Ed Brisson discusses the villain seeking to destroy the Living Weapon!

Choshin has proven himself to be a man not easily denied—not even by the IRON FIST creative team, writer Ed Brisson and artist Mike Perkins. Originally conceived to play a smaller part in the duo’s run on the series, the antagonist asserted himself until Brisson knew that he deserved to be one of Danny Rand’s central antagonists.

And on January 3, the villain’s influence expands even further in IRON FIST #76! With K’un-Lun under siege, even the combined might of Danny and Sabretooth may not be enough to stop Choshin and his invaders.

We caught up with Brisson to get the full background on the Iron Fist’s newest adversary.

Marvel.com: When you first began to imagine Choshin as the big bad for this run on IRON FIST, what qualities did you want to make sure he brought to the table?

Ed Brisson: Choshin’s not the most pleasant man, but I always wanted to ensure that he does what he legitimately believes to be right and good for the people of Liu-Shi. He’s stubborn, he’s pig-headed, and he’s more than a little too confident.

He brings Iron Fist to Liu-Shi initially, confident that the Seven Masters would easily best Danny. He felt it would be good for the people of Liu-Shi to see that, but of course, his plans go awry.

Choshin has tried to pivot after this. With Liu-Shi now exposed, they can no longer operate in shadows.

Marvel.com: How has the character evolved since you initially conceived of him?

Ed Brisson: Well, initially Choshin had a smaller role and wasn’t going to be one of the council members of Liu-Shi, but as we developed the story, we switched up the council members quite a bit.  We decided to give Choshin a more prominent role on the council and, thus, a larger role in the book. He’s someone who may not be the head honcho, but he certainly pulls more strings than readers may initially realize.

Marvel.com: When it came to Choshin, what role did series artist Mike Perkins’ art and design play in the realization of that character?

Ed Brisson: Everything. As mentioned above, Choshin started as a minor character and grew into something much more. I think that’s partially because of how Mike portrayed him in the book, but honestly, the writing and the art are so intertwined that it’s sometimes hard to remember what came first.

Marvel.com: How would you summarize Choshin’s general modus operandi and code of ethics?

Ed Brisson: Choshin doesn’t see himself as a villain. He’s a man who’s trying to help bring K’un-Lun back to what he sees as its past greatness. To him, Iron Fist—an outworlder who, to Choshin’s mind, has no real claim to the title—Sparrow, etc. all act as symptoms that will lead to K’un-Lun’s downfall.

And, while he works for Liu-Shi’s interests, he’s not working with Liu-Shi’s interests, if that makes sense. Not everyone in Liu-Shi sees things the same way he does, which is why he’s gone off with his own militia and not kept all of Liu-Shi involved. He knows that his actions are flying in the face of the rest of the council, but since he believes so strongly in what he’s doing, he feels that the ends will justify the means.

Marvel.com: For fans late to the book, how would you summarize Choshin’s overall goals?

Ed Brisson: Simply: Choshin wants Iron Fist dead and wants to assume control of K’un-Lun—to bring it back under Liu-Shi rule. Liu-Shi, of course, being comprised of K’un-Lun ex-pats.

Marvel.com: As the book has gone on, the path to Choshin’s endgame has grown increasingly complicated. What keeps him moving forward rather than retreating or reconsidering?

Ed Brisson: Choshin still has the element of surprise on his side. K’un-Lun doesn’t know he’s coming. But, if he waits too long, that’ll change. The time for him to act must be now.

Marvel.com: What can you tease about issue #76?

Ed Brisson: Choshin unleashes hell upon K’un-Lun. It’ll be a battle that neither side will soon forget.

Return to the snowy heights of K’un-Lun in IRON FIST #76, by Ed Brisson and artist Mike Perkins, on January 3!

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The time-traveling hero decides it’s time once again for a team!

Nathan Summers’ no dummy, and CABLE #152, out December 13, will prove it.

When Cable’s back’s against the wall and there’s a murder mystery to solve, he’ll forego his usual loner act and admits it’s time for a team. And what a team! Pulled from a point in Marvel mutant history around 2004, these characters represent everything your favorite cyborg warrior needs to get the job done—or so he hopes.

We asked CABLE writer Ed Brisson to comment on each timeless titan our hero pulls in:

Marvel.com: Ed, what about Longshot? How do you see his connection to Cable?

Ed Brisson: In terms of relationship, I see Longshot as being Cable’s second in command here. He’s been on this case since day one, primarily brought in for his—little used—ability to communicate with the recently dead. And, hey, dude has luck ability. Every team needs a good luck charm.

Marvel.com: Surely Shatterstar’s providing some “good ol’days” feels for Cable, right?

Ed Brisson: He and Cable are X-Force alum and so have a long history. Shatterstar is brought in for muscle. [Cable] needs a heavy-hitter who has no compunction about running headlong into battle. And, because I’ve been asked [elsewhere], it’s worth noting that at this point in time—circa 2004—Shatterstar and Longshot are unaware that they’re related.

Marvel.com: Laura Kinney’s here, but as X-23, not Wolverine…

Ed Brisson: At this point in time, X-23 is new to the scene so [she] doesn’t have much of a relationship with Cable or the rest of the crew. But, as mentioned above, they need muscle and X-23 gives them that, too.

Marvel.com: And Armor?

