It Takes a Thief, Part Four

In this installment of “It Takes a Thief,” a little bit of a history lesson.

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

It Takes a Thief, Part Four

No one knows if the Edolian Peninsula got its name from the Edolian Sea, or the other way around. What is known is that this jagged, rocky piece of land has played an important role in the growth of trade across all of Erden.

    Beginning at the foothills of the Midland Mountains, the flat plains of Edolia provide an easy land route between the kingdoms in the west and those in the east. The bays, coves, and inlets that dot the coast provide natural harbors for ships crossing the sea. Market towns and trading posts grew up around these land and sea routes. Small farms worked what little fertile land there was. Shepherds and goatherds tended their flocks on rocky hills, and small fishing villages were settled along the coast.

    Over two hundred years, the trading posts grew in size and wealth, eventually becoming cities. The five largest, wealthiest cities absorbed the smaller villages and farms around them, forming the City-States of Edolia. The city-states have no kings, no queens, no lords. Merchants, bankers, and traders are the city-states’ nobility. It is said that the navies of the Edolian city-states are the most powerful in the known world, but their sole duty is protecting the ports and harbors from pirates and privateers.

    “They say thieves and pirates are executed without trial in the city-states.”

    Farris leaned against the gunwale, the occasional moments of fresh air doing wonders for his seasickness. He watched the cliffs of the rocky coastline in the distance as the holk continued its westward voyage.

    He considered the words that had been spoken by the young soldier standing guard next to him. At least he thought the soldier was young. Hauflins retain a youthful appearance well into adulthood, making it difficult to guess the age of humans. Elfs and dwarfs were easy: assume an elf was older than it looked and a dwarf was younger than it looked. But humans? It was a guess every time.

    “Do you travel much?” he asked the soldier.

    “What? Oh, no. This is my first time away from home.”

    Youth, Farris thought. “You do know that most thieves and pirates rarely benefit from fair and just trials, right?”

    Their debate was interrupted by a sudden commotion on deck. Farris turned around to see the sailors hurrying about, climbing rigging and tying off lines. The ship’s sails flapped in the breeze. The hull creaked and groaned as the holk came about to round the Black Cliffs of Edolia at the southern tip of the peninsula. Solaria was the westernmost of the five city-states, often called “The Gateway to the West” in the Seven Kingdoms.

    As the ship rounded the Black Cliffs, Farris could see the tall masts of galleons and other large trading ships off in the distance. Smaller ships floated here and there and, although he couldn’t make out their markings, he was sure they were part of the Solarian navy.

    Solaria had three harbors: the Upper Harbor, the Lower Harbor, and the Outer Harbor. All three harbors were protected from the open water by massive walls of polished white stone. Watchtowers, manned day and night, protected the walls at regular intervals. Carracks, galleons, and other large ships docked in the Upper Harbor. The shallow waters of the Lower Harbor were safer for smaller ships. The Outer Harbor, where the city-state’s navy was berthed, encircled both.

    Beyond the harbor, Farris could just make out the three walls, made of the same polished white stone as the harbor walls, that encircled Solaria. The outer ring was the largest, surrounding the farms that helped feed the city-state’s population. The middle ring was home to shops and markets and the men and women who ran them. The inner ring was home to the wealthiest citizens of Solaria. Bridges, causeways, and gatehouses separated one ring from another.

    “That is a big city.”

    Farris had long since accepted the fact that his twin could sneak up on him. “Have you ever seen anything like it, Fayra?”

    “Never.”

    “They say the city-states are unlike anything the world has seen since the fall of the Daeneric Empire.”

    “Fah! That’s twaddle, brother dear. Khaladur means ‘Jewel of Heaven’ in Westronne, and I don’t think that’s the kind of thing the gods allow unless there’s some truth to it.”

    Farris questioned his sister’s logic, but said nothing. “How are we going to find this Sekk in a city that size?”

    “Skill, twin of mine,” Fayra smiled. “With just a hint of luck and a heavy dose of wiles.”

    “Oh, good. Wiles.”

#

It Takes a Thief, Part Three

Part Three of “It Takes a Thief,” in which our intrepid hauflin heroes find themselves on a slow boat to Solaria.

Part One.

Part Two.

It Takes a Thief, Part Three

“I hate you.”

    The twins were chained in the hold of a ship, the only light coming through cracks in the wooden planks overhead. Farris sat with his arms wrapped around a large bucket, usually used for cleaning the ship, now being used to hold the meager contents of a seasick hauflin’s stomach.

