Writers: Jason Aaron and Andrea Sorrentino / Artists: Justin Ponsor and Erick Arciniega / Marvel Comics

Can you think of anything crazier than being trained in kung fu and being told that in order to become a master you had to punch a dragon and get magical powers? How about the first person who just decided to punch the dragon of their own accord after being punished for teaching cavemen (cavepeople?) kung fu? That would be the premise of Avengers #13.

The latest Avengers run has pulled us into a couple different directions. They had to kill some Celestials. There’s some diplomacy issues with a peeved Sub-Mariner. Most recently Black Panther recruited a bad ass Avengers support staff. And in the backdrop there are references to an ancient team of the first incarnations of the Avengers. This week we get the origin story of the first Iron Fist.

We know the ancient city of K’un Lun trains kung fu warriors and that by defeating the mystical dragon a champion defender of the city gets the power of the Iron Fist. That tradition begins with the exile of Fan Fei, the dragon punching, caveman sensei. She roams the ancient earth protecting humans and unleashing all sorts of awesomely named kung fu moves on ape people, wolves and snake demons. Eventually invited back after K’un Lun figures out that their magic dragon respawns, Fei decides she’d prefer to continue her nomadic adventure.

This book was pure, nerdy joy. The kung fu moves were enough to keep me interested but it was a pleasure to come across various characters and plot points from the known Marvel Universe. This could make a great animated episode culminating to an epic face-off between a power gem fueled gorilla and the Iron Fist.

Similar to the ancient Ghost Rider issue, these 1,000,000 BC books have a finer lining to them and soft colors in contrast to the bright and bold art style of the present day Avengers. I’m curious where the creators are leading with these looks into the prehistory, but for now we’ll worry about next issue. . . VAMPIRE CIVIL WAR!!!

8 “Double Hammerfists of Exquisite Doom” out of 10

Reading Avengers? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.

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