Who is The Immortal Iron Fist?

Iron Fist: “I am the Iron Fist. I hold back the storm when nothing else can.”

– Iron Fist: The Living Weapon

A man walks through New York when a gang surrounds him. The leader snarls an ultimatum, “Pay up, or else!” The man drops into a fighting stance. The leader laughs. “Look at Mr. Kung Fu over here! Hi-Yah! Hi-YaArrrgh!” The gang leader is still laughing when the man knocks him out with a single punch.

Another thug rushes the man, but falls easily. A smarter goon swings a pipe. He doesn’t notice the glow coming from the man’s fist until the pipe shatters. The other thugs flee, finally realizing that they had attacked Iron Fist, one of the Avengers.

Iron Fist is one of the best martial artists in fiction. He’s been a Hero for Hire, a Defender, and even an Avenger. So who is he? How did he learn martial arts? And is he really immortal? Let’s find out. Round 1: Write!

Immortal Weapon: Iron Fist’s Backstory

Taskmaster: “Your technique…”
Iron Fist: “Years of training in K’un-Lun.”

– Ultimate Spider-Man

Iron Fist was created in 1974 to cash in on the martial arts fad that was fueled by the unexpected death of Bruce Lee during the previous summer. When the fad died down, Marvel paired him with Luke Cage, another new superhero whose popularity was also waning. The combination of blaxploitation and kung fu tropes proved popular enough to save both heroes.

Danny Rand was the son of a wealthy businessman. His father was obsessed with the mythical city of K’un-Lun. Danny’s family and Mr. Meachum, his father’s business partner, flew to Tibet to visit the hidden city. Hoping to gain control of the business, Meachum allowed Mr. Rand to die during a mountain climbing accident. Mrs. Rand later died protecting Danny, and Meachum abandoned Danny in the mountains. Monks from nearby K’un-Lun found the nine year old boy and brought him to their city.

Danny longed to avenge his parents. He was taken in by Lei Kung the Thunderer, K’un-Lun’s greatest warrior, and taught martial arts. Danny was a prodigy who mastered everything he studied. Before he left K’un-Lun he was given a final test: defeat Shou-Lao the Undying.

Danny fought Shou-Lao, who was revealed to be a dragon. He managed to defeat the creature, and gained the power of Iron Fist by punching the dragon’s still-beating heart. His training complete, Danny was given the title Iron Fist and left to avenge his parents.

Hero for Hire: Iron Fist’s History

Iron Fist: “Yeah, yeah, Hydra is legion. But when was the last time you faced a dragon?”

– Immortal Iron Fist #1

Iron Fist returned to New York to track down Meachum, but hesitated when he found him. The partner had nearly died after leaving the Rand family to die and lost his legs. Danny realized the murderer was suffering already and let go of his hatred… just in time for the partner to be assassinated. Iron Fist was framed for the murder and went on the run.

He soon encountered a pair of pair of private investigators called Misty Knight (Simmone Messick in Netflix’s Luke Cage) and Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick in Iron Fist). They helped him find proof that he had been framed and he helped them deal with supervillains in their investigations. While investigating the villain Bushmaster, Iron Fist met Luke Cage.

Bushmaster had kidnapped Luke’s friends and ordered him to kill Misty. Iron Fist stopped Luke, and upon learning Luke’s plight, the team helped him defeat Bushmaster, free Luke’s friends, and find proof that Luke had been framed for a crime.

Luke realized that the two made a great team and asked him to join his firm, Heroes for Hire. Iron Fist accepted and the two quickly became famous. They even joined the Avengers.

Iron Fist was seemingly killed during a battle with the deranged Captain Hero, but was later revealed to have been taken to K’un-Lun to cure his cancer. The man who had died was a doppelganger who had been killed to frame Luke Cage for murder.

Spirit of the Dragon: Iron Fist’s Powers and Personality

Iron Fist: “The bigger they come, the harder they fall when you slice through their Achilles tendon. (Thank God this thing actually HAS an Achilles tendon.)”

– Immortal Iron Fist #23

Iron Fist is able to harness his inner energy, called chi to increase his physical abilities. He can use it to heal himself, increase his speed and durability, and make his fist “like unto a thing of iron”. While he can increase his strength, it is focused in his fist. The Iron Fist is so draining that Danny can only use it once each day.

He has defeated the mutant Sabretooth, who has Wolverine’s powers, hurt an alien who was as strong as the Hulk, and destroyed an oncoming bullet train with one punch. One might say he’s faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive.

The actors who played Iron Fist

Iron Fist made his debut in The Super Hero Squad Show, where he was voiced by Mikey Kelley. He later appeared in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and was voiced by Loren Lester. Lester had previously played the superhero in Marvel vs Capcom 3. Iron Fist was a main character in Ultimate Spider-Man, where he was voiced by Greg Cipes.

Marvel spent a decade trying to make an Iron Fist movie. The character instead will finally star in a Netflix show, with Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell in Game of Thrones) in the lead role. Jones is the second GoT actor to take on a superhero role. Jason Momoa is due to star as Aquaman in late 2018.

Didya Get All That?
Who needs a metal suit when you have an Iron Fist?

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