Whenever I see Iron Fist, I can't help but reminisce the good old Heroes for Hire days. I was a huge fan of the book during its short 19-issue run from 1997 to 1999 and the HfH team ranks second on my list of all-time favorite superhero teams, just behind the Avengers. There were a lot of reasons why I got hooked with Heroes for Hire but I think that the idea of having a team with a rotating cast of members was what really drew me in. The HfH crew was pretty much like the Avengers in that regard and it didn't hurt that the team featured a lot of former Avengers on their roster. And though the team was bannered by Luke Cage and Iron Fist, two heroes I wasn't deeply familiar with, I was quick to accept their roles and I easily learned to appreciate what the duo actually had to offer. When Iron Fist became part of the New Avengers in 2007, guess who the most stoked person on Earth was?
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that this is already the fourth Marvel Universe Iron Fist figure to date, and even though I'm a big fan of the character, this is actually my first 1:18 version of the great Danny Rand. There's the original Wave 2 fig that used the Human Torch/Silver Surfer body, there's also the Wave 2 running change fig that borrowed the Wave 3 Black Costume Spider-Man body, and then there's the Greatest Battles Comic Pack version that has a new upper torso piece. I find the green on both Wave 2 figs to be too pale and I also wasn't willing to buy the Power Man & Iron Fist Comic Pack because of my one-figure-per-character rule (I already have the Wave 7 Luke Cage), and so I decided to get this modern take on the Living Weapon. Now that I have this figure though, I think I should have bought the Comic Pack instead. This figure is far from being bad but somehow, I'm longing for the character's iconic look (disco collar & slippers) which this figure just doesn't sport. Aaarrrggghhh!
Moving past that issue, this fig's actually a good one. It's a straight repaint of the running change figure from Wave 2, so it's obvious that this figure has the same limitations that the older one has. Articulation is pretty decent but we're talking about a martial arts expert here and "pretty decent" just doesn't cut it. Swivel-hinge hands and rocker ankles would have been great but unfortunately, we're not getting those bonuses here. The head sculpt is fantastic but I think the Comic Pack version's mug looks meaner and more attractive.
Iron Fist's modern look is definitely a sight for sore eyes and this figure captures that perfectly. The grayish blue paint app provides a nice contrast to the white costume while the gold and black parts give life to the figure. The dragon symbol on the chest is applied crisply and there's really nothing here to complain about, paint-wise.
Except for the paint apps, the only difference between the Wave 2 running change figure and this one is that this modern version has a separate belt piece. Apparently, Danny Rand is one sexy dude because the belt he's wearing is actually from the Wave 3 Ms. Marvel figure. Yikes! The fig also comes with a translucent orange plastic lump that simulates Iron Fist's focused chi but sadly, the new Marvel Universe figs do not come with display stands anymore. To further annoy us, Hasbro's been throwing a useless cardboard comic shot with every single-carded MU fig to compensate for the display stand's omission. Great!
Overall, this modern Iron Fist figure is good but frankly, it's not good enough to get my recommendation. If you're going to get just one MU Iron Fist fig for your collection, you'll probably be better off with the Comic Pack version. Hhhmmm, maybe it's time to break my one-figure-per-character rule...