Monday, October 13, 2014

Arc of Triumph? Iron Fist 11-12

Karen: I've always liked this two-parter from the Claremont/Byrne team, with a hopelessly out-classed Iron Fist going up against the Wrecking Crew, and then forced to infiltrate Avengers Mansion, where a misunderstanding between him and Captain America (of course) leads to a fight, before the two of them team-up to take down the bad guys. Anybody else recall this gem?


Edo Bosnar said...

I completely missed out on these Iron Fist stories back in the day. It's something I've always regretted, not least because it's so hard to find any of the books reprinting them for a reasonable price: the Masterworks are way out of my price range, and even the b&w Essentials volume is virtually impossible to find for less than $30.

J.A. Morris said...

I picked up the entire run of Iron Fist in 1985, when I was trying to collect all of Byrne's art (that I could afford). I remember the fight scenes being pretty good in these issues, but other than that Iron Fist wasn't a very interesting character. When he teamed up with Cage, that was an improvement.

david_b said...

I totally missed these two as well.

If they have the Wrecking Crew and Cap..? I'll be hunting down the cheap floppies someday soon.

Anonymous said...

Hold up, hold my phone.........

I can only speak to issue 11, since I don't have the second part, but this is part of that whole Claremont/Byrne time when they were essential impacting most of the Marvel Universe. (Speaking of Essential, Amazon has a used/very good copy for 29.99) Into every issue they were creating, Byrne was dropping cameos of the greater MU. Danny's out for a training exercise and happens to swing my Matt and Heather as they're out and about. As he heads to the hospital to meet Misty Knight and Colleen Wing, why are the girls there? Colleen is attempting to see her dad, still hospitalized from his encounter with Angar and Misty is seeing her erstwhile roomie, Jean Grey, as she's leaving the hospital. Scott "Slim" Summers is escorting Jean home and Misty introduces them to her boyfriend, Danny Rand. We know him as the K'un Lun Kid. (One of the most clunky nicknames if I've ever heard one. Everybody knows you take your first pet and the street you grew up on.) Colleen also leaves, visibly upset that her dad is in such dire straits. Danny takes Misty for a walk in the park. Claremont/Byrne now establishes how the Puppet Master originally sprung The Wrecker from prison and his, The Wrecker's, encounter with a FF including Power Man, hired to replace a depowered Ben Grimm. The Wrecker's subsequent escape and reassembling of his Wrecking Crew, Piledriver, Bulldozer and Wrecking Ball on the keyboards. They're goal: "WE'RE GONNA KILL THOR!!!" I think they set out to take the hospital over to force the Avengers to show up? I think that's the plan. Anyhoo, they first encounter Danny and Misty in the park where Danny immediately sends Misty to evacuate the hospital while he tries to delay The Crew. Which, as we're informed, might be all of two seconds. How's he gonna fight these guys without his slippers?

Quick aside: It would appear, on first blush, that Danny "K'un Lun Kid" Rand was shooing Misty "Million Dollar Arm" Knight out of harm's way to which I reply "Au contraire mon frère". Misty was the perfect choice for the situation. Her Police training makes her cool in stressful situations, her natural command presence would have the staff listening and looking to her for guidance and finally, she would be able to gather and coordinate hospital security to deal with whomever might get by Danny.

Danny acquits himself rather well in the park, giving Misty time to empty the hospital and himself time to slip into his fighting togs. Don't call them tights. Misty gets in a few licks as well. Cue Iron Fist entrance. He throws around a couple of iron fists (you see, it's his ultimate weapon, whereby he focuses his inner essence, his "chi", into this fist, making like unto a thing of iron and then unleashes it. It's supposed to take quite a bit out of him. I count three uses. Oh to be young, dumb and full of chi). Well, he hits Wrecking Ball with one and throws him into the parking lot.

The Prowler (Yo pretty ladies around the world got a weird thing to show you so tell all the boys and girls).

Anonymous said...

SCENE CHANGE: Out to sea where we meet Irish bomber Alan Cavenaugh. He's a redhead with an afro, think Bill Walton, minus the height, with more of an accent and a talent for all things BOOM. He's looking for Danny. Wait a minute, Danny has a girlfriend who lost an arm to a bomb. Alan's a bomber, this can't be good.

