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Daniel Rand is the rich multi-millionaire head of the Rand corporation. He is also the Immortal Iron Fist, a master of Kung Fu, and defender of the ancient city of K'un L'un.
Originally a Marvel Bronze Age character, he was first created to cash in on the popularity of Kung Fu films. Iron Fist first appeared in "Marvel Premiere" #15 (May, 1974), created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. He appeared as the lead in this magazine until issue #25 (October, 1975). Then was granted his first eponymous series "Iron Fist", which lasted for 15 issues (November, 1975-September, 1977). Since then he's worked alongside Luke Cage as one of the Heroes for Hire, had an important role during the Marvel Civil War, and even joined the New Avengers. Despite this, he's never really risen beyond B-list status.
The character got a new lease on life with the launch of the Immortal Iron Fist, co-written by Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker (and after their departure, Duane Swierczynski). The series reveals that there have been many Iron Fists before Daniel, and introduces a 'new' Golden Age Iron Fist, Orson Randall. In addition there are more Immortal Weapons who represent the other mystical cities of the far east and also wield strange and unusual powers. Daniel discovers new secrets about his past, and must use these to confront former and new enemies.
As well as the main story arcs, there are one shot issues that tell the tales of other bearers of the Iron Fist legacy throughout history, and there are several one shot adventures starring Orson Randall.
The main run of the comic ended with issue #27, but a short limited series called Immortal Weapons came along soon afterwards, with each issue focusing on one of the other five Immortal Weapons introduced in the original run, alongside a backup story starring Iron Fist.
Due to the success of the Immortal Iron Fist series, Iron Fist and his supporting characters have had a surge of popularity, earning cameos and roles in other Marvel comics, video games, and cartoons. Iron Fist has appeared in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, The Superhero Squad Show, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes, and the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, where he is a main character.
Comics featuring Iron Fist provide examples of:
- Amazon Brigade: Tiger's Beautiful Daughter is the boss of one of these in her home town. The Army of Thunder also counts- while Lei Kung the Thunderer definitely helped train them and they get their name from him, every single member of the Army is a woman.
- Arrogant Kung Fu Guy: Davos, the Steel Serpent/Phoenix.
- Arrows on Fire: It turns out Iron Fists can do this with any projectile weapon. Even guns.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In an early issue, Danny uses several advanced martial arts techniques with millennia of history that require intense skill to perform, culminating in the comparatively mundane "Brooklyn Headbutt."
- See also the 'Bronx Sucker Punch'.
- Badass Boast: You're a mad dog that needs to be put down... and I have the best kung fu. So bring it.
- Badass Long Robe: Prince of Orphans.
- Bash Brothers: Cage and Iron Fist.
- Big Eater: Fat Cobra's appetite as an infant led his parents to abandon him. And then the orphanage that housed him did the same for the same reason; they just couldn't support that kind of hunger.
- Bilingual Bonus: Chinese writing throughout the pages that always have something to do with what's going on.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Fat Cobra and Dog Brother #1, who can bring a smile to even Steel Phoenix' grim visage.
- Calling Your Attacks: The techniques of the Immortal Weapons are named in caption boxes during fights.
- Cherry Tapping: Dog Brother #1 once killed a man with a mere "Standard Issue Punch" after slicing his head into three perfect segments but leaving him momentarily barely alive.
- Chest Insignia: Both Danny and Davos have tattoos burned into their chests from facing the dragon Shou-Lao the Undying. The Prince of Orphans also has a chest symbol pledging his allegiance to Lei Kung the Thunderer.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu
- Costume Copycat: Iron Fist pretended to be Daredevil while Matt Murdock was in prison.
- Crimefighting with Cash: Averted, Danny's millions have nothing to do with his crime fighting skill.
- Death By Origin Story: To become Dog Brother #1, your parents need to be dead.
- Dragon Lady
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: "Iron Crutch" Khan.
- Golden Age of Hollywood: Setting for one of the Orson Randall tales.
- Great Big Book of Everything: Danny receives a chronicle of the lives of all the previous Iron Fists that only he can read.
