Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #4 (Marvel)

IF 4

Rating: 3/5 – A Slow Issue in an Otherwise Solid Series.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

Iron Fist The Living Weapon is written and drawn by Kaare Andrews, who for almost every title he’s worked on has changed his artistic style. In this series of Iron Fist, his style has changed yet again as he draws with a kinetic and loose line that puts action and movement first. If you’re a fan of Andrew’s work from the past that included some amazing Incredible Hulk covers and his dark and depressing Spider-Man: Reign mini series, then you know he’s a versatile artist that can go in a lot of different directions. Although the art style used here may not be to everyone’s liking, Andrews is trying to stay true to the character’s origin and his initial appearances in Marvel Premiere from the 1970s while expanding on that material, giving it his own twist.

This fourth issue is still exploring the traumatic events of Iron Fist’s origin as he copes with the death of his parents, as well as his previous time in the mystical city of K’un Lun. We also get to see the building of Danny Rand’s romantic interest with Brenda, and more of the vicious violence that Andrews seems to draw so well. It’s a solid issue, but felt a bit slow to me during the romantic scenes. I thought both characters could have used a bit more time on their own before diving into the romantic scenes together. When these two characters are shown apart, I’ve found them to be more interesting. Hopefully with time their relationship will feel and read more naturally, but for now it has lost its sense of realism for me.

Andrews line is much looser here than in previous titles. There’s almost a purposeful lack of detail to the art that definitely works in some areas, while in others looks unfinished. There were a few scenes, especially towards the end where the loose lines work to the advantage of the story, but in this issue’s rather long love scene, that same style failed to make the characters or scene believable for me. The colors that Andrews uses also seemed to give the book a very flat feel as he used a lot of solid shades of red to tell the story.

Although this series has been enjoyable from the start, this particular issue felt like a small step back. A slow middle issue for a story arc shouldn’t keep you from giving this series a try, it’s a solid read, but it may deter fans who have been on the fence with this title from the beginning.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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