Ed Brisson: Similar to X-23, in 2004 Armor is relatively new to the X-Men. In fact, she’s not a member of X-Men yet; she’s a new student at Xavier Institute. Cable’s brought her aboard for abilities that he knows she has that she’s still unaware of.  There’s a bit of a mentorship happening—Cable knows Armor’s headed for great things and is giving her a bit of a push here.

Cable (2017) #150

Cable (2017) #150

Marvel.com: Then there’s Blink!

Ed Brisson: Top secret! We’re in a time where Blink isn’t supposed to be around. So, how she’s here and what she’s doing is something that people are going to have to read and discover for themselves.

Marvel.com: Okay, but how the heck will Doop be useful?

Ed Brisson: Doop is there because he’s Doop! Doop is awesome! But, also, Cable knows they’re going up against Selene, who’s a powerful telepath. They need Doop in order to shield them from her…’cause, did you know that Doop can throw up psionic shields? He can!

Marvel.com: Now, to wrap this up, we have to ask: how does big baddie Gideon figure into this?

Ed Brisson: This is another one I’m going to plead the fifth on. How Gideon comes into it and what his play is, that’s something that readers will have to discover over the next few issues.

Marvel.com: Wait! You gotta say more than that!

Ed Brisson: For me, personally, that early 90s era of New Mutants/X-Force was seminal. It was an exciting time and Gideon was a large part of that. Dude’s been off the playing board for more than two decades and I’m pretty excited to be bringing him back.

Find out what Nate and his crew get up to next in CABLE #152 by Ed Brisson and artist Jon Malin on December 13!

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The deadly new Constrictor might strangle Iron Fist’s newest team-up just as it begins.

Constrictor and Sabretooth have a long history of bedeviling Iron Fist. On December 6 in IRON FIST #75, however, things have changed. Sabretooth has aligned himself with Iron Fist and the man in the Constrictor suit has changed, as Frank Payne has died and someone else has taken on his mantel. And that someone has little interest in working with Sabretooth at all.

Writer Ed Brisson teased us with the still unrevealed identity, a possible villain double cross, and what exactly Iron Fist’s quest may have cost him.

Marvel.com: What, as a writer, appealed to you about creating a new Constrictor? Creatively, what challenges does creating a new incarnation of a previously existing character carry with it?

Ed Brisson: Well, I was looking for a good “in” to bring Sabretooth and Iron Fist together. In the past, Sabretooth and Iron Fist have clashed, but more often it’s been Sabretooth and Constrictor as a duo popping up in IRON FIST and, later, in POWER MAN AND IRON FIST. I felt it was a real shame that the original Constrictor, Frank Payne was dead. I mean, both he and Sabretooth had gone straight—or straight-ish—and so, theoretically, they and Iron Fist would be on the same side.

But, alas, Frank was dead.

In tossing the idea around more, I realized that him being dead doesn’t mean I can’t still use him—or rather, someone pretending to be him.

Marvel.com: As much as you can without spoiling things, what does this new Constrictor have in common and how does he differ from his predecessor who used that name?

Ed Brisson: I don’t want to give away too much, but there is a definite relationship between the new Constrictor and the old. The new is driven to “outdo” Frank Payne’s Constrictor for very personal reasons.

Iron Fist (2017) #75

Iron Fist (2017) #75

Marvel.com: What made him a good fit as not just an Iron Fist villain but an Iron Fist villain for this specific moment in time, for this specific arc?

Ed Brisson: For me, it felt like a natural way to bring Iron Fist and Sabretooth together. Iron Fist is after Constrictor because he stole from him and Sabretooth’s going to want to know who the hell is running around ruining his best friend’s legacy—not that Sabretooth has a “best friend,” but if he did, Constrictor/Frank Payne would probably be it.

Also, through Constrictor we’ll eventually get to see a more human side of Sabretooth that we’re not used to seeing.

Marvel.com: How did you and artist Mike Perkins collaborate to bring the villain to life? How did he influence you on elements like personality, history, motivation, and so on and how did you influence him on the villain’s look?

Ed Brisson: Mike has been amazing with character design throughout the series. We’re now 10 issues in and I believe he’s designed at least 10 new characters for the run so far. And they’ve all been great. However, when it came time for the new Constrictor, we decided to maintain the classic look. This guy wants people to think he’s the original Constrictor. He’s using the appearance of being the same person to advance his own criminal agenda.

That said, the body language definitely suggests that there’s a different, cockier man inside the suit. Mike is that master of those subtle cues.

Marvel.com: This book is currently a web of tenuous alliances that seem poised to fall apart at any moment. What is the status of the Iron Fist/Sabretooth partnership as well as that of Constrictor and Choshin at this time? How do cracks in those alliances spell danger for all involved not just the two most directly affected?

Ed Brisson: I think Sabretooth and Iron Fist are becoming more comfortable with one another, but that can change at any moment. Neither particularly likes the other, but I think that there will be a newfound respect for one another by the time we’re through with them.

As for Constrictor and Choshin, there’s trouble a brewing. Constrictor tried to pull a fast one on Choshin and Choshin is not a man you want to double cross.

Marvel.com: If you had to boil down for possible readers why this issue cannot be missed into a quick elevator pitch, what would you tell them?

Ed Brisson: This issue brings us to a moment we’ve been building to since IRON FIST #1. Iron Fist may have his chi back, but it’s possible he’s lost everything else in the process.

