10 Facts You Should Know About IRON FIST
Welcome to another edition of 10 Facts, where we give you the ten essential things (and some obscure facts) you should know about a certain character.
With Marvel’s Iron Fist coming up soon, the team effort comprising of Marvel’s Netflix superheroes that is The Defenders is coming to fruition. Now it’s time for the living weapon Iron Fist to be given the 10 Facts treatment, so here are the things we’ve come up with that will serve as a good introduction to the character.
1. He first appeared in Marvel Premiere in 1974.
Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Iron Fist debuted in Marvel Premiere #15 in 1974. He was created as a result of the martial arts craze in mainstream media at the time, along with Shang-Chi who debuted a few months earlier.
Thomas wrote that Iron Fist was influenced by Amazing-Man, a Golden Age comics character created by Bill Everett and published by Centaur Publications. Later on, he added that the name Iron Fist came from a martial arts movie he saw that included a “ceremony of the Iron Fist.”
2. His alter ego is Daniel “Danny” Rand.
Like many great superheroes, Danny Rand is an orphan. His father, Wendell Rand, took his family and his business partner, Harold Meachum, on an expedition to Tibet to search for the mystical city of K’un-Lun. Needless to say, things went wrong and the family fell of a cliff. Danny and his mother landed safely on a ledge, while Wendell met a deadlier fate; he fell off the ledge of a mountain to his death because of the betrayal of Harold, who wanted the business for himself (think of Scar and Mufasa from Lion King).
Danny’s mother would eventually die protecting him from a pack wolves. A squad of archers from K’un-Lun found Danny and decided to take him in, leading him on his path to become a Kung Fu master and the next Iron Fist.
3. Danny Rand is rich.
It may seem like cliché at this point (and it probably is), but Danny Rand owns a corporation he inherited from his parents. Though not as ridiculously rich as Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark, he is still up there financially.
After Wendell Rand’s death (and Danny being presumed dead as well), his business partner, Harold Meachum, took the reigns of the company. Danny left K’un-Lun after becoming the Iron Fist to seek revenge against Meachum (who is responsible for Wendell’s death). Upon meeting him, Danny learned that Meachum had become crippled from frostbite, and ultimately spared him. Of course Meachum was killed by a mysterious ninja later on, effectively making Danny a co-partner of the company with Meachum’s daughter, Joy.
4. He earned his powers in K’un-Lun.
K’un-Lun is an extra-dimensional mystical city that periodically appears on Earth. After his parents’ death, he was brought to K’un-Lun where he trained martial arts for ten years under the tutelage of Lei Kung the Thunderer.
To become the next Iron Fist, Danny had to fight an immortal dragon named Shou-Lao the Undying. After defeating Shou-Lao (which burned a dragon tattoo on his chest), Danny gained the power of the Iron Fist after thrusting his fists into the dragon’s molten heart.
The power of the Iron Fist allows him to focus his chi onto his fists, essentially making them as strong as iron. His ability to have complete control of his chi helps enhance his strength, agility stamina, reflexes, and spatial awareness. Coupled with his Kung Fu mastery, Danny Rand is arguably the best hand-to-hand fighter in the Marvel Universe.
5. The Iron Fist is a title granted to the strongest warrior of K’un-Lun.
Being the 66th Iron Fist, Danny Rand is just the latest in a long line of champions of K’un-Lun, a legacy that dates back centuries. Others have included Wu Ao-Shi (first female pirate Iron Fist), Bei Ming-Tian (fought off an incursion by Genghis Khan), and Bei Bang-Wen (fought against British soldiers during the Opium War).
His immediate predecessor, Orson Randall, fought in World War I. Having experienced severe PTSD, Randall developed a drug addiction after the war and renounced his duties as the Iron Fist.
6. Iron Fist is only one of seven Immortal Weapons.
Including K’un-Lun, there is a total of seven Capital Cities of Heaven, each with their own immortal weapon. The others are: Bride of Nine Spiders from Kingdom of Spiders, Fat Cobra from Peng Lai, Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter from Tiger Island, Dog Brother #1 from Under City, Prince of Orphans from Z’Gambo, and Steel Phoenix (formerly Steel Serpent) from K’un-Zi.
Every 88 years, a heavenly convergence occurs where the seven Capital Cities of Heaven merge to create the Heart of Heaven. It is at this time when each city sends their champions to compete in a tournament for the right to appear on Earth once in every decade. Losing cities can then only materialize on Earth once every five decades.
7. His best friend is Luke Cage.
After an 11-issue run in Marvel Premiere, Iron Fist proved to be popular enough to launch his own solo series – Iron Fist #1 (November 1975) by writer Christ Claremont and artist John Byrne. Unfortunately, his series only lasted for 15 issues before getting canceled.
As a way to save the character, Iron Fist was merged with another struggling title at the time, Luke Cage a.k.a. Power Man, and one of the strongest team-ups in superhero history was born. Power Man and Iron Fist received moderate success, running for 75 issues before ending due to the “death” of Iron Fist (but nobody ever really dies in comics).
8. He was once Daredevil for a while.
During Matt Murdock’s arrest for allegedly being Daredevil, Iron Fist dressed up as the superhero to help prove that Murdock is not Daredevil (comic fans know better of course). Murdock didn’t know anything about this, which led to him escaping from prison to confront the impostor. Once Matt learns it’s Danny behind the mask, he lets him continue the stint for a while.
In light of this, the Daredevil who appeared in Marvel’s 2006 comics event Civil War is actually Danny Rand.
9. He has an on-and-off relationship with Misty Knight.
Danny’s best known relationship is with Misty Knight, one-half of the private investigation duo Knightwing Restorations alongside Colleen Wing. The two first met when Danny hired her and Colleen Wing to help clear his name after being framed for the murder of Harold Meachum. Since then, they’ve had an on-again off-again relationship.
Misty Knight has already appeared in Marvel’s Luke Cage (played by Simone Missick), and is confirmed to appear in Marvel’s The Defenders as well.
10. Sabretooth first appeared in an Iron Fist comic book.
Now here’s an obscure fact: Sabretooth, a villain most commonly associated with the X-Men and longtime enemy of Wolverine, actually debuted in Iron Fist #14 by Chris Claremont and John Byrne. Originally conceived as a recurring villain for Power Man and Iron Fist, Claremont later retconned and reintroduced Sabretooth in the X-Men comics as a mutant product of the supersoldier program Weapon X.