rumored throughout the seven capital cities of heaven that there is in fact a mysterious eighth city, and Danny Rand has just found it. After acquiring a map in the lair of a monster that nearly killed him, Rand and the Immortal Weapons launch an expedition to find the enterance to the eighth city. Stepping through the gates, they are terrified to discover they may have just entered Hell itself.
The Good: Taking an idea first mentioned in Fraction and Brubaker’s original run on the title, Swierczynski has been slowly, skillfully developing the subplot of the eighth city over the course of his run, and it’s now about to pay off in a major way. “Escape from the Eighth City” looks like it’s going to be one of the best Iron Fist storylines yet! I love how the eighth city is portrayed as being a cross between Hell and Gauntanamo Bay, and was thoroughly disturbed by the piggish demons that populate it as foot soldiers. There a line in this issue about Hell being monotony, and you really appreciate the truth of that as you witness Rand his the other Immortal Weapons fighting for their lives in an endless cycle of impossible battles. And the twist at the end! Wow, never would have seen that coming, and that’s what makes this book continue to excel.
The Not So Good: My support for Foreman’s art has been cautious at best, but I think it’s finally been exhausted. Foreman has proven himself to be a sparse and spartan artist whose pages adequately convey action scenes but really underwhelm when asked to express character and environment, elements that are especially crucial to a story like this. Foreman’s art, while not outright awful, is nonetheless proving to be strangely lackluster for what is otherwise an amazing book.
Conclusion: The latest storyline of Immortal Iron Fist is solidly fun entertainment, even if Foreman’s art keeps it from being great. If you’ve never read the book before, now’s the time to give it a try!