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Ed Brisson on the dawn of Marvel Legacy with Logan!

On November 29, Marvel Legacy sees Wolverine’s oldest foe close at hand once again in OLD MAN LOGAN #31 by writer Ed Brisson and artist Mike Deodato!

Logan’s been plagued by the Hand for decades now—even though a pair of Adamantium claws usually make quick work of an evil ninja horde. But now with Gorgon at the helm of the nefarious organization, Logan might just have met his match…

We spoke with Ed Brisson to hear more about the man once known as Wolverine.

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about issue #31’s plot? Where does the Hand fit into the story?

Ed Brisson: Logan travels to Japan to deal with a seemingly unrelated matter when he finds himself in the Hand’s crosshairs. It’s perhaps a little more than just him stumbling into their latest scheme, but still, he’s in Japan and he’s gotten in the way of Gorgon and the Hand’s plans. And since both Gorgon and the Hand have a long history with Logan, they’re not going to let this opportunity pass. The ninja horde is deadlier than ever, so who better to test their mettle against than the man who’s turned so many of them to dust?

The Hand have often been presented as cannon fodder for the Marvel Universe, so it’s time for them to power up if they want to make any sort of real impact. And under the leadership of Gorgon and The Scarlet Samurai, they do just that. They become something more than what they’ve been in the past and, as a result, are a bigger, deadlier threat. As we’ve seen time and again, under the right leadership, the Hand can be a dangerous bunch—and no one has fallen victim to that more than Logan.

Marvel.com: How do you think the Hand has solidified itself as such an important facet of Wolverine’s legacy?

Ed Brisson: The Hand have been screwing with Logan for as long as I’ve been reading comics. They’re responsible for the death of Mariko—Logan’s ex-fiancée and true love. They killed Logan, brought him back and, under the guidance of Gorgon, turned him against his friends in scenes that seem to foreshadow the death of the X-Men in the original OLD MAN LOGAN series. I could go on!

Marvel.com: What does Wolverine’s legacy mean to you?

Ed Brisson: For me, specifically, it was great to grow up knowing that the most badass dude in the Marvel Universe was a Canadian like me. Being Canadian and constantly being bombarded with American media (comics, movies, TV), it sometimes felt as though we were living in America’s shadow. Logan played such an important role to me as a kid.

Marvel.com: How has the character changed since his early days? How does he continue to change and grow today?

Ed Brisson: I think the Logan that we have now can be much more reflective than the early version. He’s lost a family and he’s killed his best friends. He’s been through a lot. And now that he’s here in the present, where the X-Men are still alive and kicking, he’s been given a second chance and he’s not going to let it go to waste.

Marvel.com: What proved to be the most challenging element of making this book? The most rewarding element?

Ed Brisson: For me, the most challenging thing was dealing with the anxiety of coming on a book after Mark Millar, Brian Michael Bendis, and Jeff Lemire! All three are top-tier writers who I greatly respect. This is only my third series at Marvel, so there were a lot of sleepless nights focused on making this story great.

In terms of reward? Getting Mike Deodato’s pages in my inbox every morning. It’s just a reminder of how awesome my job is and how lucky I am to get to work with such talented people.

Marvel.com: Finally, what can you tease about Logan’s newest challenge?

Ed Brisson: For this arc specifically, there are a few folks from Logan’s past who are coming back to make his life a living hell. I wanted to tread carefully to make sure that we’re paying proper respect to Logan’s past. Fans (myself included) are invested in that past and we didn’t want to tell this story in a way that completely disregards that. But on the other hand…we’re taking something sacred to Logan and using it against him in a way that’s going to be devastating.

OLD MAN LOGAN #31, by Ed Brisson and artist Mike Deodato, lands on November 29!

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Danny Rand teams up with the Master of Kung Fu, Shang-Chi!

In the immortal words of Carl Douglas, “Everybody was kung fu fighting … In fact, it was a little bit frightening.” These lyrics pretty much sum up the forthcoming two-issue arc in Ed Brisson, Mike Perkins and Andy Troy’s IRON FIST when Danny Rand teams up with Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu in Issue #6 (out Aug. 2).

Together, they’re taking on a deadly cult never before seen in Marvel comics in a story that Brisson promises is equal parts martial arts and horror. Read on to see our full interview with Ed as he describes what it was like to pair up two of the most iconic living weapons in the Marvel Universe.

Marvel.com: So tell us a little about this “murder cult” trying to kill Danny and how Shang-Chi is here to help?

Ed Brisson: Without getting into spoiler territory…After the events of The Trial of Seven Masters, Danny is just trying to get home. He’s learned more about himself and knows what he needs to do, where he needs to go. However, it seems some people don’t want him to make it home. Some people would rather see him dead. The “murder cult”, known as The Lineage of the One True Light is not a group we’ve seen in the Marvel U before. Mike Perkins and I had a lot of fun creating the look for The Lineage and their leader. I’m hoping that people will be sufficiently creeped out by them. Shang-Chi gets a tip-off on the hit and comes in to help Danny. The why of it all, you’re going to have to read to find out.

Marvel.com: What kind of dynamic can we expect between these two characters? How does Danny feel about this team-up, especially one with the son of an internationally infamous criminal mastermind?

