Lately I’ve been reading the early Iron Fist stories, trying to get a better feel of the raw materials that Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction are working with to craft the all-kinds-of-bad-ass Immortal Iron Fist series. There’s a fair amount of 70s cheese to the early tales from Doug Moench, Chris Claremont, et al. But from the start there is something compelling about young Danny Rand and his mystical king-fu abilities. He may not have had the coolest rogues gallery, but even jobbers like Khumbala Bey up there served the purposes of the story well enough. That purpose being: walking punching bag.
This little donnybrook occurred before the character really came into his own as a Hero for Hire alongside the eternally silk-shirted Luke Cage. Iron Fist suffered from some sartorial missteps of his own, rocking the comically over-sized collar, while showing off his chest tattoo:
He may not have had the keenest fashion sense, but he had the skills. His is a story as old as time. Boy goes on vacation with parents and family friend. Family friend is actually evil and kills Boy’s father and leaves Boy and his mother to die in the Himalayas. Mom gets eaten by wolves. Boy is given refuge by mystical mountain city of immortal bad-asses. Boy learns kung-fu from immortal bad-asses, thereby becoming the Grand High Bad-Ass (which the call Iron Fist). Boy uses kung-fu skills to avenge his father’s death. There are also ninjas.
I can’t help but wonder why nobody else had the idea to take this character off the shelf before Frubaker came along. But I’m glad they did.
Bahlactus knows what I mean.