Scythe

Let’s continue with the Iron Fist breakdown, this time with episode 6, Immortal Emerges from Cave. In here, Iron Fist participates to the Da Jue Zhan, the tournament held by The Hand in which he has to face Madame Gao‘s best warriors. One of them is simply known as Scythe, portrayed by David Sakurai, a man who mocks his adversary for claiming to “be a weapon”, while in clear lack of one (he’ll have reasons to change his mind, obviously). In the comics, Scythe is undoubtedly an enemy of Iron Fist, but he’s never been a member of The Hand, or any faction of it; rather, he’s a mercenary who works as an assassin for hire for other villains, and goes after the hero just for money. He’s not exactly a prominent foe, appearing in three issues only. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about Scythe, not even his true name. He was most probably American, albeit nothing is known of his birthplace, and it’s likely that he spent some time in Japan as well. As an adult, he received an intensive training in martial arts, and he became extremely accomplished in the use of the kusarigama, a chained scythe with a steel ball at one end. Wanting to use his skills to make profit, the man adopted the name “Scythe” and entered the market as a mercenary and an assassin for hire, accepting contracts to kill people swiftly and stealthy if need be. With time, he apparently made quite a career for himself, albeit not enough to make him accept only high-priced contracts. Despite travelling for work, his base of operations was New York City, as in recent years it had become a flourishing market for masked mercenaries like him, as there were many criminals around willingo to dispose of rivals and enemies without getting their hands dirty, and some occasional bounties kept him occupied. Still trying to make a name for himself among the many rivals, Scythe accepted a weird bounty hunt: there was a new hero in the city, a martial artist named Iron Fist, who had apparently stepped on the wrong guys’ toes; a wealthy businessman, Harold Meachum, had just decided he had had enough of him, and put a bounty on the vigilante worthy 10,000$. It was unusual to put a bounty on a man without a name, but if the payment was a safe one (and Meachum had plenty of money), that was enough for Scythe to try: as well as many other thugs and assassins in New York, he started hunting for Iron Fist, eager to enter the big league of the priced criminals.

Finding Iron Fist proved to be pretty easy, as Scythe limited himself to following other assassins who had been hunting for him, waiting for the moment they actually found him. When they did, instead of attacking along with the others, Scythe kept a distance, studying his enemy while he made short work of a number of assailants. When Iron Fist had finished with the others, as soon as he let his guard down after the fight, Scythe attacked him, hitting him in the head with the steel ball. Taking advantage of the surprise, Scythe reached his target and used the chain of his weapon to strangle him, bringing him on his knees in a matter of seconds. Having witnessed Iron Fist’s skills, Scythe wanted to end it as quickly as possible and, after tying him to a fence, he tried to stab him through the bars. As fast as he had been, Scythe couldn’t however match Iron Fist’s reflexes, and the martial artist soon regained control of himself and destroyed the fence, knocking the assassin down. This first failure only made Scythe more determined than before, and he attacked once again, this time going at Iron Fist’s chest directly with his blade…but the hero caught the kusarigama in midhair, and used his chi to vaporize the steel, leaving the killer unarmed. Impressed by the display of supernatural power he had just witnessed, Scythe dropped what was left of his weapon and surrendered, hoping in his enemy’s mercy. Iron Fist questioned him about who was sending killer after killer after him, and Scythe immediately confessed, making the name of Meachum. Then, still terrified, he fainted. Maybe, there was some safer job around for a guy like him, surely safer than fighting against unbeatable Human Weapons

Scythe is a ruthless mercenary, a man who kills for money and who always aims for the highest profit; still a rookie in the world of costumed assassins, he tries to make a name for himself, but ends up biting on more than he can chew. He’s a very skilled martial artist, expert in the use of the traditional Japanese weapon known as kusarigama, and he’s also a skilled hand-to-hand combatant. With no loyalty nor honor, Scythe proves to be quite a coward when facing a force superior to his own, a boastful amateur not yet ready to play with the big kids.

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