    “I mean it, Fayra. I ha–” he belched, choking back bile before retching into the bucket for the fifth or sixth time since they left the docks at Redcastle. Neither of them expected the bucket was going to be emptied any time soon.

    As soon as they had agreed to help Lord Redcastle, the two hauflins had been chained and escorted by a half-dozen soldiers to the Redcastle docks. The twins watched as one of the soldiers approached a holk moored to a dock along the eastern bank of the West River. The soldier spoke to a thin, hawk-faced man who was overseeing the sailors making the ship ready. He was shabbily dressed, like the other sailors, but his age and bearing told them he was the master of the ship. The soldier handed the captain a folded piece of paper and a small purse.

    Fayra and Farris were brought on board and taken below. They could hear the sailors on the deck above, singing and swearing as they unfurled sails, tied off riggings, and loosed moorings. Fayra made note of a few particularly harsh phrases, never knowing when a venomous taunt would come in handy. They cast off. Everything around them rocked and creaked as the holk sailed south down the West River, heading to the open waters of the Edolian Sea.

    If this was what river travel was like, Farris–and his stomach–was not looking forward to sailing on the open sea.

    “It won’t be that bad,” Fayra said.

    “What?”

    “The Edolian Sea.” How did she always know what he was thinking? Some would have called it a twin-bond, but Farris had seen his sister do it to strangers, too. Some people could just read others, he guessed.

    “A ship this size wasn’t built for the open sea,” she continued. “We’ll likely sail along the coast of the Edolian Peninsula. The water shouldn’t be too rough.”

    Farris retched into his bucket again. “H- how do you know all that?”

    “Sailors can be … friendly. In the right circumstances.”

    Why does she always have to over-share? “Okay, sea dog, how long do you think it will take?”

    “Hard to say. A larger trader could sail from one of the bigger ports in Dal Varris to Solaria in about six days, if the weather cooperates. A ship like this? Maybe twice as long.”

    Farris lost what little color remained in his cheeks. “Twice as– Twelve days? I’ll be dead by then.”

    “Have faith, brother of mine.” She glanced at the platter of bread crumbs and wooden mug on the deck between them. By her best guess, this was their second day on the river. So far, they had been visited three times by either a sailor or a soldier who brought them a chunk of hard bread and a mug of watered-down ale. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to keep them alive until the ship reached Solaria. Unless her brother vomited himself to death before that. If Fayra’s estimates were right, the next meal should be arriving any minute now.

    Someone opened an overhead hatch, letting sunlight into the dark, empty hold. “Listen up, you water rats,” the twins recognized the voice of one of Redcastle’s soldiers, “breakfast time. Now don’t go trying anything funny.”

    The soldier, still wearing a full suit of armor even at sea, made his way down the narrow steps. Partially blinded by the sudden light, Farris was still able to see the outline of a drawn sword in one hand and what looked like a large mug in the other.

    “My brother’s not well. Apparently sea travel does not agree with him.”

    The soldier laughed. “And why the hell should I care?” He had wedged their bread into the top of the mug, which he dropped to the deck, barely in reach. He kicked the empty plate and mug aside with a smirk.

    “Simple. If he dies, we won’t be able to complete Lord Redcastle’s little errand.”

    “Then you die, too.”

    Fayra smiled. “Wrong. When he dies, I no longer have a reason to behave myself. And when I stop behaving, you stop breathing.”

    “I thought you were thieves, not assassins.”

    Farris retched.

    “When I kill you and your men, it won’t be assassination. It’ll be retribution. And it will be divine and just.”

    The lack of emotion in the hauflin’s voice made the soldier take a step back. “N- none of th- that…”

    “Easy, friend, easy.” The old, honey-tongued Fayra was back. “All we want is to get some fresh air. Say, twenty minutes every hour. We’ll even take turns.”

    Farris belched, clinging tightly to his bucket.

    The soldier glanced at the seasick hauflin, a look of complete disgust on his face. “Very well. We were ordered to see you made it safely to Solaria. Beginning tomorrow, you each get time on deck.”

    After the soldier had left, Farris looked at his sister and smiled weakly. “Remind me never to cross you.”

    Fayra ripped off a piece of bread, dipped it in the ale and popped it into her mouth. Chewing, she looked at her twin and smiled.

