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!

Read More

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.

Read More

The Immortal Weapon cuts loose across the world of Marvel Games!

With over 75 years of rich history, the Marvel Universe has produced countless memorable heroes and villains. On a regular basis, Marvel Games Presents will highlight these characters’ histories as well as shine a spotlight on their current gaming appearances.

Today, the spotlight falls on the upcoming star of his own Netflix series, Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist!

Betrayed by his business partner, Wendell Rand and his wife Heather lost their lives while searching for the mystical city of K’un-L’un, orphaning their son Danny in the process. The denizens of K’un-L’un would take the boy in and train him in the martial arts; upon adulthood, he passed the trials to become the city’s representative as an Immortal Weapon: Iron Fist! Returning to New York, Iron Fist became a super hero and partnered with Luke Cage as the Heroes for Hire.

“How can you not love a hero who got his powers by punching an undying dragon in the heart?! For my money, he and Luke Cage are the coolest duo in all of Marvel, and his relationship with Misty Knight is one of the most important in comics history. In the world of ‘Marvel Avengers Academy’, he’s still figuring out how to use his nunchucks, but he’s already an expert in everything ‘chill.’ He’s the type of hero you want by your side whether you’re just hanging out at home or fighting for your life in an extra-dimensional Kung Fu tournament. Did I mention he punched a train and a Helicarrier?!”- Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer on “Marvel Avengers Academy”

“Iron Fist was part of the original roster of ‘Contest of Champions,’ and a natural fit for a fighting game like ours. He represents a very interesting time when the west became fascinated by Asian culture, and this east/west dichotomy is pure Marvel gold: he’s a very skilled warrior, but a pacifist. An industrialist, but also a very simple man, raised as a monk. We love Danny Rand, and can’t wait for the [‘Marvel’s Iron Fist’] Netflix show!” – Gabe Frizzera, Art Director on “Marvel Contest of Champions”

“Iron Fist gathers ki in his body not only to defend, but also to heal. To really bring out this aspect, we designed him to become invincible when his HP is low and recover a small amount of HP. The most unique and appealing aspect of Iron Fist is that he is able to attack by summoning Shou-Lao in an energy form. The moment this skill is activated, Shou-Lao envelops Iron Fist and deals powerful damage to enemies around him. Not only will you be able to marvel at the amazing graphic effects, but you’ll be able to see Iron Fist’s unique trait.” – Minkyun Kim, Dev Director on “Marvel Future Fight”


“Iron Fist offers full immersion in the mystical martial arts of K’un-L’un. Danny Rand uses flying kicks, lightning-fast punches, and explosions of mystical energy to defend the innocent. Channel your chi into the ancient fighting forms, masterfully blending them into an alloy Like Unto Iron.” – Ben Gilbert, Lead Game Designer on “Marvel Heroes 2016”

“Iron Fist (Immortal Weapon) is the complete package in ‘Marvel Puzzle Quest.’ He’s able to take on an onslaught of opponents either with mind or muscle. He is truly a living weapon–one of the best characters in his tier–that opposing enemies need to watch out for in either our Versus Tournament or Story Events.” – Josh Austin, D3 Go! Producer on “Marvel Puzzle Quest”


Follow Danny Rand into the pages of IRON FIST #1, coming March 22!

Read More

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!

Read More

Clarkson Will Direct the First Two Episodes of the Highly Anticipated Series

Marvel Television and Netflix announced today that acclaimed film and television director S.J. Clarkson (“Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” “Vinyl, “Orange is the New Black”), will return to the Marvel universe to direct the first two episodes of the Netflix original series “Marvel’s The Defenders.” Clarkson will also serve as an Executive Producer on the premiere episode. The 8-episode limited series is slated to debut in 2017.

“Marvel’s The Defenders” follows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. A quartet of singular heroes with one common goal – to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who realize they just might be stronger when teamed together.

“S.J.’s take on the material is outstanding. We loved her work on “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” and couldn’t think of a more talented and accomplished person to helm the first two episodes of “Marvel’s The Defenders,” said Marvel’s Head of Television and Executive Producer, Jeph Loeb.

The series stars Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Mike Colter as Luke Cage, and Finn Jones as Danny Rand. It was recently announced that Academy Award and Emmy nominee and Golden Globe winner, Sigourney Weaver will also join the cast. Marco Ramirez (Marvel’s Daredevil”) and Doug Petrie (Marvel’s Daredevil”) are executive producers along with Drew Goddard (“Marvel’s Daredevil,” “The Martian”), Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” “Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Luke Cage) and Jim Chory (“Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” “Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Luke Cage).