Anyhoo, Danny tries to end the fight by summoning more chi and taking The Wrecker's mystic crowbar from him. That's only been done once by Dr Strange, but Danny's desperate and he needs to end this fight. Doesn't work. Misty gets taken hostage, Wrecking Ball wraps her up in his mystic chain, she's forced to tell the truth and screams out "You can't win Rocky". I think I slipped into a different story. Anywaysssss, Danny offers use his martial arts training, gained during the decade he lived in the mythical city of K'un Lun, to slip into Avengers Mansion to get Thor. (He's really hoping to get Iron Man, bring him back and take out The Crew. As long time readers of The Avengers know, neither Thor nor Iron Man live at the mansion).

I don't have part two so I'm gonna need some help here.......does he make it?

The Prowler (Cause we're about to throw down and you'll know just what to do).

dbutler16 said...

Like Edo, I completely missed out on these Iron Fist stories back in the day. I do have Iron Fist #15, though I had only bought that (as a back issue) because of the X-Men appearance, as I was an X-Men zombie. However, like Edo, I regret on having missed out on these. After all, it's Claremont & Byrne back when they were both firing on all cylinders, and I've managed to read some of these other issues (though not the ones Karen is referring to) and have enjoyed them.

pfgavigan said...

Yep, I've got them and still appreciate them. And, strangely enough, still resent their existence.

Let me explain. I really didn't like a lot of the Bronze Age, especially at Marvel. Yes, there was a lot of young talent developing at Marvel, but the key word to remember is 'developing.' One of the previous comments dealt with creators 'firing on all cylinders,' which was true in this case. Unfortunately, in most cases there was the smell of a lot of unburnt fuel in the air.

Yes, I think a lot of the Bronze Age stank and I almost stopped buying comics at that time. The emergence of talents like Byrne and Claremont, and whatever we may think of their recent history, their honing of their respective talents was an exciting thing to watch and something that kept me regularly visiting the comic stores for another decade.


Anonymous said...

Man I love me some Iron Fist!

Prowler, you took the words right out of my mouth! Like you, I read the issue with the Wrecking Crew many years ago as a little kid, but never read the followup issue with Cap.

Yeah, it was fun to see Claremont include so many guest stars (DD, Cyclops, Jean Grey) out of costume here. I personally dug Danny's fight against all four of the crew. Bulldozer getting hit accidentally by Thunderball's, er, ball had me laughing. The highlight of course was IF's failed attempt to wrest the Wrecker's mystically charged crowbar. This was the first time I had seen the crew, and they looked like they meant business!

Even here you could see how Claremont and Byrne worked together, with Claremont gradually developing story threads and Byrne giving us a kickass fight usually later on at the end of the issue, a style they would refine with much success in their run on the Uncanny X-men.

- Mike 'Shhhkowww!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

William said...

I missed this one yesterday because I was out running most of the day.

However, I have to comment because I love Iron Fist as a character and this is one of my all-time favorite two-parters. When it originally came out, I missed issue #11, and had only picked up #12 and it became an instant favorite of mine.

It is because of this story that I love the Wrecking Crew as well. For years, I'd buy comics that I usually didn't read, if the Crew were the villains.

Iron Fist #12 is a very significant comic for me, as it was the first comic I can remember reading that I actually took the time to look at who the artist was. It was of course John Byrne (which I incorrectly pronounced By-NER at the time). I now own both of the issues. And it remains one of my personal examples of what comics should be. Exciting and fun with a tight script and awesome, dynamic, and colorful art.

I have several individual issues of Iron Fist, but not all of them. I used to own the Essential Iron Fist volume, but I'm just not a big fan of black & white comics, so I ended up selling it a while back. Then last year, I got both of the Marvel Masterwork volumes that reprint pretty much every issue of Iron Fist in full color. They are truly epic and worth the money.

William said...

Sigh, that first line was supposed to read.

I missed this one yesterday because I was out running AROUND most of the day.

Anyone who knows me, knows that wasn't out "running" all day. lol

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing that up William! Your first post made me think you were training for some sort of marathon!

- Mike 'winded after 3 steps' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Karen said...

Prowler, Iron Fist does indeed make it through issue 12. Thanks for providing a synopsis of issue 11! The fight and subsequent team-up with Cap were a lot of fun. I don't think Claremont quite had Cap's voice but he was close enough. Byrne's art was buzzing here and the whole thing was just a joy from beginning to end. Those two at the height of their collaboration really were the Bronze Age version of Lee-Kirby. Hyperbole? Maybe...maybe not.

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