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Review – Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1 (Marvel Comics)

  • Writing - 8/10
    8/10
  • Art - 8/10
    8/10
  • Overall - 8/10
    8/10

Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1

Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: David Wachter
Colorist: Neeraj Menon
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 20, 2021

The Seven Heavenly Cities are under attack. Someone wants the hearts of the immortal dragons and will stop at nothing to get them. Danny Rand must stop them at all cost or the Heavenly Cities will be destroyed forever.

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“Dragon Born” Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1

Danny Rand comes roaring back to the comic shelf in this six-issue mini-series written by none other than Larry Hama! It seems something is attacking the legendary Heavenly Cities. Undead warriors are springing to life and some well-known super-villains are after the dragons’ hearts that power the cities. But who is behind this and why? Without the dragons’ hearts, the cities will perish forever. It is up to Danny Rand, the Immortal Iron Fist, to put a stop to it. Iron Fist is one of my favorite Marvel superheroes so you already know I was excited to pick this series up. You add in the great Larry Hama writing and David Wachter on art we got a recipe for success going on here. So, let’s gather around for an adventure in Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1.

Writing

Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1 (Marvel Comics) variant cover by David Aja
Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1 (Marvel Comics) variant cover by David Aja

Larry Hama is a name most comic nerds know, mostly from his legendary GI Joe run at Marvel in the 1980s through the mid-’90s. He has been around the business for quite a long time and obviously knows his way around a comic book. His writing comes to life in Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1.

Now, Hama is an “old-school” guy. So, in that regard, his writing style is a bit different from, say, more modern-day creators. It is a little more characters describing things and actions, which is good with me, but if you are not used to it, can throw you a bit. It is not a massive difference, either, but you can tell.

For the story itself in Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1, it is a pretty straightforward setup for the first issue. I like that Hama throws us right into the story. He has it all set up and going within a few pages. The dialogue is a lot of fun, as well. It is full of energy and excitement. The whole issue is pretty action-adventure oriented, which makes for an exciting read, but not a lot of character depth at the moment.

Pei also is featured in the story, which I am excited about; haven’t seen much of her since Immortal Iron Fists. She does seem to be de-aged a bit in this series. It did throw me off some. But I like that she has not been totally forgotten. Hama also throws in some Iron Fist classics that I won’t spoil. But it all adds up to a fun start to an adventure that Iron Fist fans will certainly dig.

Art

David Wachter has always been a favorite artist of mine. I know him mostly from his work over at IDW on TMNT and Godzilla series. Very exciting to see him over at Marvel, and doing an Iron Fist book, no less. Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1 is heavy on the action and Wachter details it well. I have always loved his line work and inks. He has the almost painterly feel to his art that I adore.

Now, I do wish the art had a little more energy or “movement” to it. With all the action going on, at times Wachter’s style can feel a bit stiff or stagnant. When Wachter gets to draw dragons or undead warriors his art truly has a chance to shine. He details the non-human characters so well. Not that the human characters do not look good. Just that the monsters and such just look fantastic. Especially little dragon Gork. Wachter details him well and gets delightful facial expressions from the young dragon. 

Neeraj Menon is a colorist I am not super familiar with. Wachter’s style can also be a tricky one to color, with his bold, thick ink lines. Menon colors Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1 well. Nice textured look to it. He also blends the colors well, not too bright or too dark.

Conclusion

Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1 is a solid start to this limited series. Now, would I say it is a must-buy or a great introduction to the character Danny Rand? Probably not, but if you are a seasoned Marvel or Iron Fist fan then you will certainly find a lot to enjoy in this series and look forward to the next installment. 


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