In honour of the Netflix release of Iron Fist on March 17, I thought I would do a hero spotlight on my favourite comic book martial artist. To be honest, Iron Fist has been near the top of my list of favourite heroes for as long as I can remember. My hat is off to the creative team of Roy Thomas (writer) and Gil Kane (artist), who brought Iron Fist (Danny Rand) to life back in May of 1974…in Marvel Premiere #15 to be exact.
Iron Fist: Background
At the age of nine, Daniel Rand was taken on a mountain climbing expedition by his parents. They were looking for the mystical city of K’un L’un. Both of his parents died during the expedition (killed by his father’s business partner), but Daniel was saved by warriors from the mystical city. It was in K’un L’un that Daniel mastered martial arts under the tutelage of Lei Kung, the Thunderer.
Daniel proved to be Lei Kung’s most gifted student. At the age of 19, he was given the chance to fight Shou-Lao the Undying (the dragon who guarded the power of the iron fist). Daniel did indeed defeat the dragon and earned the power of the iron fist. His dragon tattoo was burned into his chest during the battle.
10 years later, Daniel returned to New York to seek revenge for his parents’ murder. When he confronted the man, he saw that he had both of his legs amputated (due to frostbite on the mountain). He pitied the man and let him live.
Iron Fist: In The Comics
Iron Fist joins forces with Luke Cage (also known as Power Man) to form Heroes for Hire, Inc. The duo go on a pretty great 50 comic book run cleaning up the streets of New York.
The pair split and reformed on a number of occasions.
Iron Fist also spent time as a member of the New Avengers.
Iron Fist has been featured in some more recent solo titles as well.
The Immortal Iron Fist – which also tells the stories of the others who held the title of Iron Fist.
The Living Weapon – a bit dark, but brilliantly written and illustrated.
Both are worth checking out.
Iron Fist: Powers and Abilities
The power of the iron fist allows Danny Rand to summon and focus his chi. This ability can enhance his strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, reflexes and senses far beyond that of a normal human.
When Danny focuses this energy into his hand (becoming like a thing of iron), he can strike with superhuman force, while being impervious to pain and injury.
He can also heal himself and others with the power of his chi.
Danny is also a highly skilled acrobat, gymnast and master of the martial arts. He is arguably the best hand-to-hand combatant in the Marvel universe (he is the hands down winner in my opinion).
Iron Fist: Final Comments
I did not get the chance to watch any of the new Netflix release last night, but I am quite excited for it. It does not bother me that critics have been a little harsh on it pre-release. Iron Fist is one of my all-time favourite heroes and I plan on enjoying every minute of it. If by chance it does not live up to my expectations, I will just give some of my old comics a read or watch some entertaining episodes of Ultimate Spider-man (a teen-age version of Iron Fist…which does not really make sense, all things considered, but is great none the less) to cleanse my pallet.
Have a Super Saturday everyone!
Thanks for reading.