“Marvel’s The Defenders” is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix.

Clarkson is repped by WME and Curtis Brown.

Read More

‘Harlem Burns’ with the return of Alex Wilder and more, and we’ve got all the details from David Walker and Sanford Greene!

What do Power Man and Iron Fist do when an enemy places a target not on them, but on Harlem itself?

Luke Cage and Danny Rand go up against a former hero, Alex Wilder—formerly of RUNAWAYS—in the new “Harlem Burns” arc beginning in December’s POWER MAN & IRON FIST #10. Wilder’s time in hell has changed him, and with a mix of technology and magic he plans to depose all other crime bosses of Harlem and take the neighborhood for himself.

We sat down with the masterminds behind this story—writer David Walker and artist Sanford Greene—to get the lowdown on everything we’ll see as Luke and Danny attempt to stop Harlem from burning.

Marvel.com: “Harlem Burns” is a title with real power behind it. What feelings are you trying to instill in your readers? What are your goals with this story?

David Walker: There are multiple connotations with the word “burns.” First of all, Sanford and I are bringing the heat with this story—we’re setting the whole place on fire. We are giving the readers a sense of character and an emotional resonance that we hope will stay with them a long time.

Sanford Greene: This arc is influenced by some of my favorite movies coming up like “New Jack City” and “Juice”—with super powered characters!

Marvel.com: Alex Wilder hasn’t been seen since AVENGERS UNDERCOVER over two years ago. What has he been up to since then, and why is he coming for Luke, Danny, and Harlem itself now?

David Walker: Alex isn’t coming for Luke and Danny; they just happen to be in his way. It isn’t so much about what he’s been doing since we last saw him, it’s about what he was doing when he was dead. We’re going to give just a glimpse of what Alex is fully capable of as we build him up to be a major player in the Marvel Universe; this storyline is just the beginning for him.

Marvel.com: There are already a lot of big names vying for control of Harlem like Black Mariah, Cottonmouth, and Tombstone just to name a few; how will Alex’s sudden appearance affect their plans?

David Walker: Alex is a new generation of villain—a new kind of gangster. Old school guys like Tombstone and Cottonmouth don’t know what to make of him. What people are going to soon realize is that Alex is as dangerous as it gets. He is this generation’s Doctor Doom.

Marvel.com: What’s been different about bringing to life this villainous turn for Alex? Is he sporting a whole new look? Or are the changes subtler?

David Walker: Sanford has played around with the look, but he’s still very much the Alex Wilder we all know and love, at least physically. The thing everyone needs to keep in mind is that Alex was pretty much a bad guy from the beginning, all the way back in the Runaways. The difference now is that he’s back from the dead, after doing time in hell, and he’s not hiding his agenda; he wants to be Nino Brown meets Childish Gambino.

Sanford Greene: Like David said, when we talk we discuss something similar to what we do for all the characters. For me to take the basic classic information on the character and modernize them.

Marvel.com: You’re nearing a year working together on POWER MAN & IRON FIST. Have your ideas of Luke and Danny as characters changed as you’ve lived in these stories? How do you think their relationship has changed over the course of these first nine issues?

David Walker: Their relationship has grown stronger, and they’ve become closer. My personal ideas of the character [haven’t] really changed, but I think the readers are starting to better understand my take on Luke and Danny, and it was always my goal to build them slowly—to let them evolve.

Sanford Greene: Yes, Luke and Danny’s friendship has been refined by fire, thus making them that much more appreciative of one another. They are family.

Marvel.com: How has your own relationship working together changed? What was it like kicking off the series in issue #1 vs. starting this new wide-reaching arc in issue #10?

David Walker: I have to say that working with Sanford has been a blast. We knew each other going into the series, but it was casual. We have a great collaborative relationship, but we’ve also become friends. I’ve loved every issue Sanford has drawn, but #10 is some next level work; it is him at a level he’s never been before. I apologized to him when I turned in #10, because creatively I knew I was asking for a lot. I was pushing for more knowing it would be difficult, but also knowing he could deliver.

Sanford Greene: David has been open to every idea I’ve presented to him. That has been the greatest thing about our partnership. I can’t think of anyone I would rather work with on this project. He’s alright in my book, even though he was trying to bring me to my knees with issue #10.

Alex Wilder invades POWER MAN & IRON FIST with issue #10 in November from David Walker and Sanford Greene!

