In the last arc, we saw that Iron Fist wasn’t really dead through a convoluted, Byrnesque narrative involving alien plants. But we barely saw Danny Rand in the story itself.
This arc firmly brings Fist back, and also phases Byrne off the Namor title. We do get to see some nice early Jae Lee work as a consolation prize.
At the beginning of the tale, Namor is “missing” (on his last adventure), and a bunch of his associates wonder where he is.
Meanwhile, Namor is under a spell from Master Kahn, and fights some loggers who think he’s interfering with their work. Weirdly, they beat him down.
It’s a very Wolverine-like moment. It’s derivative and feels wrong, but it doesn’t last long–Namorita tracks him down. But he fights her and flees.
Eventually, he ends up in the ocean. An Atlantean female finds him. And Dr. Doom finds both of them.
This wandering is a parallel for the comic at this point: Where is this going? I do appreciate the irony here. Way back when he first became part of the Marvel Universe, he had amnesia, wore a beard, and was found by Human Torch. Now, the same things are true, but Doom finds him.
And they fight. And Namor remembers who he is.
Meanwhile, Master Kahn is trying to take over Namor’s corporation. Iron Fist and the Daughters of the Dragon are aware, and are trying to stop him.
They all fight, and Namor rips off Kahn’s head.
Weird that Kahn has been Iron Fist’s enemy for two decades of comics, but he meets his end at the hands of Sub-Mariner.
Byrne was the main reason to read this title, even if it was far from his best work. We’ll see if Bob Harras makes this a title worth reading. I’m going to chalk up the chaotic storytelling here to the fact that the writing was spread across so many creators: John Byrne wrote and drew #26, but then he let Jae Lee to the layouts and art for #27-33. He stayed on as one of the writers through #32, but Joey Cavalieri wrote the scripts for #27 and 28, and then Bob Harras wrote the end of the epic (issue #33). Compounding the dissonance: Three different inkers.