The Seven Capital Cities Of Heaven is the title of the second Immortal Iron Fist story arc, written by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction, which includes issues 8 to 14.
For the covers of this arc, I wanted to preserve the use of blank space that had already become a characteristic of the series.
It's about a kung fu tournament between seven mystical cities and it would run seven issues. I wanted them to resemble vintage covers of an old pulp magazine. Each one of the seven covers would feature a portrait of each of the seven participants.
This is Immortal Iron Fist #8 cover (2007), first chapter of the arc.
The 7 in the story arc title "The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven" is a backwards 7 in Chinese. The chapter number of each part is also in Chinese numerals.
I designed some kind of map/representantion of the interdimensional encounter of the cities that would appear on each cover. This heptagon contains the Chinese animal names representative of each city and in the center, "Heaven and Earth."
Immortal Iron Fist #9 (2007) had Fat Cobra on the cover, one of the seven Immortal Weapons, wich will fight Iron Fist on the issue. Matt Fraction descrived it as a sumo fighter with ninja moves.
The art on his chest includes the words cobra, champion and part of the Bushido code. Turtle on his shoulder as it is the animal represenative of his city.
I imagined character as the only one in the tournament with Japanese cultural roots instead of Chinese, so the red detail seemed fitting to me.
This is the final cover.
And these are the cover sketch and the Fat Cobra portrait:
As I said before, each one of the seven covers would feature a portrait of each of the seven participants, but after the first three, somebody decided it would not be a good idea not to show the hero on the cover.
This issue 10 cover (2007) with the character Bride of Nine Spiders was never published.
The right stripped design remained on next covers of the arc, though.