#

It Takes a Thief, Part Two

The next installment of “It Takes a Thief.” Read Part One here.

It Takes a Thief, Part Two

The twins were taken from their tower cell to the main hall on the ground floor of the keep. The hall was large enough to hold several hundred guests during feasts and other festivities. Two large hearths kept the hall warm and vast tapestries, many in the red and gold colors of Lord Redcastle, kept out the draft. At the far end of the hall, upon a raised dais, was the high table and a single, ornately-carved chair. Two simple stools had been placed before the dais.

    The soldiers led Farris and Fayra to the stools. Without a word, two soldiers lifted the hauflins and placed them each atop one of the stools.

    “I expected more … things,” Fayra said, looking around the hall. Her head seemed to dart around, but her eyes moved methodically–counting doors, measuring distances.

    “Quiet,” Farris hissed. He was sure he could feel the point of a sword pressed gently against his spine.

    “You’re no fun.”

    Two servants entered from a side passage carrying covered platters. They placed the platters on the high table, arranged before the single chair. The covers were removed, revealing fresh fruits, cheeses, bread, cold meats, and sausages. Two more servants appeared, younger than the first. One set out a single plate and tankard, both made of silver. The second, a boy of seven or eight, carried a silver pitcher. The boy took his place behind the chair as the other servants withdrew.

    “Look, brother. Lord Redcastle is going to invite us to join him for supper.”

    The door the twins had been brought through opened again and Lord Redcastle marched into the hall. He walked past the twins, sparing them not a glance, and climbed the dais. He sat and motioned for the boy to fill his cup.

    The twins watched as their captor ate. He’d break off a chunk of hard, orange cheese and stuff it in his mouth, barely chewing before washing it down with the frothy ale. When the greasy sausages and slices of cold beef were gone, Redcastle soaked up the congealed fat left on the platter with a piece of hard, dark bread. He drained his tankard for a third time and sucked the grease from his fingers before wiping what remained on the front of his doublet.  

    “Now,” he barked, barely concealing a wet belch. “About my offer.”

    Farris felt his mouth water and his stumble rumble as he watched the servant return and clear away the remains of Redcastle’s meal. He didn’t even throw them a half-eaten apple.

    “Will the servants be bringing our food next?” Fayra asked.

    Redcastle leaned back in his seat. “Are all hauflin as vexing as you?”

    “Does vexing mean useful?” Fayra smiled. “Because last time I checked, you needed us.”

    Redcastle chuckled the way one chuckles when they are too far away to choke someone who annoys them. “You are impertinent. But, as much as I’m loathe to admit, you are also quite correct.”

    “Lot of words to tell me I’m right.”

    Farris jabbed an elbow into his sister’s side, well aware that it wasn’t going to do any good.

    “Now, my brother and I may not be highborn members of the human aristocracy,” Fayra went on, ignoring her brother’s elbow, “but we have skills. Skills that you seem to need, Your Lordiness. So give us the job and let us get to it.”

    Redcastle sat quietly for a moment, then started clapping. “Bravo. For such a small girl, you have very large balls,” he said. “Very well. What do you know about the Black Mages of Malashir?”

    “We know better than to fuck with them.”

    “What my brother means–”

    “What your brother means is that the Black Mages are soulless, daemon-spawn capable of the darkest, vilest magic known to the mortal races. They can kill a man from leagues away and make it last for a full year. To cross a Black Mage is to court a fate worse than death.”

    Farris stared at Redcastle. “My statement stands.”

    “Indeed. But, what most people do not realize is that the Black Mages have something of a weakness. A Black Mage will always have a small possession on their person–a ring or pendant or the like–that holds a fragment of their soul. Keeping a piece of their soul outside of their body makes it impossible to slay a Black Mage.”

    “Arebus must not like that,” Fayra muttered.

    “Perhaps,” Redcastle nodded. “That may be why such items are cursed, allowing anyone who possesses it to control the Black Mage whose soul is contained within.”

    “The Eternal Jailer does not like to be denied his prize.”

    “I wouldn’t begin to guess the thoughts and motivations of our most divine and holy gods. Why it works does not concern me. I care only that it does work.”

    Fayra shook her head. “We are not picking a Black Mage’s pocket.”