Ed Brisson: These two are supposed to be the top kung-fu masters in the Marvel U and I think that there’s a mutual respect between them, however, we wanted to play off that a little. We’ve got them competing a little, even if it’s low key and not at the forefront. There are comments here and there that let you know that they’re both aware that the other is perhaps trying to outperform the other. As to Shang-Chi’s dad being an infamous criminal mastermind, it’s not something that is addressed. Danny knows that everyone’s got their own issues. Hell, Danny’s own father tried to kill him in Iron Fist: Living Weapon, so he’s not one to start criticizing some else’s parents.

Marvel.com: Does Danny feel insecure about his own fighting abilities in the presence of the so-called “Master of Kung Fu”? 

Ed Brisson: I don’t know if Danny feels insecure around Shang-Chi, but he certainly has a tendency towards trying to impress those around him. And that need is going to be turned up to eleven when he’s around someone who carries the title of “Master of Kung Fu”. Even though they’re working together, any competing that they do through the two-issue arc is almost guaranteed to be initiated by Danny. However, their skills will be tested in ways that neither anticipates. I think readers are really going to dig it.

Marvel.com: Using that as springboard, how do their fighting styles differ with Danny being trained in the mystical K’un-Lun and Shang-Chi in mainland China? 

Ed Brisson: Historically, Danny’s focus has been almost strictly hand-to-hand combat, where Shang-Chi has training in both hand-to-hand and in using weaponry. Iron Fist can sometimes be impulsive, where Shang-Chi is more disciplined and focused.

Marvel.com: Looking at Jeff Dekal’s cover art, I get an old school ‘70s Kung Fu movie/poorly dubbed action vibe. Did films like Bruce Lee’s Enter The Dragon influence this issue/new story arc? If so, how will we see it manifested on the page? 

Ed Brisson: His covers are amazing, aren’t they? Had the pleasure of meeting Jeff at HeroesCon a couple of weeks ago and picking up an original Iron Fist drawing. That dude is crazy talented and super nice. This one is a weird one, to be honest. The first arc was heavily influenced by my love of kung fu flicks, but this second arc is less so. This one is more of a kung fu/horror mash-up. It’s a very moody and atmospheric action piece with some pretty high stakes for our heroes. Mike Perkins and Andy Troy have done an incredible job of creating an unsettling vibe for the book. It’s a little off-kilter for what most might expect from an IRON FIST book, but I think that people are going to be pleasantly surprised.

Marvel.com: Are there any other characters in the IRON FIST mythos that are in the wings or ones you’d like to write for in future issues?

Ed Brisson: There are a couple who’re set to appear in an upcoming arc, but I don’t want to spoil anything. But, honestly, there are very few characters from Iron Fist’s past that I don’t want to bring into the series. I feel he’s got a rich gallery of villains — everyone from Razorfist to Davos — and a compelling list of supporters and friends — from Luke Cage to Colleen Wing to The Immortal Weapons. This list is as long as my arm. There are some deep cut baddies that I’ve been pitching for upcoming arcs that we’ll hopefully get to see. More immediately, though, people may have noticed Sabretooth on the cover of the first issue in the LEGACY arc. Sabretooth made his first appearance in IRON FIST #14 and the two have clashed several times since and it looks like they’re both still holding a grudge.

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Danny Rand’s island adventure comes to a brutal end!

While July 4 usually marks the height of fireworks in the United States, IRON FIST #5 will have plenty more ready for you the next day.

Danny Rand, tired but resilient, will complete his violent journey to the top of the Liu-Shi fighting tournament and finally come face to face with the shadowy final opponent who has been watching him from afar all this time. While we wouldn’t dare spoil the results, we can promise the clash will be explosive.

Writer Ed Brisson gladly took a break from cleaning all the blood off of his clothes to talk to us about the end of the Immortal Weapon’s latest martial arts contest.

Marvel.com: At the start of IRON FIST, Danny found himself losing his chi. As he pulls into this final fight, he has been awarded the chi of his fallen opponents. How has that affected his abilities? His state of mind?

Ed Brisson: At first, I think it came as a bit of relief to him. He’s finally able to tap back into his power; however, as we learn through the series, it’s fleeting. The chi he absorbs is not the same and doesn’t last, so, in a lot of ways, he’s back to square one. He’s still trying to find out why he has trouble connecting with his chi. Until he knows why, he has no idea how to fix it.

He came to Liu-Shi looking for answers and while he may find some, he’s discovered new questions that he’ll need to answer.

Marvel.com: The final opponent has made an effort to keep him or herself largely in the shadows. Without spoiling anything, what can you tell us about this mysterious foe?

Ed Brisson: Oh man…I want to, but that’s one of those things that I think is better left for the reader to discover. Let’s just say that this fight is a fight that’s been in the making since the 70s.

Marvel.com: How did Mike Perkins’ art help you realize the tone and look of the final boss? How did his depiction of the character inform your writing of him and of the fight?

Ed Brisson: Going in, we had a very clear idea of who the final boss was; there’s an existing history to him that we’re building upon. Design wise, Mike came up with an incredible look for him. Something classic that doesn’t look dated. I can’t get too deep into it without risk of spoiling things, but will say that Mike nailed the design. Which is no surprise, Mike has designed some incredible characters for this series.

Iron Fist #5 cover by Jeff Dekal

In terms of Mike’s fights and choreography—after seeing the very first fight scene in issue #2, I stopped scripting fight scenes for Mike. When we get to a fight page, I’ll usually give a bare-bones run down of what happens and leave the rest to Mike. Normally, I don’t write that way, but have found that with Mike, the best thing to do is get out of his way and let him work his magic. That’s how you end up with some pages that have 22 panels of the most killer fighting you’ve ever seen in a comic.

