The Chinese Martial Art’s Hero Iron Fist Series Review
The Chinese Martial Art’s Hero Iron Fist Series Review: A Work of Genuine Heart

The Chinese Martial Art’s Hero Iron Fist Series is a thrilling and fast-paced read. With a well-developed plot and characters, this book is sure to please readers who enjoy a good old-fashioned adventure story, especially those who are fans of the martial arts genre. 

Written by award-winning author, Alan Chang, the story takes place in the year 1940s in China and centers around the life of a young martial artist, Chen Jia. Chen Jia’s father, a Chinese guerilla leader, has been captured by the Japanese and is scheduled for execution. 

Chen Jia and his three friends, all skilled martial artists, set out on a dangerous journey to rescue their father and defend 10% stronger than the original, with the same, if not better, martial arts techniques. 

This particular series is a nice alternative to the original, with some improvements on the original. It’s also a good way to get into the series, since it’s not too long. If you’ve seen the original, you won’t be surprised by any of the fighting moves.

The Hero Iron Fist Series by Jin Yong is a collection of books that took him 16 years to complete. The series is a classic of Chinese literature which covers a time frame from the late Ming dynasty to the early Qing dynasty. This is an epic martial arts series with a strong Buddhist element.

Iron Fist: The Origin

Iron Fist Origin
Iron Fist: The Origin

The art comes from T. Ravi (RedSpeed) who provides fantastic style for the art. From panel to panel, each style is artfully painted and is very impressive. I particularly enjoyed the panel layout of the art, with transitions nicely painted and very fluid, very different to other art work. 

Not only that, but this art works perfectly as a sort of backdrop to the stories. In the beginning and middle of the series, the art is purely background art, much like the K’un-L’un art of that time period. 

At other times, it acts as an interesting piece of world building. The art looks great on small or even medium sized computers and is great on iPads.

The Heroes Emerge

Iron Fist The Heroes Emerge
The Heroes Emerge

There are five warriors currently taking on the Dragon of the North (what is this, I wonder? Sigh). Iron Fist, the Eleventh Dimension, Silverback, and then a whole bunch of brand new characters pop out of nowhere to deal with the threat of Hydra. 

This comic series is all about the five heroes in the fight for the city, however. One to two issues at a time, the storyline jumps all around the city, with only the story elements that are necessary to continue the fight. 

The new series introduces us to the new heroes, introducing them one at a time and giving us time to get used to their unique personalities and to learn their special abilities. With five heroes being thrown together, you can be sure that there will be sparks, battles, and romance to make this all work well.

The Rise of the High Dragon

Rise of the High Dragon
The Rise of the High Dragon

The narrative of The Rise of the High Dragon is much more engaging than the original; as if to say, “the old can be recycled into something new, but the new can’t be recycled”. With each episode, we are given information that makes us think, “this could be an alternate history; this could happen”. 

Of course, the government would never tell you what really happened, and the government would never make up a villain like the High Dragon, but they do make you want to know what will happen. So, what happened? The original series was never explained. 

The narrative is that the government took control of America’s energy supply and stopped the development of nuclear power after a nuclear accident caused the deaths of millions in Europe.

The Death of the Iron Fist

Fans have waited for ages to see their favorite hero make his triumphant return in the latest series of Netflix. Marvel's Iron Fist: A Hero Reborn is the second season of the Netflix Iron Fist series. 

The series picks up one month after the events of season one, with Danny (Finn Jones) now on the run. He struggles to adjust to life in a foreign country and reconciles with his new-found powers. The series is easily divided into three main factions of characters. 

There's Danny, Jessica, and Ward. Danny is struggling to adjust to his powers, and trying to figure out his place in the world. His old friend Colleen Wing has arrived to help him, but has her own mysteries.

General Thoughts

This series features the worst game design in the Marvel universe. It’s shallow and exploitative, with bland characters and plain, boring movesets. Every movement is rigidly forced and simplified to the point of unintelligibility. 

Each move feels like a brainless combination of random button presses. Every move has less technical merit than any move in the original game. The story is inert and uninteresting, with generic villains and generic protagonists. 

The characters are ill-defined, with only two qualities distinguishing them: gender and race. There’s no real character development in any of the characters, and no dialogue with them. The characters have no personality, and the developers forgot to give them one.

Who Should Watch It

Fans of the original would be able to get a kick out of this, but the real audience here is for all the general martial arts fans. It’s also a great entry point for newcomers. 

Why Read It The heroes of the show are actually all trained in the martial arts, so if you want to see an in-depth look at what martial arts training is all about, then give this series a go. 

This particular series takes a fairly underwhelming hero like Iron Fist and makes him a more intriguing character.

My Thoughts on the Series

It’s got a lot of strength and power and just feels good to see as a reader. The fact that you can switch the focus to the usual “black and white” of Iron Fist’s story, while also seeing the more complex aspects of the series really shows the creative approach they’ve taken to this. 

There’s a bit of exposition, which is pretty standard in the more old school martial arts stories, but it doesn’t bog the series down. It’s all balanced with action and no opportunity is lost. It gives this series a big advantage over the original. 

Diedrich Bader is absolutely fantastic. His portrayal of Danny Rand is spot on and it helps to distinguish him from his TV portrayal, which was a different kind of take for that character.

Conclusion

Fighting this series off for the story alone, and for the martial arts, was a nice experience. Marvel may not be known for their stories, but they make some of the most awesome fighting. 

Characters like Iron Fist and the Defenders are just as fun to see, if not more so, when they’re involved in a fight as opposed to simply shooting from the hip. They’re ready to fight in the books.