    “Nor would I ever ask such a thing.” Redcastle leaned forward, resting his arms on the table. “There’s a merchant in Solaria. Boltus Sekk. A fat, greedy, stupid man, who was somehow lucky enough to gain possession of a fragment of a Black Mage’s soul. That is what you will do for me. You will go to Solaria. Locate Sekk. Identify the trinket that contains the Black Mage’s soul. And steal it for me.”

    “What’s going to stop us from ordering the Black Mage to kill you?”

    Redcastle held up a finger. “First, you’re thieves, not murderers. Second, without the proper incantations, the Black Mage’s soul will devour your souls, small as they might be.”

    Fayra looked at her brother, who simply shrugged. Black Mages. Soul fragments. This was a lot more complicated than picking purses.

    “So, my little friends, are you in or are you out?”

#

Actionverse: Witness the Birth of a Universe

I love a good crossover. Who doesn’t love seeing their favorite characters from different shows, books, movies, or comics team up? Team-ups have been a staple of superhero comics for decades and, for my money, one of the strengths of shared universes like the DC Universe and the Marvel Universe. This year, Action Lab Entertainment throws its hat into the ring with Actionverse, a six-issue miniseries that brings together many of Action Lab’s creator-owned superheroes. I was lucky to get my hands on the first three issues of Actionverse and, trust me, you will want to pick this up when it hits your local comic shop.

Readers got their very first glimpse of the Actionverse in Actionverse #0 (still available on Comixology for under a buck!), which saw Molly Danger (created by Jamal Igle), Stray 306368._SX640_QL80_TTD_(created by Vito Delsante), and Midnight Tiger (created by Ray-Anthony Height) team up for the very first time. Actionverse #1 reveals that the Actionverse is really a multiverse. Action Lab’s creator-owned characters live on different Earths. The first issue, written by Anthony Ruttgaizer and drawn by Marco Renna, introduces us to Kyle Scordato, a dimension-hopping wannabe supervillain who’s willing to destroy every other Earth in the multiverse if it means returning to his own. Scordato runs afoul of Jake Roth, the main character of Ruttgaizer’s The First Hero. Roth is the only hero on his world, a world where everyone who has developed superpowers has also gone criminally insane. Scordato also discovers that whatever energy fuels Roth’s powers can also be used to fuel his interdimensional portal. The first issue ends with Scordato and Roth stranded on the world shared by Molly Danger, Stray, and Midnight Tiger, which I’ve decided to call Actionverse Earth-Prime.

Actionverse calls to mind DC’s classic Crisis on Infinite Earths and Marvel’s recent Secret Wars event. All three involve a multiverse in danger and a promise that something new and different may be on the horizon. Will the Action Lab multiverse collapse, leaving all of these characters existing on a single Earth? Will the characters currently stranded on Actionverse Earth-Prime find their way home, preserving some version of the multiverse? Will we see a company-wide Actionverse crossover every year? Only time will tell.

I’m a fan of several of Action Lab’s books, including Stray, Midnight Tiger, and Hero Cats of Stellar City, and I’m super-excited about the prospect of a shared universe featuring all of these characters. Now, I know the idea of taking a step into a new universe full of unfamiliar characters can be a daunting prospect. But, never fear! The Action Lab editors have your back: Each issue ends with a handbook-style entry (or two) of key characters.

If you want to support creator-owned comics, but also crave the shared superhero universes of the Big Two, then Actionverse is for you. Go to your local comic shop and have them pre-order the first three issues of Actionverse today!

It Takes a Thief, Part One

New year. New goal. I want to write more in 2016, and one of the ways I hope to keep myself motivated is by publishing serialized short stories on the ol’ blog. (I’d like to think that knowing a bunch of folks are waiting for the next installment will be enough to keep me going.)

So, without further ado, here is the first part of “It Takes a Thief”:

It Takes a Thief, Part One

“This is all your fault.”

     Farris looked up and frowned at his twin. “My fault?” Easy for her to say. “Easy for you to say.”

     “It is easy, brother dear.” Fayra stood up on the creaky, splintered wooden pallet that served as a bed in your finer dungeons and jail cells throughout the Seven Kingdoms. She stretched like a lazy house cat, moving her head in slow circles so her long, auburn topknot swayed back and forth.

     “You’re the distraction,” she said. “Our present accommodations would lead one to correctly assume that the rubes were not properly distracted.”

     “I guess the highly-trained professional soldiers employed by a city’s lord protector are a bit more … observant than the sloppy drunks with clubs that we’re used to.” With a defeated sigh, Farris leaned back against the stone wall and closed his eyes.