Marvel.com: It has been clear since issue #2 that the houses of the island have no intention of playing fair with Iron Fist. Now that he stands one antagonist away from total victory, how dangerous are the schools to him even though he’s defeated their champions?

Ed Brisson: Although the island operates under one governing council, each house/school has a very distinct personality and will react to the loss in their own way. Some of the houses will accept the loss gracefully. Others, not as much. And some…well, some will not accept loss at any cost.

The long term of this is that we’re going to see Danny making pathways with new allies, while also adding a whole slew of enemies to his already bursting fight dance card.

Even though Danny may soon be done with the Liu-Shi, that doesn’t mean that Liu-Shi is done with him.

Marvel.com: In considering this last issue of your first arc on the title, what would you tell fans who think they might want to pick it up but aren’t sure? What makes this issue an important get for fans of Iron Fist?

Ed Brisson: Anyone who’s a fan of kung fu flicks should pick up the series. We’re leaning hard into that old Shaw Bros feel and I think that a lot of people have been pretty happy with it. We’re really doing our best to honor Iron Fist’s roots by telling a tale that feels classic, but also contemporary all at once.

Marvel.com: In looking beyond #5, can you tease any elements or stories that may await Danny if he can survive this last fight?

Ed Brisson: In issues #6 and #7, Danny is just trying to get back home. There’ll be some unfinished business and the tournament will have some lasting repercussions that Danny is going to have to deal with for the foreseeable future. But, in the meantime, he’s trying to get back home and…well, some folks are trying to stop him from doing even that. We’ll meet some new baddies, which I’m pretty excited about. But, I think readers will be happy to see Shang-Chi, Marvel’s other Kung Fu Master, popping up to help Danny fight against this new threat.

Catch the thrilling conclusion to the first arc of IRON FIST by Ed Brisson and Mike Perkins with July 5’s issue #5!

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Danny Rand finds himself trapped between two deadly opponents!

Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist, struggled against The Eel of the Blessed Waters on the beaches of Liu-Shi but nonetheless proved successful this week in IRON FIST #2. In issue #3, due in stores on May 3, the Immortal Weapon takes on both The Rat of 12 Plagues and The Resourceful Snake and the results may not be as pretty for the erstwhile hero.

Writer Ed Brisson took a break from watching the Vegas odds on the Labor in Liu-Shi to help us handicap the upcoming bouts.

Marvel.com: As we see briefly at the end of IRON FIST #2, The Rat of 12 Plagues is a creepy looking opponent. Can you take us through how you and series artist Mike Perkins collaborated on his look? Where did the inspiration for the character come from for you in the first place?

Ed Brisson: I always wanted The Rat of 12 Plagues to be, as his name would indicate, a terrifying opponent. Initially, I’d had an idea of the type of place The Rat would live and the personality spun out of that. I’d originally had him as someone who’d lived like a rat, in sewers, but as I went to script, it made more sense that he’d lived his life out in a ghost village. A child who was the sole survivor of a massacre, who had to find a way to survive amongst the dead.

Mike’s the one who really made the character come to life though. I gave him only brief notes on each of the seven and Mike just went to town. The look for Rat of 12 Plagues is 100% Perkins.

Marvel.com: For Danny, what makes The Rat a uniquely dangerous opponent?

Ed Brisson: He’s so deadly because he’s both a Kung Fu master and a living plague. With one touch of his claws, he can infect an opponent with sickness like they’ve never experienced before. Other than his sifu, none have encountered The Rat of 12 Plagues and lived to talk about it.

Marvel.com: What is one feature of Rat that you find particularly exciting or interesting as a writer?

Ed Brisson: He’s a survivor. He may be nasty and disease ridden, but he was left to fend for himself at a young age and managed to overcome the elements, famine and even disease. Not only did he survive disease, he conquered it and learned to use it as a weapon for his own survival. He absorbs the essence of others to feed himself, which makes him necessarily evil. And that sort of evil is a lot of fun to explore.

Iron Fist #3 cover by Jeff Dekal

Marvel.com: If Iron Fist can defeat Rat of 12 Plagues, next on the fight docket is The Resourceful Snake. As a character, what makes Snake stand out for you creatively?

Ed Brisson: The Resourceful Snake has a past that’s not entirely dissimilar to Danny’s. I can’t divulge too much here, for fear of spoiling, but these two would have a lot to talk about if they weren’t on a mission to beat each other’s heads in. The Resourceful Snake has a lot to prove and, as we’ll find out, Danny provides him with a bit of a second chance to right a past wrong.

Marvel.com: The cover of IRON FIST #3 appears to showcase The Resourceful Snake and reveals him to be a double amputee. Where in the creative process and how did he come together for you? What role did Perkins have in aiding you in the Resourceful Snake’s creation?

Ed Brisson: Again, this one is a little tough to get into without spoiling. The Resourceful Snake is missing both arms. That initially started off as a bit of a nod to the One-Armed Swordsman films. We just took it one arm further, I guess. The Resourceful Snake is a powerful combatant with a long history as a skilled combatant.

We do learn how he lost his arms and that, not surprisingly, will play a role in why he’s eager to fight Iron Fist.

