The issue opens with Danny telling Brenda, a journalist, an exposition heavily retracing of the tragic family expedition to K'un Lun that led to the death of his parents. Following the interview and the origin story, Danny invites Debra home, giving us the first real look at his current mindset which is done best without any dialogue at all.
He's a complicated mix of cynical and melancholy, perfectly depicted with three panels showing him alone, in bed with Brenda, and in the bathroom after their intimacy all with the same, flat expression.
Unable to sleep, Danny gets out of bed for a late night workout that illustrates, again, Marvel's strength for inventive visual art that reflects the story. The scene flips in an instant, however, when Danny leaps out his window, into the open air where dozens of ninja assailants repel from helicopters to attack him. In a fast, heavily narrated series of action pages, Danny uses his Iron Fist powers to light the helicopters on fire, burning the ninjas who are still attached to them by ropes. This ends up playing a lot like the infamous laser scene in Iron Man 2 when Tony Stark destroys an army of drones in one shot. It's anticlimactic and underwhelming.
Once the ninjas are dispelled, Danny returns inside to find Brenda under attack from a robotic, zombie ninja. Danny moves to attack the warrior, but his powers mysteriously misfire, opening him up to a hard hit from his foe. Fortunately, Danny is trained in all forms of martial arts and defeats the assailant without his powers. Just as he thinks the danger is over, a little girl emerges from the shadows and instructs him to return to K'un Lun before succumbing to the arrows in her back and falling, dead.
The first issues are a difficult read. You have to establish a character and a world for them to play in while simultaneously establishing a story for them to work through. Iron Fist did all these things, though in a generic way. Iron Fist: The Living Weapon establishes Danny as a disenfranchised hero who has lost a lot and doesn't know what he wants for himself. His villains are generic ninja warriors who he dispels so quickly that you really could have inserted any other hero into this issue and had it work. The power misfire at the end is also a tired tactic to create intrigue. The worst part, however, was the heavy narration. It was completely counterintuitive to the loose, free flowing combat the book hopes to depict.
Over all, this book, at $3.99, will have to start delivering more unique story fast if it hopes to establish itself as much more than white noise.
What did you think of Iron Fist: The Living Weapon? Are you excited for issue two, or did issue one leave too much to be desired? Let us know in the comments section below.