Who is Iron Fist (Marvel Characters)
Who is Iron Fist?
Iron Fist is a martial arts expert with the ability to call upon a mystical power. Iron Fist appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane.
- First Appearance: Marvel Premier #15 (cover date: May 1974)
- Creators: Roy Thomas and Gil Kane
- Publisher: Marvel Comics
- Powers: Martial arts, enhanced abilities due to exposure to dragon’s heart
- Weapons: Mystical “Iron Fist”
- Base of Operations: New York City
- Key Allies: Luke Cage (a.k.a. “Power Man”), Daredevil
- Key Enemies: Master Khan, Black Dragon Chiantang, The Hand
- Team Affiliations: Heroes for Hire, Defenders, Thunderbolts, New Avengers
- Secret Identity: Danny Rand
Iron Fist Profile
Iron Fist was a direct response to the popularity of martial arts films—and even comics such as Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu, also by Marvel—in the early 1970s. As a child, Danny Rand accompanied his parents on a trip to Asia to dis cover the mythical ancient city of K’un-L’un.
When his parents are killed, Danny is raised by the monks of K’un-L’un and trained in the martial arts. On reaching adulthood and having toughened his fists after years of punching them into buck ets of sand, rocks, and so on, Danny is sent to battle the dragon Shou-Lao.
This battle leaves a dragon brand burned into his chest. Afterward, Danny plunges his fist into the heart of the dragon, which grants him the power of the “Iron Fist”—he can now channel his “chi” through it. He soon returns to New York City to fight crime on the streets (Thomas and Kane, Marvel Premier #15, May 1974)
Iron Fist received his own title in 1975 under the creative team of Chris Clare mont and John Byrne, who would soon earn iconic status with their run on the rebooted Uncanny X-Men series launched that same year.
By the end of the dec ade, the popularity of the martial arts genre had faded, and sales began to decline. Rather than cancel the character, however, Marvel teamed Iron Fist with Luke Cage (whose own title had similarly slipped in sales due in part to the waning popularity of the Blaxploitation film genre). The two appeared in the title Power Man and Iron Fist (beginning with issue #50 of the previously titled Luke Cage, Power Man) in April 1978.
See also: Who is Aquaman?
Working together as the private detective team “Heroes for Hire,” the series continued until its cancellation in 1986. The title would return for a brief run beginning in 1997.
Outside of comics, a younger version of the character appeared—along with a young Luke Cage—as part of Spider-Man’s team in the first few seasons of Ultim ate Spider-Man (2012–2017).
The character finally received a live-action portrayal in the 2017 Netflix series Iron Fist, a television offshoot of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This appearance was followed with the character’s teaming with fellow Marvel/Netflix heroes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage in the 2017 series The Defenders.
The history of Iron Fist is most directly connected to Luke Cage, but whereas Cage has managed to maintain a fan following on his own, Iron Fist has not been as successful in solo adventures. The initial popularity of the solo series in the 1970s, however, does provide a window into the popularity of the martial arts genre at the time.
See also: Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Luke Cage/Power Man; Thematic Essays: From Rel evance to Acceptance: The Bronze and Copper Ages—The 1970s and 1980s, The Super hero in the Post–9/11 World.
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