     “Besides, you’re the one who wasn’t happy hitting villages and market towns. No–” he threw his arms up– “you’re better than that. You had to try your luck in one of the biggest cities in Dal Varris.”

     “Redcastle ain’t that big.”

     “That’s what you take away from this?”

     Fayra laid back on her makeshift bed. “I’m just saying it’s not like we tried pulling a snatch-and-grab in the capital. Now Rivercross, that’s a big city.”

     Her brother scowled. “Maybe we should have tried one of the northern kingdoms. Castrova or Ilsenor. Some of their cities are guarded by cavalry and archers. We could have been run down by horses or shot in the head at twenty paces. I’m sure that would have been much more exciting than this!”

     “Come on, Farris.” Fayra leapt from her perch, somersaulted, and landed in front of her brother. “What would father say?”

     “If you plan to scale a wall, wear sensible boots.”

     She thought for a second, then grinned. “Our boots are the most sensible,” she agreed. “If only that soldier hadn’t taken my grapnel, we could be out that window and over the wall in a wink.”

     Farris looked at the small window, the perfect height for a human to stare longingly at the outside world, but out of reach for even the tallest hauflin. Of course, if they were able to reach the window, the small opening would be large enough for the twins to slip through.

     “Wishing you still had your grapnel does us as much good as me wishing I had a hippogriff.”

     Farris watched his twin’s grin widen from mischievous to devious, as a familiar twinkle flashed in her eyes. “If we can’t go out the window, guess we have to use the door.”

     “But they took our picks.”

     Fayra shook her head, clearly disappointed. “They took the picks they could find, twin of mine.” She fidgeted with the laces of her bodice, eventually producing the delicate lock picks hidden within.

     She saw her brother smile for the first time since the Dal Varran soldiers clapped them in irons. “Mother would be so proud,” he said.

     “Assume the position.”

     Farris crouched by the heavy wooden door that stood between them and freedom. He barely felt it when Fayra jumped up onto his shoulders. She ran her fingertips across the panel that the guards used to check on them. It wasn’t much smaller than the window.

     Pointed ear pressed against the wood, her nimble fingers probed around the edge of the panel. She bit her lip in concentration as she tapped the wood. It was locked, obviously. But, from the sound, it was just a simple latch. Slipping one of her picks into the narrow space between door and panel, she found the bolt and lifted. The sound of the unlocking bolt was louder than she would have liked–and she felt her brother tense beneath her–but when she slowly opened the panel, she saw that the corridor outside the cell was empty.

     “Step two, brother dear.”

     Farris stood slowly, hands on his sister’s ankles to steady her. Fayra took hold of the lintel above the door and lifted herself off her twin’s shoulders. It was a tight fit, but she was able to wriggle through the opening feet first. She dropped to the floor without a sound. Once on the other side of the door, it was a simple task to pick the lock and free her brother.

     “Splendid! A truly remarkable display!”

     The voice didn’t belong to her brother.

     A few paces down the corridor, a door had opened and three soldiers wearing the red and gold livery of Lord Redcastle filled the hallway, swords drawn. Behind them stood a robust figure in scarlet doublet and matching robe. Fayra could see the sparkle of the jeweled rings on his fingers. His sandy hair was cut short and his beard neatly trimmed. A silver circlet sat atop his head.

     Lord Redcastle.

     “I wouldn’t try to run,” he offered with the wave of a hand.

     The twins glanced over their shoulders. The corridor behind them was now filled with armed men.

     “Hauflins,” Redcastle said, more to himself than to anyone else in the corridor. “We don’t get many hauflins in these parts.”

     “You do,” Fayra said. “They just don’t get caught.” Farris caught his sister’s jibe and frowned.

     Redcastle chuckled. “As you say. Now, my little snatch-purses, let’s you and I have a little chat, hmm?”

     “In the banquet hall?” Fayra asked. “I’m famished. I haven’t had a satisfying meal since I nicked that apple from a traveling merchant on the road from Southway. Between you and me, that slop you serve prisoners in positively dre–”

     “Enough!” What little charm Lord Redcastle had been displaying had vanished. His face was flush as he stepped towards the twins. “You have two options, you pointy-eared pieces of shit: Put your skills to work for me and steal something I desire, after which you will be free to go. Or dangle from a hangman’s noose at dawn.”

