Monday, August 17, 2015


Author: Chris Claremont | Artist: John Byrne | Inker: Dan Adkins
Letterer: Joe Rosen | Colorist: Don Warfield | Editor: Archie Goodwin

You are Captain America… and you are a living legend.

You are also an Avenger… and this day finds you on watch in the mansion/headquarters monitor room

The Plot: Iron Fist breaks into Avengers Mansion and has a skirmish with Captain America. After the two eventually make friends, Cap helps Iron Fist set a trap for the Wrecking Crew in the mansion’s Danger Room. Iron Fist summons the Crew inside and snags Misty from them, then he and Cap challenge the villains to a fight with the Danger Room set to “Thor level” strength. The heroes are victorious and the Wrecking Crew are carted off to prison.

Continuity Notes: The issue’s start establishes that six hours have passed since last issue. Claremont seems to have moved away from his irritating real time conceit at this point, now using a sort of hybrid between it and Marvel time, as Cap notes that it's been “over a year” since the murder of Harold Meachum (this actually occurred two and a half years back, publication-wise, at this point). But in the same breath, he mentions Iron Man fighting Iron Fist “a few months back” and Iron Fist’s role in Bill Hao’s apparent death “just this summer.”

All the above incidents are footnoted as having occurred last issue, in IRON FIST #1, in MARVEL PREMIERE 18 - 22, and in IRON FIST 9 and 10.

Iron Fist notes that one of the arts he learned from Lei Kung in K'un L'un was ninjutsu.

During his fight with Captain America, Iron Fist struggles to utilize the Iron Fist technique since he already used it twice that same day against the Wrecking Crew.

My Thoughts: This is an all-around fun issue, a welcome improvement from the lackluster part one. There are no sub-plots, but they aren't missed. Captain America vs. Iron Fist is a great fight, and both Claremont and Byrne pay Cap the respect he's due: Claremont has a firm handle on Cap’s dialogue and mannerisms, while Byrne, who is on record as stating that Cap is his favorite Marvel character, clearly has a ball pitting these two against each other.

I do question Cap’s eagerness to fight Iron Fist, though -- at the issue’s start, he just happens to be reading some old articles about the Living Weapon following his appearance at the hospital last issue and sees a piece detailing Iron Fist’s murder of Bill Hao. Cap immediately declares a vendetta against Iron Fist and leaves the monitor room just before a headline from a few days later, exonerating Iron Fist, comes up. It's a little too much of a forced reason for the normally collected Captain America to go off half-cocked just so he can fight Iron Fist. But the fight is, as noted, well worth it, so I suppose this can be excused.

The other fight in the issue, Cap and Iron Fist against the Wrecking Crew, is just as fun. Byrne clearly loves drawing the Crew as a bunch of big, clumsy palookas and the wildly comical facial expressions he gives them are a lot of fun to look at. They look like a bunch of Hanna Barbera characters transplanted into a Marvel Comic.

(Incidentally, for years I've heard the Wrecker’s voice in my head sounding more or less like Fred Flintstone; I wonder if Byrne’s art here is the reason why?)

“All action issues” tend to be very hit-or-miss for me, falling far, far more often on the “miss” side, but this one is a lot of fun.


  1. I don't think I knew that Cap was Byrne's favorite character. Odd, given how little he's worked on the character (the Stern/Byrne run is great, but short, and not exactly iconic in the way of his FF and Superman stuff). Then again, I suppose there's something to be said for enjoying a character from afar and not diving too deep into creating stories about him.

    Incidentally, is there a formal name for the Avenger's "Danger Room"? It's not quite the recurring bit of the actual Danger Room, but it pops up in plenty of stories through the years, but I can't think of anything to call it other than "the Avenger's training room".

    1. I got the "Cap is Byrne's favorite" thing from a quote @johnbyrnesays posted on Twitter, where he said that his favorite superhero on any given day is either Cap or Batman.

      (Incidentally, I wrote about the full Byrne/Stern CAPTAIN AMERICA run last year; check it out if you're so inclined. It's short but, as you said, really good. Plus, it features an appearance from D.A. Tower, who we've seen in IRON FIST, and, without any direct crossover, it carries a story thread from Stern's SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, which is then concluded in his AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.)

      (Double incidentally, I also wrote about Stern's full Spider-Man run last year.)

      The Avengers' training room is referred to consistently in this issue as the Danger Room, but I'm pretty sure I've never seen that term applied to it anywhere else. And getting back to @johnbyrnesays, he posted a quote not long ago in which Byrne said the Avengers never even had a training room until Claremont wrote it into this very issue of IRON FIST!