When we were putting together, the notes I gave Mike on The Resourceful Snake were not much more than: He’s a fighter who lost both arms in combat, but that has not stopped him. He’s adapted [and] refined his style and can now beat any four-limbed opponent he faces. In my description, I believe he was angry, but Mike came back with a more jovial looking character and I think that works much better, so I made sure to write him as such when the time came.

Marvel.com: As Danny Rand continues on his quest to win the whole tournament and hopefully reset his own chi, how is his understanding of the stakes evolving, if at all, in issue #3? Does he have an inkling that something more complex is going on than he was initially led to believe?

Ed Brisson: Absolutely. There’s something going on beneath the surface here. Danny quickly becomes ensnared in a conspiracy and learns that the odds are stacked against him winning. And, even if he does win, there’s no guarantee that he’s ever getting off this island.

The next round kicks off in IRON FIST #3 by Ed Brisson and Mike Perkins on May 3!

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Ed Brisson lines up the deadly Black Knife Cartel against the Man Who Can’t Miss!

The Black Knife Cartel might already be dead—they just don’t know it yet.

That, in part, can be laid at the feet of our protagonist, Bullseye, and his somewhat selfish desire to get back his edge. Writer Ed Brisson, however, must take some responsibility as well, setting the dangerous drug cartel and the assassin for whom everything proves a weapon on a direct collision course.

We found Brisson buying more ammunition and demanded he discussion the upcoming bloodbath in BULLSEYE #4—coming May 3—with us.

Marvel.com: I can’t imagine anyone making the mistake of missing the first issues of BULLSEYE, but if they did, what can you tell them about the Black Knife Cartel?

Ed Brisson: Those people don’t know what they’re missing out on!

The Black Knife Cartel is a Colombian drug cartel responsible for supplying much of the Eastern Seaboard with dope. Right now, they’re trying to make a play on New York, which has caused a little tension.

Teodor Zarco, the head of the cartel, is a sick and twisted dude who runs his organization through fear and torture. His antics are the things of local legend. However, he’s bored. So, when he finds out that Bullseye is hunting him, he’s thrilled at the prospect. He wants to fight someone who’s going to be a real challenge to him.

Marvel.com: How aware is the Cartel of Bullseye’s rep and abilities? How do they view him?

Ed Brisson: Teodor is well aware of Bullseye’s abilities—after Googling him a little—and is tingling with anticipation to meet this Americano with blades. Teodor views him as a challenge, more than he sees him as an actual threat. To Teodor, Bullseye is merely a break in the tedium of his day to day life of running a drug cartel.

Marvel.com: How does Bullseye see them?

Ed Brisson: As dead meat.

He honestly does not know much about Teodor and only took the contract because it requires him to take out as much of the Cartel as possible. Bullseye’s been off the grid for a while and feels the need to shake off his ring rust. He’s here to rack up as many casualties as possible.

Bullseye #4 cover by Dave Johnson

Marvel.com: How much of Bullseye’s confrontation with the Cartel is motivated by necessity? How much is motivated by something else? What are some of the other motives?

Ed Brisson: Bullseye could probably sweep in and rescue his target with minor casualties, but, as mentioned above, he’s out of practice and is here looking to get his groove back.

Is it necessary for him to confront and kill off Cartel members? Not really.

Is he going to do it anyway? 100%.

In the serious we really lean into how unhinged and crazy Bullseye is, without losing sight of the fact that he’s very smart and calculating. While his actions are at times—almost always—excessive, they always get the desired results and lead him to where he needs to be.

Marvel.com: How does Guillermo Sanna’s art encourage you to really cut loose in terms of the action and mayhem you put Bullseye and the rest of the book through?

Ed Brisson: Guillermo is an incredible artist who I’m sure will be a name on everyone’s lips very soon. He’s got a nice, clean style that I love and also handles action scenes like few others can. After seeing how he really nailed the action scenes in #1—that paper clip scene!—and #2—handing in pages that exceeded expectations in every way—I found myself looking for ways to push the action scenes throughout the rest of the issues. Every time I’d write something and think, “Damn, this is crazy,” he’d send the pages back and they’d be even better than I was expecting and my expectations were high.

This is probably one of the [most fun] books I’ve ever worked on. If readers enjoy reading it half as much as we enjoyed making it, then they’re getting more than their money’s worth.

Marvel.com: Lastly, how aware is Bullseye that he is being hunted by a highly motivated federal agent with a loose moral code? What kind of threat does she pose to him?

Ed Brisson: So far, he’s completely unaware. Right now, Joy has teamed up with Shotgun and Bullet—two of my favorite 80s Daredevil villains—and the three are hunting him together. I think that they can pose a real threat to him, especially since he has zero idea that they’re out there. They have the element of surprise on their side.

Hit the target with Ed Brisson and Guillermo Sanna’s BULLSEYE #4, available May 3!

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Two time-displaced titans clash as Ed Brisson and Mike Deodato take over!

Hulk and Wolverine have never really gotten along. In fact, the Canuck with an Attitude’s first foray into the four color world involved him clashing with ol’ Jade Jaws.

Unfortunately, OLD MAN LOGAN #25 will show that age and wisdom do not always go together as Logan and Maestro—the alternate world fascistic genius Hulk introduced way back in HULK: FUTURE IMPERFECT—meet up and decide that one truly can never be too old to take a poke at an old antagonist.