- Gun Fu: Danny initially begrudges Orson for using firearms in combat: "You learned your kung fu from Lei Kung and Smith & Wesson?"
- Heir to the Dojo
- Heterosexual Life Partners: Cage and Iron Fist.
- Implacable Man: Every Iron Fist is hunted down by one of these once they reach a certain age; very few have escaped with their lives.
- Ki Attacks: The titular "Iron Fist" and countless more.
- Kung Fu Wizard: Several of the Immortal Weapons' powers are this.
- Legacy Character: This is why Iron Fist is immortal; it is the position that will never die, not its occupant.
- This also applies to the other Immortal Weapons, hence their collective name.
- Legacy Immortality: See above.
- Lightning Bruiser: Fat Cobra; taken literally when considering his chi as an external weapon.
- Megaton Punch: The usual application of the power of the Iron Fist.
- Mentors: Of many different kinds.
- Mighty Whitey: Although played down in the more recent series.
- My Kung Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Shown many times. Danny vs. Davos, Fat Cobra vs. Danny, Bride of Nine Spiders vs. Dog Brother #1, Davos vs. Tiger's Beautiful Daughter, Prince of Orphans vs. Davos (in response to his brutality on the aforementioned fight). Largely the entire point of the Tournament of Heaven.
- Noble Savage: Dog Brother #1.
- No Name Given: The Prince of Orphans. Until he reveals himself as John Aman. Also, Unnamed Ninja-Servant Girl (who has nice blue eyes). She hopes to have earned a name the next time Danny meets her.
- She hasn't show up again despite being the new Thunderer.
- Non-Indicative Name: Fat Cobra's totem animal is actually the turtle.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: In a different comic, Iron Man and the Mighty Avengers confront Danny about his activities with the New Avengers as Iron Fist, which are illegal due to the Super Registration Act. Danny's lawyer, Jeryn Hogarth, points out to Iron Man that Danny is already a registered hero, having registered his fists as lethal weapons. He also points out that, even though everyone seems to know Danny is Iron Fist, no one can technically prove it, except through very unconstitutional means that Tony doesn't want anyone to know about. Jeryn is a pretty pudgy, normal guy, basically telling off some of the most powerful heroes on Earth, and manages to piss off Ms. Marvel, so this is his Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- Old Master: Fat Cobra's teacher, "Iron Crutch" Khan.
- Opium Den: Orson Randall suppresses his chi by abusing opium; it's the only reason he's survived as long as he has.
- Parental Abandonment: Every holder of the title of Dog Brother #1 is an orphan, usually made so by war.
- Passing the Torch
- Perky Goth: One of the possible interpretations of the Bride of Nine Spiders. She seems to have a morbid sense of humor, "giggling" ("Che Che Che Che") with delight at the prospect of violence and death (even her own).
- Power Glows: The power of the Iron Fist causes much glowing.
- Public Domain Character: John Aman, the Prince of Orphans.
- Retraux: The Orson Randall one-shots are often drawn in a pulp art style.
- Retroactive Legacy: Orson Randall and the other 60-some-odd Iron Fists before Danny Rand.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified
- Salt and Pepper: Iron Fist and Luke Cage.
- Series Continuity Error: A minor but jarring one. In a flashback eight-year old Danny is seen with Spider-Man action figure... which he could get only via time travel since he and Spidey are about the same age in-universe.
- Shamgri La: K'un L'un.
- Shotgun Wedding: Very narrowly averted — Misty Knight goes to tell Danny she's pregnant, but he proposes marriage to her before she can tell him. She then checks to make sure he hadn't already worked it out.
- Stout Strength: Fat Cobra.
- Stripperiffic: Tiger's Beautiful Daughter's only clothing in battle is belts. Lots of them. She's fully clothed every other time.
- Superhero Packing Heat: Orson Randall.
- To Hell and Back
- Tournament Arc
- Training From Hell
- Two-Fisted Tales: The Orson Randall side stories.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Steel Serpent/Phoenix.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: How the mantle of Dog Brother #1 is passed down.
- Zerg Rush: Part of Bride of Nine Spiders' combat style.