Iron Fist #1-4 (1975-1976): Misty’s Bionic Arm

And so begins the pairing of Chris Claremont as writer and John Byrne as penciler.  They worked together on a handful of pre-X-Men projects, and this was one of them.  The results were good here, but of course not as groundbreaking as their X-works–and not as strong as their partnership on Marvel Team Up.

In the very first issue, he faces Iron Man. I mean, I get it–pairing Marvel’s newest “iron” character with its first guy with “Iron” in his name. Danny Rand is searching for Colleen Wing, and believes there are answers inside Stark Industries, so he breaks in. Someone else is also there looking for Ms. Wing…

Misty has a groovy belt buckle.  

But of course when you bust into a Stark building, you risk getting hit in the face by his bodyguard…

The fight is pointless and silly because…Really?  Iron Man could simply take Fist out from the air.  The fact that he fights hand-to-hand is either an example of stupid writing or it shows how Tony is a wicked egomaniac who loves to humiliate people. Either way, one punch from a steel fist should be enough to knock Danny out. But it doesn’t.

At least Tony calls him “Fancy Fists.”  That’s nice.

There’s not much point to the conflict, but it’s fun–and a good way to show that Iron Fist can handle himself even when he is vastly outpowered.

It’s also appropriate that issue #1 uses the equivalent of his battle-cry–a text box using the phrase, “…Like unto a thing of iron!”

But even that doesn’t stop the Avenger. What does end the battle (like most hero-vs-hero fights) is the conversation the combatants should have had in the first place.

After all that is cleared up, Misty and Fist go to K’Un Lun and we see the city for the first time. They meet a henchman who bears a chest tattoo similar to the one on Iron Fist.  The man claims that he was supposed to be in line for the fisting but Danny got fisted instead, and now he wants to kill Danny so he can get the fist. (See how I worked “fisting” in there? Writing a blog is an art form.)

It’s Davos, and he’s the guy holding Colleen Wing.

We also see Misty’s mechanical arm for the first time…

So lots of groundwork is laid in these issues.  That makes them important, even if they’re not very good comics.

Oh, and some of it takes place in Britain.

In addition to facing stilted accents, Rand and Knight take on Radion, who at first is going by the name Ravager.

Misty gets to beat on him for a bit.

Master Kahn of K’un Lun will be the big bad for this book, largely lurking in the background or engineering attacks on Fist.

Note that issue #2 establishes an alien plant species who have a fairly minor role in the story, but they will be a big part of the Iron Fist legend when John Byrne returns to the character 20 years later and provides a reason to bring Fist back from the dead.

They have a cloning technology that is straight out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

It’s not super important for this initial story though.

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