Writer Ed Brisson and artist Mike Deodato have come onboard the book to push these two aging titans into swinging at each other once more. We caught up with Brisson who gladly took a break from stirring the proverbial plot to tell us all about it.

Marvel.com: Given the history of antagonism between Wolverine and Hulk, bringing Maestro into the book is one of those choices that seems so right, one is surprised it never occurred. For you, what made the idea of bringing Maestro into the book creatively exciting? What made you believe it would “work” in the context of OLD MAN LOGAN’s tone and pacing?

Ed Brisson: What makes it immediately interesting for me is that you have these two future versions of big Marvel characters who’ve both seen the world go to pot in similar ways, but have adapted to those changes very differently. For one, the future is nothing but pain and loss; the other, the future is his playground.

Now, they’re both here in the present and about to come face-to-face.

Because Maestro appears to be rolling with his own Hulk Gang, including at least one member that Logan has dealt with before, Logan’s chief concern is that the future that he thought he had been prevented—his own future—may be coming to fruition. Once we learn of Maestro’s plans, it becomes clear that he might not be wrong. It soon becomes a battle between them: one man trying to prevent his future, while another tries to bring his into being.

Marvel.com: We’ve seen how being in the mainstream Marvel Universe has affected Logan over the course of the previous 24 issues, but we’ve only really seen Maestro in the pocket of CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS. How does his transition affect him? How, if at all, does it change his perspective or attitude?

Ed Brisson: When Maestro shows up, he’s a man with a plan. He’s been displaced from his own future and timeline and, for reasons to be explained, can’t go back. He’s now in the mainstream Marvel Universe, present day, but has 100 years of baggage and memories regarding humanity and how they treated him and how they eventually undid themselves. To him, man doesn’t deserve this planet. He’s ruled it—in his timeline anyway—for years just fine and doesn’t see any reason why he can’t do the same again.

So, that’s his goal here. But, he’s not going to come in guns-a-blazing. He’s looking to do this on the low. He’s trying to stay off the radar and play the chess pieces so that man, once again, undoes himself.

Marvel.com: For Logan, the Hulks he’s most used to are the Hulk offspring from his future. What is Logan’s experience of encountering this smarter, more singularly ruthless version of the Jade Giant from a psychological standpoint? How would you say this conflict between these two compares to the mainstream Hulk vs. Wolverine throw downs we’ve seen before?

Ed Brisson: Both of them have seen the future—albeit two different, though equally depressing futures. For each, the future hangs in the balance and they’re fighting to prevent it, in Logan’s case, or bring it about, in Maestro’s.

Maestro is also larger and smarter than the Banner that Logan is used to dealing with. He’s not some hillbilly hiding out in a cave pumping out Hulk babies. He’s got laser focus and the drive to bring about what he wants. And, he’s not going to be stupid about it. He’s not just a couple of fists, smashing everything in sight. He’s got a plan and knows that the best way of carrying out that plan is by keeping a low profile. Or trying to, anyway.

As mentioned, Maestro has a Wasteland Hulk Gang with him. At the end of the original [“Old Man Logan” story], it appears Logan has wiped them all out, so it comes as a bit of a shock when they pop up here. People are going to have to read the series to find out the whys and the hows of it, but I think that we’ve come up with a very logical reason for how they’ve come to exist here. They may initially seem to be very much like the old Hulk Gang, [but] there are a few behind-the-scenes complexities that will come out to show how different they really are.

Marvel.com: How has working with artist Mike Deodato helped you to realize the tone and atmosphere of the book you were hoping for? How, if at all, did his style inform your approach to the title?

Ed Brisson: When they told me that Mike was going to be on the book, my head nearly exploded. I’ve been a fan of his work for years now.

Mike’s a very smart artist and was able to come on board and nail down the feel we were going for right away. Just about every day a new page pops into my inbox and I just sit there and soak it up over my morning coffee. Everything is just so brilliantly laid out and acted.

In terms of informing how I approach the book, I think that working with him has made me pull back on a few pages, in terms of panel count, so that Mike has some room to do some really big and incredible action sequences. There are some pretty spectacular scenes in the first issue that I think are really going to sing because he’s got that room to breathe.

Marvel.com: Looking beyond the conflict itself, what can you tell readers about what you have planned for the book when you take over? What are some of the plot points you want fans to know to ensure they make the book one of their can’t misses?

Ed Brisson: Jeff Lemire has been writing an incredible series here, so I’m assuming that it’s already on everyone’s pull list!

Through this first arc, we really wanted to play on Logan’s anxieties. His greatest fear is that his future will somehow still rear its ugly head, but, over the past 24 issues, we’ve seen him getting comfortable in his new setting. He’s never going to be completely at home, but still…bit-by-bit, he’s settling into the new life. He’s letting people get close to him again. So, we wanted to bring his past—our alternate future—and drop the very possibility of it happening again right in his lap.

Aside from Maestro being here, we’re going to see a lot of echoes from Logan’s time in the Wasteland. A few familiar faces will be popping up.

Beyond the first arc, we’ve got a few plans to keep Logan in this state of agitation. Keeping him in a place where he can never be fully comfortable for fear of his past catching up with him.

Ed Brisson and Mike Deodato take control of OLD MAN LOGAN with issue #25 this June!

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Get your exclusive first look at Danny Rand’s new foes, plus writer Ed Brisson shares details!

