Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #2
Charged by the Mother of Mercy, Danny Rand and the surviving Immortal Weapons most band together to defeat an army of undead and save K'un L'un and it's sister cities from the rise of the Hidden City and destruction of all.
One thing I love about Larry Hama writing is his ability to balance storytelling, character interaction and straight up action together without one element overwhelming the others. As you’d expect a martial arts action book like Iron Fist doesn’t skimp ya on the hands being thrown but it flows with exposition to tell an actual story rather than the story taking a backseat for mindless motion. If anything the easy flow of this story makes you wonder if you missed a few pages because it’s so easy to digest and reads so well that’s it ends before ya know it.
That pacing is almost a character in itself in the story as each page builds up something better and better. The inclusion of Taskmaster is still awesome but it doesn’t ever feel like Hama included him just because he looks cool and “can punch real good”. In this he feels organic like a proper villain should in a martial arts story. The organic story telling also lends itself well to the comedic elements, Fooh will get a chuckle out of you here and there but never feels like a punchline slapped in as an afterthought nor breaks the dramatic tension. In an age where the Big 2 are heavily criticized for “writing for the trade” rather than valuing each issue it’s like a cool drink of water seeing each installment actually build toward the climax rather than be filler until you get to the good parts at the end.
When it comes to the art much the same could be said as the writing, it just feels very natural despite the art featuring some rather supernatural elements. For example when we see Taskmaster dunking himself in blood it doesn’t feel done for shock value yet the close ups on his face still feel unsettling. When Mother of Mercy appears you get the soft otherworldly vibe her archetype should elicit. Everything drawn and colored here just fits together snugly like a fresh out the box puzzle. David Wachter and Neeraj Menon are in sync style wise every single page whether we’re seeing zombie samurai or Rand deep in contemplation. I mean just the fact that Luke Cage in all his canary yellow shirted glory doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb next to Dog Brother and Pei on the battlefield alone shows you just how on point the art direction is.
Heart of the Dragon #2 is a quality addition to the miniseries, neatly following up an explosive first issue with perfectly paced story development and additional action that keeps the whole story running strong.
Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #2: Some Assembly Required
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
- Art - 8.5/108.5/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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