Daniel Rand is the rich multi-millionaire head of the Rand corporation. He is also the Immortal Iron Fist
, a master of Kung Fu, and defender of the ancient city of K'un L'un
Originally a Marvel Bronze Age
character, he was first created to cash in on the popularity of Kung Fu films. Iron Fist first appeared in "Marvel Premiere
" #15 (May, 1974), created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. He appeared as the lead in this magazine until issue #25 (October, 1975). Then was granted his first eponymous series "Iron Fist
", which lasted for 15 issues (November, 1975-September, 1977). Since then he's worked alongside Luke Cage
as one of the Heroes for Hire
, had an important role during the Marvel Civil War
, and even joined the New Avengers
. Despite this, he's never really risen beyond B-list status.
The character got a new lease on life with the launch of The Immortal Iron Fist
, co-written by Matt Fraction
and Ed Brubaker
(and after their departure, Duane Swierczynski). The series reveals that there have been many Iron Fists before Daniel, and introduces a 'new' Golden Age
Iron Fist, Orson Randall. In addition there are more Immortal Weapons who represent the other mystical cities of the far east and also wield strange and unusual powers. Daniel discovers new secrets about his past, and must use these to confront former and new enemies.
As well as the main story arcs, there are one shot issues that tell the tales of other bearers of the Iron Fist legacy throughout history, and there are several one shot adventures starring Orson Randall.
The main run of the comic ended with issue #27, but a short limited series called Immortal Weapons
came along soon afterwards, with each issue focusing on one of the other five Immortal Weapons introduced in the original run, alongside a backup story starring Iron Fist.
Due to the success of the Immortal Iron Fist series, Iron Fist and his supporting characters have had a surge of popularity, earning cameos and roles in other Marvel comics, video games, and cartoons. Iron Fist has appeared in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
, The Super Hero Squad Show
, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
, Marvel Avengers Alliance
, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
, and the Ultimate Spider-Man
animated series, where he is a main character. He's due to get his own series on Netflix in 2015, tying in with the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe
Comics featuring Iron Fist provide examples of:
- Dramatic Sit-Down: In the Seven Deadly Weapons spin-off mini, Fat Cobra is an ancient warrior who meets with his biographer. Fat Cobra used chi to long a long life. However, he has amnesia from too much drinking and concussions. During their conversation, he learns just how he became the Cobra Warrior of Peng Lai; he had scores of children with many women. The children grow up and came to get revenge on their dead beat father. He was forced to kill them and, in doing so, gained enough power to become a Cobra Warrior.. Upon hearing this, he burns his biography and dismisses his company. He glares at the fireplace in disgust as he sits alone.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: "Iron Crutch" Khan.
- Fights Like a Normal: Especially early on, when using the Iron Fist tired him out much quicker.
- Golden Age of Hollywood: Setting for one of the Orson Randall tales.
- Great Big Book of Everything: Danny receives a chronicle of the lives of all the previous Iron Fists that only he can read.
- Gun Fu: Danny initially begrudges Orson for using firearms in combat: "You learned your kung fu from Lei Kung and Smith & Wesson?"
- Heir to the Dojo
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Cage and Iron Fist.
- Implacable Man: Every Iron Fist is hunted down by one of these once they reach a certain age; very few have escaped with their lives.
- Ki Attacks: The titular "Iron Fist" and countless more.
- Kung-Fu Wizard: Several of the Immortal Weapons' powers are this.
- Legacy Character: This is why Iron Fist is immortal; it is the position that will never die, not its occupant.
- This also applies to the other Immortal Weapons, hence their collective name.
- Legacy Immortality: See above.
- Lightning Bruiser: Fat Cobra; taken literally when considering his chi as an external weapon.
- Megaton Punch: The usual application of the power of the Iron Fist.
- Mentors: Of many different kinds.
- Mighty Whitey: Largely played down in the more recent series, though introducing a previous Iron Fist, only to declare him another white guy who out-mastered the masters of K'un-Lun did raise a few eyebrows.
- My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Shown many times. Danny vs. Davos, Fat Cobra vs. Danny, Bride of Nine Spiders vs. Dog Brother #1, Davos vs. Tiger's Beautiful Daughter, Prince of Orphans vs. Davos (in response to his brutality on the aforementioned fight). Largely the entire point of the Tournament of Heaven.
- Mystical High Collar: Wore one until recently.
- The Nameless: The ninja-servant girl (who is Orson Randall's daughter) was never named, due to rather restricted freedoms caused by her society's caste system. According to her, she'll have made a name for herself by the time Danny sees her again.
- Noble Savage: Dog Brother #1.
- No Name Given: The Prince of Orphans. Until he revealed himself as John Aman.
- Nonindicative Name: Fat Cobra's totem animal is actually the turtle.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: In a different comic, Iron Man and the Mighty Avengers confront Danny about his activities with the New Avengers as Iron Fist, which are illegal due to the Super Registration Act. Danny's lawyer, Jeryn Hogarth, points out to Iron Man that Danny is already a registered hero, having registered his fists as lethal weapons. He also points out that, even though everyone seems to know Danny is Iron Fist, no one can technically prove it, except through very unconstitutional means that Tony doesn't want anyone to know about. Jeryn is a pretty pudgy, normal guy, basically telling off some of the most powerful heroes on Earth, and manages to piss off Ms. Marvel, so this is his Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
- Old Master: Fat Cobra's teacher, "Iron Crutch" Khan.
- Opium Den: Orson Randall suppressed his chi by abusing opium, concealing his existence from those hunting the renegade Iron Fist.
- Parental Abandonment: Every holder of the title of Dog Brother #1 is an orphan, usually made so by war.
- Passing the Torch
- Perky Goth: One of the possible interpretations of the Bride of Nine Spiders. She seems to have a morbid sense of humor, "giggling" ("Che Che Che Che") with delight at the prospect of violence and death (even her own).
- Power Glows: The power of the Iron Fist causes much glowing.
- Public Domain Character: John Aman, the Prince of Orphan.
- Retraux: The Orson Randall one-shots are often drawn in a pulp art style.
- Retroactive Legacy: Orson Randall and the other 60-some-odd Iron Fists before Danny Rand.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified
- Salt and Pepper: Iron Fist and Luke Cage.
- Series Continuity Error: A minor but jarring one. In a flashback eight-year old Danny is seen with Spider-Man action figure... which he could get only via time travel since he and Spidey are about the same age in-universe.
- Shamgri-La: K'un-Lun.
- Shotgun Wedding: Very narrowly averted — Misty Knight goes to tell Danny she's pregnant, but he proposes marriage to her before she can tell him. She then checks to make sure he hadn't already worked it out.
- Single Power Superheroes: At least initially, his only power was "punch stuff." Since obtaining the Book of the Iron Fist, he's learned a Jedi Mind Trick, and it turns out that Iron Fists can empower any projectiles.
- Stout Strength: Fat Cobra.
- Stripperiffic: Tiger's Beautiful Daughter's only clothing in battle is belts. Lots of them. She's fully clothed every other time.
- Superhero Packing Heat: Orson Randall.
- To Hell and Back
- Tournament Arc
- Training from Hell
- Two-Fisted Tales: The Orson Randall side stories.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Steel Serpent/Phoenix.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: How the mantle of Dog Brother #1 is passed down.
- Zerg Rush: Part of Bride of Nine Spiders' combat style.