I’ve said this on more than one occasion, but when an issue offers you little to nothing but non-stop action, sometimes it’s best to let the brain take a break and just enjoy the ride. Iron Fist started out looking like an atypical comic, in hindsight largely because of Andrews’ unconventional style of art, but also because of its tone. Unlike a lot of comics, it had a legitimate darkness that wasn’t just for the sake of being “dark.” But ever since Danny stepped onto the road toward recovery, things have gradually lightened up and now we’re back to a comic that runs on thrills rather than introspection.
Basically the only real point worth thinking about is the nature of Fooh’s existence. [Spoiler alert!] Exiled from K’un L’un just to cover up the leadership’s unsavory deeds, Fooh winds up in a place between life and death, thus only visible to Danny, who’s in the same place. It’s your typical “He was dead the whole time” twist, which isn’t really so much of a twist anymore. I mean, you’re surprised, but in the same way you’d be if your friend came out to you. You’d be interested, maybe have some follow-up questions, but then it just becomes another fact of life—or death, as the case may be.
It’s not like we get anything out of the revelation other than yet another call for Danny to do as T.I. says and live his life. After so many entreaties, how can he do otherwise? And he starts by confronting the last dead monster from his past, the creature who seems to really be Danny’s dad, twisted by the One’s leftovers after Danny finished with it. Now that we know what it is, there’s really nothing left for Danny to do but defeat it, though he’ll have to take some drastic measures to do so.
Honestly, there are more stakes to the impending duel between Sparrow and Davos because there’s a long history of rivalry and personal grievances between them. Danny might suggest an unresolved conflict with his dad, but we didn’t see any part of their relationship before the disastrous trip to K’un L’un, so you just have to take Danny’s word for it.
For an issue that’s almost all action, you might wish for more martial art goodness than you actually get, but Andrews does deliver a high-speed fest of superheroes doing what they do best: performing prodigious physical feats and beating down the bad guys. The last vestige of darkness in the title is embodied in Danny’s dad, who in his mecha form looms over Danny in ominous fashion, but is even creepier in human form. There’s an image of Danny’s dad that sears itself into your mind: lying in a state just before death on a frozen patch of mountain, staring into the sky with a crazed, bared grin and eyes wide with madness and terror.
– I know Sparrow’s just taunting Davos, but I’m betting he really did piss his pants.
In terms of pure superhero craziness, the issue fully entertains even if it lacks the emotional weight of its predecessors.