Saturday, March 26, 2011

Make Mine Marvel: Iron Fist

With his first appearance in Marvel Premiere #15 from May 1974, "The House of Ideas" added a second martial arts hero, Daniel Rand, AKA Iron Fist to their impressive lineup. His parents murdered before his eyes by a double crossing business partner on a snow capped mountain in Tibet, nine year old orphan Rand was taken in by mysterious K'un L'un Monastery to study the ancient art of Kung-Fu. After years of intensive training, Rand honed his skills to become a living weapon, mastering the technique of focusing all his "chi" energy into an almost invincible smouldering iron fist. Returning to American to work as a bodyguard, Daniel, in his new identity of Iron Fist searches to avenge his parents murders, eventually finishing off the deadly villain who preformed the deed. Roy Thomas was chosen to craft the early scripts with Gil Kane doing the character design and artistic chores for the first few dynamic issues. But the hero's real popularity came when he got his own title in November 1975, written by Chris Claremont and illustrated by fan favorite, John Byrne, for its successful fifteen issue run. Later teaming up with Marvel's Powerman to find a wider audience, Iron Fist has survived many incarnations in new titles over the years.

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