     Neither Farris nor Fayra said a word, and Farris was thankful that his sister was smart enough to hold her tongue. They both knew better than to trust Redcastle’s word. Their silence was apparently beginning to annoy the nobleman, who snapped his fingers. The soldiers, and their swords, moved closer to the twins.

     “Now, what do you say?”

#

 

Top 10 Fictional Characters I Wouldn’t Mind Snogging at Midnight

In honor of New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d throw together a list of fictional characters I wouldn’t mind sharing a snog with at midnight.

1. Caitlin Snow

caitlin snow

The odds that we would both leave our safe places on the same night are slim…but, if it did happen, it was meant to be, right?

2. Cassandra Cillian

cassandra cillian

STEM ginger. ‘Nuff said.

3. Thea Queen

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Thea’s still a little stabby…but it would be worth the risk.

4. Amy Santiago

amy santiago

Snogging at midnight, followed by days of filling out paperwork and filing reports…I’m in!

5. Patty Spivot

patty pivot

SPIVOT! We’d have to stop babbling awkwardly to actually get to the kiss, but I think we could handle it.

6. Rey

rey

Not entirely sure how this would work, but…

7. Kara Danvers

kara danvers

Not Supergirl. This is an important distinction.

8. Bobbi Morse

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I’ve got a thing for scientists. Especially amazonian scientists who could kick my ass without breaking a sweat.

9. Linda Park

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Linda is super awesome. Man…what is in the water in Central City?!?

10. Jessica Warren

jessica warren

It might take some work to get over the weird home-schooled commune thing, but there is our mutual love of BSG.

 

How Marvel Studios Should Approach Iron Fist

With Daredevil and Jessica Jones burning up the internet (and Luke Cage, not to mention a second helping of Ol’ Hornhead, on the way), everyone with a keyboard and some time to kill has been theorizing about Marvel’s plan for its Netflix series. The original plan was as follows: Four independent series–Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist–leading up to a team-up called The Defenders. It was a good plan. Of course, no plan survives contact with the enemy.

 

Daredevil was an experiment. It could have failed. Miserably. Instead it took off. It became the most-watched show on Netflix and spurred Marvel to start work on a second season. Now there’s talk of a Punisher series. Maybe even Moon Knight. There’s also a lot of talk surrounding Iron Fist, and not all of it is good. Depending on who you ask, Marvel is either cancelling the series outright, retooling it to be a  one-off feature-length story, or going ahead with it as originally planned. It does seem as though the series has stalled. There’s been no word of casting or story or even when production might start. The usual internet reaction is to run around shouting that the sky is falling. Personally, this doesn’t bother me. Iron Fist will be an expensive endeavor (which is what’s fueling the one-off film rumor), not to mention an interesting creative hurdle: I mean, how do you visually represent someone’s chi or the Iron Fist effect?

 

Yes. An Iron Fist series will be expensive. Probably more expensive than DaredevilJessica Jones, and Luke Cage combined. At least if you want to do it right. K’un-L’un will need to be a lot more impressive than whatever matte painting Arrow uses for Nanda Parbat. (The easiest solution to this that I can think of is to just use whatever location Agents of SHIELD used for the Inhuman city, Afterlife.)

Afterlife

 

What about the story? Is the entire thing set in K’un-L’un? I imagine the first season of Iron Fist to be a little bit like Batman Begins. Danny Rand, long-thought dead, returns to New York City after years of training in K’un-L’un. As the Iron Fist, he has been sent to New York to prepare it for an upcoming supernatural threat (this ties in to one of the subplots from the first season of Daredevil). As Danny Rand, however, he has come home to face the men responsible for the death of his parents: the Board of Directors of the Rand Corporation. To accomplish this second goal, Danny needs the services of Heroes for Hire* (Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Patsy Walker, and Misty Knight). Of course, things don’t go as planned and Danny discovers that his two objectives might be more connected than he originally thought. As with the other Netflix series, Iron Fist would rely on flashbacks to slowly spool out Danny Rand’s origin, from his parents’ death, to his training in K’un-L’un, to his rise as the Iron Fist.

There’s very little reinventing of the wheel here, and with good reason. Marvel’s Netflix series manage to be both straightforward and complex, and there’s no evidence to suggest that Iron Fist will be any different when we finally get to see it.

 

===============

*I would actually trade a second season of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist for an ongoing Heroes for Hire series featuring Jess, Luke, Danny, Misty, Patsy, and Colleen Wing.