Danny Rand finds himself in a real good news-bad new kind of situation beginning March 22. The good news? He’s the star of a brand-new IRON FIST ongoing series. The bad? K’un-Lun lays in ruins, his powers appear unreliable at best, and he has been mystically abducted to a strange and mystical island.

Writer Ed Brisson took a short break from derailing the life of Iron Fist to hint at what awaits Rand in the new book. Plus, get an exclusive sneak peek at the fresh foes that will be plaguing Danny courtesy of series artist Mike Perkins!

Marvel.com: In considering the years of Iron Fist stories, what do you consider to be the essential elements of Danny Rand?

Ed Brisson: I think the major thing about Danny is that he’s almost always an outsider. He was the orphan taken into K’un-Lun, where he spent his formative years. When he left K’un-Lun, he returned to a city—New York—that was completely foreign to him, even though it was his home. He’s always got a foot in each world, which I think makes it difficult for him to fully fit in in either.

You often see him trying to overcompensate for these feelings with his humor, which is something that I love about him. He’s always looking to be a people pleaser. It doesn’t always serve him, but he doesn’t give up.

Marvel.com: Looking beyond those essentials, however, every writer wants to make a character their own by exploring unique aspects of the character. For you with Iron Fist, where did you find those parts that you thought you could use to really make an impact?

Ed Brisson: For this first arc, I really wanted to focus in on Danny’s own sense of identity. What happens when the one thing he was sure of about himself is being stripped away? How far will he go and what potentially dangerous situations will he put himself into just for a sliver of hope that it’ll allow him to hang on to the one thing that defines him?

Marvel.com: At the start of the IRON FIST #1, where do we find Danny Rand, both in physical space and in terms of mentality?

Ed Brisson: When we join Danny, he’s struggling to access his Chi. He’s unable to call forth the thing that makes him Iron Fist. He’s losing his sense of who he is and struggling to hold onto this thing that has defined him for most of his life. Who is he if not Iron Fist?

Because he’s separated from K’un-Lun, he can’t return to seek the answers he needs so he’s focusing on his Kung-Fu, the one thing he still has, and is trying to push himself, hoping that a spark will ignite. That somehow he’ll reconnect.

The problem with being the best, though, is that there is no one out there that’s able to properly push him. And that comes with its own set of problems.

Marvel.com: One thing that is different we learn early on is that K’un-Lun has been devastated. How much of an influence does that change in the mystical city’s status have in Iron Fist’s life?

Ed Brisson: We saw the destruction of K’un-Lun in Kaare Andrews’ run on IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON. In this series, we’re taking the baton and running with it.

K’un-Lun’s current status is a larger part of why Danny’s struggling to connect. The city provides him with his powers and with the city now down…well, so are Danny’s powers.

Marvel.com: Is the “how” and “why” of K’un-Lun’s destruction an important element of the story?

Ed Brisson: It’s not the central theme to the story, but the how and why certainly do play into where Danny’s journey leads him—or rather, why he’s being lead on it.

What does it mean to be the champion of a city that lays in ruins because you were not there to protect it? That’s something that Danny’s going to have to struggle with. Something that’s going to be thrown in his face several times.

Marvel.com: Shortly after learning his patron city’s fate, Rand finds himself in another unusual locale: Liu-Shi. What has drawn Danny to this place?

Ed Brisson: Liu-Shi presents itself as an island—or series of islands—where Kung-Fu is king. They’ve dedicated themselves to the perfection of it, drawing on other, more mystical influences.

Like Danny, they’re looking for a chance to prove themselves. And, who better to prove themselves against than Kung-Fu Master and current reigning Champion of K’un-Lun.

Of course, there’s more to Liu-Shi than meets the eye and a large part of this first arc will be peeling back the layers to what the island really is and what it is that they’re really after.

Marvel.com: In brief, what can you tell us about the seven champions that also are on Liu-Shi? What, if any, relationship do they have to Iron Fist?

Ed Brisson: The Seven Masters of Liu-Shi are: The Eel of Blessed Waters, The Rat of Twelve Plagues, The Resourceful Snake, The Rabbit of Holy Flame, The Long-Armed Bull, The Mountain Slaying Bear and The Divine Wolf. Each is the champion of each of the seven schools of Kung-Fu on the island. There’s a specific reason why there are seven, but readers will have to check out the series to find out why.

Over the series, it’ll become clear that some of the seven have very real beefs with Danny and/or K’un-Lun. That the timing of them appearing in Danny’s life at this moment is not coincidental.

These characters were a lot of fun to create and Mike Perkins did an amazing job in designing them. I think that readers are going to get a kick out of the new characters. Big nods to 70’s Kung-Fu flicks are in store!

Marvel.com: Speaking of the artist, how does Mike Perkins’ art style complement your aims with this title? How does his work enable your vision for the story to be realized?

Ed Brisson: Mike is an incredible artist whose art feels grounded, while still feeling larger than life, if that makes any sense at all. Everything has a purpose. His character acting and storytelling skills are beyond compare. He also brings a lot of strong design skills to the table, but is also open to input.

I’ve found that talking with him about stuff has been really easy, which is great. You don’t often get to have that type of dialog when working on a bigger book. We’re both on the same page and have been excited about what the other is doing. That’s something that I think you’ll be able to see on the page.

IRON FIST #1 from Ed Brisson and Mike Perkins kicks off the action on March 22!

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