Read More

Feel the Living Weapon's presence exclusively on Netflix next spring!

The time has come for Danny Rand’s homecoming when “Marvel’s Iron Fist” premieres exclusively on Netflix on March 17!

Uncover the secrets of the mystical K’un-Lun when Season 1 of “Marvel’s Iron Fist” premieres with 13 one-hour episodes on March 17, 2017 at 12:01 am PT globally on Netflix.

We’ve previously teased the series at San Diego Comic-Con, but to celebrate the announcement of the release date, we have a very special announcement video that you can enjoy here, along with a first look image from the series!

“Marvel’s Iron Fist” follows the journey of Daniel Rand as he returns to New York City, after being missing for years, to fight against the criminal element corrupting the city with his incredible kung-fu mastery and ability to summon the awesome power of the fiery Iron Fist.

While we wait for March 17 to finally arrive, keep your eyes right here on Marvel.com for all the updates, plus follow @MarvelIronFist on Twitter and like “Marvel’s Iron Fist” on Facebook.

Read More

Spidey's powerful pals lend a hand against symbiotes in a clip from 'Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister 6'!

Spider-Man pulls out all the stops while shutting down a swarm of symbiotes in a clip from “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister 6”! Check out the clip above and watch an all-new “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister 6” this Sunday at 9:00 AM ET on Disney XD.

With Doc Ock’s sinister symbiotes wreaking havoc throughout the city, Captain America enters the fray alongside Spider-Man! Luckily for the duo, they get an added dose of heroic help when Cloak, Dagger, Agent Venom, and Iron Fist stand with their friends to control the chaos. See the terrific team-up in the clip above!

Tune in to a brand-new “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister 6” this Sunday at 9:00 AM ET on Disney XD! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news and updates on your favorite Marvel animated series.

Read More

Artist Flaviano Armentaro aims to make his mark on Marvel's best buddies!

Two of Marvel’s best buds and greatest heroes continue kicking it old school in the pages of POWER MAN AND IRON FIST. The David Walker-written series reunites the Heroes for Hire and Avengers pals in their own book that continues to update the characters as well as their beloved supporting cast. Now artist Flaviano Armentaro gets on in the action with issue #5 on June 22.

Already a fan of Walker and Sanford Greene’s series that launched earlier this year, Armentaro plans to carry on the style and tone already set up while the characters make their way into Civil War II and face a new old villain dubbed Disco Devil.

We talked with Armentaro about balancing these characters, redeveloping older ones, and inventing new ones.

Marvel.com: If I’m not mistaken, this is your first Marvel work. How does it feel jumping into this world with two beloved characters like Iron Fist and Power Man?

Flaviano Armentaro: Yep, this is my first work for Marvel. As a reader I was waiting with excitement for the first issue. The restyling made by David and Sanford looked really promising, but reading the issue was even more fun. Fireworks on printed pages! So, when I was asked to be part of the team, I couldn’t believe it. It was like asking a child to play all day on his favorite playground and pay him for it. The series [has] the good mix of acting and fighting which are two of the favorite things to draw for artists.

Marvel.com: Danny and Luke have very different looks and fighting styles. How is it making that work together on the page?

Flaviano Armentaro: David and Sanford did a fantastic job in depicting the two characters. Danny is always positive and excited and Luke is the grumpy guy. They look like the perfect Lemmon-Matthau or Pryor-Wilder [pairings]. This is also reflected in the way they fight or dress. Luke is old style, very classy. I see Danny more like a son of the grunge era; I just drew him wearing Bermuda shorts and a short sleeve shirt over a T-shirt.

Marvel.com: This issue also sees our heroes getting wrapped up in Civil War II. How does that conflict play out from a visual perspective?

Flaviano Armentaro: David played very well in this sense. The fun and bright tone of the series will hit with the drama side of Civil War. I tried to accompany this step balancing the action with some minimal staging and acting. We will see some really touching moments and, as usual, some big brawls.

Marvel.com: David recently talked to Marvel.com about bringing back characters like Cockroach Hamilton and Spear. How was it for you updating those characters?

Flaviano Armentaro: It’s not a redesign itself but rather to show the human side of these characters and include them in the story in a more organic way based on their backgrounds, which is why I love David’s writing. Again, Sanford did huge work on setting the style of all these vintage characters, so I will follow his line. I’m a newbie on super hero comics and Sanford’s work is a great inspiration. I really admire his way of being loose and dynamic but very powerful at the same time. A lot to learn from this guy!

