Immortal Weapons: Fat Cobra, written by Jason AaronAs readers of Iron Fist know, Fat Cobra may be one of the most powerful Immortal Weapons, but his past remains a mystery.
In July, writer Jason Aaron will tell Fat Cobra's origin story in Immortal Weapons, the first of five extra-sized one shots, each with a different creative team taking on one of the Immortal Weapons characters. The Fat Cobra one-shot, which features art by Mico Suayan, will also have the first part of a back-up feature by Immortal Iron Fist writer Duane Swierczynski, a five-part story that will run through all the issues of Immortal Weapons.
"[The five back-up stories] will focus on Iron Fist," said Marvel editor Warren Simons. "Even though Cage may not be his partner at the moment, it doesn't mean that Danny doesn't need a partner."
Announced at Emerald City Comic Con, the five one-shot Immortal Weapons issues will take the place of the Immortal Iron Fist series for five months directly after Immortal Iron Fist #27. While Marvel didn't confirm that Iron Fist would restart after Immortal Weapons ends, Simons said, "We have some pretty crazy plans line up for Danny once the Immortal Weapons series ends. Stay tuned."
In the meantime, readers will get oversized issues that fill in some of the blanks about their favorite Immortal Weapons characters. Newsarama talked to Aaron about telling the story of Fat Cobra's past and why he was attracted to the Immortal Weapons project.
Newsarama: What story are you telling in this one-shot issue, Jason?
Jason Aaron: It's pretty much the origin of Fat Cobra, which we haven't really learned anything about previously. We don't really know much about these Immortal Weapons. We've only seen them in glimpses over the course of [Ed] Brubaker and [Matt] Fraction's run and now Duane's run. There's a lot of stuff to play with there.
NRAMA: Does the issue just jump right into that past? Or is there a story that frames the origin?
JA: Well with Fat Cobra, the idea is that he's a guy who's lived a very long life. And over the course of that life, he's drunk vast amounts of intoxicants. So at present, his history is a bit of a haze. He can't remember all the details of it. So he's hired a writer to research his life and write a book about it. So Fat Cobra can sit down and thrill once again to his own forgotten glories of the past. That's where we find ourselves at the beginning of the story: This writer has finished his book and he's showing up to present it to Fat Cobra.
Immortal Weapons: Dog BrotherThe problem is, as the story starts to unfold and we learn about his birth and his upbringing and the mystical city where he was born and his struggles to become that city's Immortal Weapon, we start to see the dark underbelly of his story. And Fat Cobra comes to realize that maybe there was a good reason he had forgotten these events over the years. They don't all stir up great memories.
NRAMA: What kind of characters and events do we see in his past?
JA: We get the great battles and crazy adventures he been on over the years. There are mad-cap kung fu fights. And we see all the beautiful women he's loved over the years, all the crazy meals he's eaten, all the wine he's drank, the crazy places he's gone. But we also see this underbelly of tragedy that's run through his life, and the dark price he had to pay in order to become the Immortal Weapon for his city.
NRAMA: Did you get to pick which of the Immortal Weapons you wanted to write about?
JA: I think Warren Simons, the editor, called me up and offered me Fat Cobra. But I think if he had just asked me who I wanted, that's probably who I would have picked to begin with. I think they've all got a sense of mystery. We don't really know much about any of those characters. But something about Fat Cobra seems the most colorful and outrageous. He's just a big sumo guy whose most famous line is, "Bring me my wenches of waiting!" I like the chance to do the fun stuff, but also subvert it a little and show, like I said, sort of the dark side to his origin story.
NRAMA: Were you always a fan of Immortal Iron Fist and the Immortal Weapons in particular?
JA: I read all that stuff as it was coming out, and I love that series. What Brubaker and Fraction did on that – they took a character that was kind of cool in concept but had never really played out that great on the page. Iron Fist didn't have a lot of high points over the years – a little good stuff, but he never really reached those heights. What Fraction and Brubaker did was create such a history for the character and setting, with all these other characters thrown in. It's a terrific playground. And Duane Swierczynski has done a great job of carrying that on.
I had been talking to Warren about doing stuff with him for a long time. He's got a lot of the characters that I love. So the chance to jump into that playground and not only play with those characters a little bit but to tell the origin story for this guy was a great opportunity.