Marvel.com: Along similar lines he mentioned Disco Devil, a new character who’s been in retirement for a while. Was he as fun to design as it sounds like he would be?

Flaviano Armentaro: Okay, we are in the spoiler zone, so I can’t tell you much. But as I said, the design is meant to show the [wackiness] of these characters and how they are integrated in their daily lives. And I think we all agree that David has a gift for naming the characters!

Marvel.com: You seem to be having a good time so far. How has it been working with David?

Flaviano Armentaro: Just great! Seriously, I’m blown away by David’s writing mastery. He can tell a story on multiple reading levels, showing the personality of the characters and making each one speak with his different voice. Dialogues are easy and hilarious. And if you pay attention, he rarely uses more than five or six panels per page. To put together a concrete history in this way, in a 20 page book, you really have to know your job!

To see the fruits of the David Walker-Flaviano Armentaro team-up, feast your eyes on POWER MAN AND IRON FIST #5, available June 22!

Read More

Luke Cage and Danny Rand hit the streets as the major event envelops the Heroes for Hire!

Starting this July, Civil War II hits the mean streets in POWER MAN AND IRON FIST #6. Though writer David Walker’s got a handle on the situation, he hints at dire doings for Luke Cage and Danny Rand.

Marvel.com: David, what’s happening in our heroes’ relationship leading right up to Civil War breaking out?

David Walker: Luke and Danny are just starting to get it together when Civil War breaks out. Initially, Luke had been hesitant to get the team back together, but he’s in a really good place when everything else starts to fall apart, and the relationship between him and Danny is strong. The events of Civil War will impact them less as a team, and more as individuals. We aren’t going to see them at odds over what is happening, so much as we’re going to see how it is all messing with their lives.

Marvel.com: In general, what’s the word on the streets during Civil War? How do the men and women on those streets react to it?

David Walker: In our particular corner of the world, on our particular street, we are going to see the way Civil War is devastating the lives of innocent people. I loved what Mark Millar did in the original Civil War, but there is something really special about the driving conflict Brian Bendis has set up with this story. A huge part of our story revolves around the people on the streets; the everyday folks whose stories you seldom get to see in these events.   

Marvel.com: What’s Luke’s and Danny’s next job like? We hear Luke’s going to be going to a very bad place for him—why does he hate it?

David Walker: Their next job is connected in a weird way to the job that initially brought them back together. I’m talking about the case with Tombstone and Black Mariah, and during Civil War, we see how that whole thing has set them up to be viewed a certain way. Luke doesn’t hate the new case that drags them into Civil War; he hates the reality surrounding it. For him, it brings back many memories from his past, and it reminds him of how much he stands to lose.

Power Man and Iron Fist (2016) #6 cover by Sanford Greene

Power Man and Iron Fist (2016) #6 cover by Sanford Greene

Marvel.com: Sounds like Luke in particular might be most impacted by the War; what’s his first reaction? 

David Walker: Both Luke and Danny decide early on that they don’t want any part of this latest conflict. Just as quickly, they are dragged into it anyway, and that’s the heart and soul of the story: you don’t always get to avoid the fight. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you get caught up in it.

Marvel.com: Does Danny’s philosophical training in martial arts prepare him to respond well to the hostilities, or will he be taken by surprise?

David Walker: I don’t want to give anything away, but Danny, as we’ve seen him up to this point in POWER MAN AND IRON FIST, will go through a profound transformation during Civil War. Or more specifically, we’re going to see another side of his personality. So far, we’ve seen a fun-loving, almost goofy Iron Fist, but trust me when I say that there is far more to Danny Rand than we’ve seen, and it is about to come to the surface.  

Marvel.com: And what kinds of guest-stars will we see at this time in the book?

David Walker: We’ll be seeing a wide variety of characters, many of them being your favorite z-listers. Cockroach Hamilton is back. And does anyone remember Spear? There is a villain that no one seems to remember, who shows up after years of pretending to be dead. And I’m bringing in a new villain, Disco Devil, who’s actually been in retirement for decades, but must deal with the fallout of Civil War in a profound way. Of course, Jessica Jones will make a cameo, as will some folks like Carol Danvers; at least that’s the plan for now.

There are some other heroes that I hope to bring in, but you know how it is—you’ve got to make sure that Doc Samson and Wyatt Wingfoot aren’t busy in some other book, so you keep your fingers crossed, and hope for the best.

Civil War II intrudes on POWER MAN AND IRON FIST beginning in July!

Read More