Iron Fist (Daniel Thomas “Danny” Rand) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Iron Fist first appeared in Marvel Premiere #15 (May 1974). The character is a practitioner of martial arts and the wielder of a mystical force known as the Iron Fist, which allows him to summon and focus his chi. This ability is obtained from the city of K’un-Lun, which appears on Earth every ten years.
He starred in his solo series in the 1970s. After that, he shared the title Power Man and Iron Fist for several years with Luke Cage, partnering with Cage to form the superhero team Heroes for Hire. The character has starred in numerous solo titles since, including The Immortal Iron Fist, which expanded on his origin story and the history of the Iron Fist.
“Never let the enemy choose the battlefield. Always work from a position of strength.”
Iron Fist has been adapted to appear in several animated television series and video games. Finn Jones portrayed the character in the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Netflix television series Iron Fist (2016–2018), The Defenders (2017), and the second season of Luke Cage.
Daniel Rand was the son of businessman Wendell Rand. He had once lived in the fabled city of K’un-Lun, which exists in another dimensional realm. Wendell Rand-K’ai, as he was known, there was the adopted son and heir of Lord Tuan, who ruled K’un-Lun in the guise of Yu-Ti, the August Personage in Jade. However, Wendell was driven from K’un-Lun by his brother, Nu-An, who not only wanted to rule K’un-Lun himself but who was Wendell’s rival for the love of a woman named Shakirah. It was Wendell that Shakirah chose, and she bore him a daughter, Miranda.
Wendell found refuge outside K’un-Lun and became a successful businessman in the United States. In his absence, Tuan died, and Wendell’s brother succeeded him as Yu-Ti, the August Personage in Jade. Wendell married a woman named Heather, who bore him a son, Daniel.
Wendell sought to return to K’un-Lun, which ordinarily was only accessible from Earth through an interdimensional nexus that opened once every ten years. When Daniel was nine, his father traveled to Tibet along with Heather and his business partner Harold Meachum in search of the nexus to K’un-Lun. Toppling off a treacherous mountain passage, Daniel dragged his mother and father over the ice shelf with him.
While he and his mother landed on a ledge below, his father dangled over the sheer drop of the mountainside and called to his partner for help. Hoping to take over Rand’s share of the business, Meachum instead caused him to lose his grip and plunge to his death. Though Meachum offered to help Heather Rand and her son, they spurned him. Attempting to make it back to camp on their own, Heather and her son spied a long suspension bridge as a pack of wolves attacked. Heather tried to hold them off long enough for her son to get to safety and was killed in the effort.
Soon after that, residents of K’un-Lun found the boy and took him to their city. There Daniel was brought before Yu-Ti, who had secretly plotted the murder of both Wendell and Heather. Yu-Ti apprenticed Daniel to the martial arts master Lei Kung the Thunderer.
Rand’s training under Lei Kung was rigorous. Rand earned the Crown of Fu-Hsi at sixteen, king of the vipers. Defeated four foes in the ritualistic Challenge of the Many and defeated Shu-Hu, a mechanical being whose name means “Lightning.” Rand diligently conditioned his hands by thrusting them into tubs of hot sand, then gravel, and finally rock.
At age nineteen, Rand was allowed to gain the power of the Iron Fist. He was sent to battle the enormous fire-breathing serpent called Shou-Lao the Undying. It lived in a cave outside the city and ferociously guarded a brazier containing its heart. It had mystically been removed from its body. In their battle, Rand grabbed the serpent’s body, which bore a scar that imprinted itself upon Rand’s chest. Then, killing the serpent, Rand plunged his hands into the now unguarded brazier containing Shou-Lao’s molten heart when his hands shone with a quasi-mystical force. He earned the title “Iron Fist,” for he could now summon superhuman energy to reinforce the power of blows struck by his hands.
Declining to stay in K’un-Lun eternally, Rand returned to America when the nexus reopened to take vengeance on Meachum for his father’s death. While recovering from severe frostbite in the Himalayas, Meachum learned of Rand’s training at K’un-Lun and returned to America as an invalid to await Rand. Clad in the ceremonial garb of Iron Fist, Rand finally confronted Meachum but took pity on the invalid and spared him. Minutes later, however, a mysterious ninja murdered Meachum.
Blamed for the murder by Meachum’s daughter Joy, Iron Fist undertook the mission of finding the ninja and clearing his name. Eventually, Iron Fist succeeded in both tasks. During the same time, he accompanied a woman named Jade to Feng-Tu, K’un-Lun’s afterlife, where he met his mother. She had taken on the name Silver Dragon and been enslaved by the sorcerer Dhasha Khan. While in Feng-Tu, he was killed by the Bowman so he could fight Khan as a spirit. After defeating him, Rand was restored to life by Jade.
Heroes for Hire
While working undercover, Misty Knight infiltrates the organization of crime lord John Bushmaster. When Bushmaster discovers Knight’s betrayal, he kidnaps Claire Temple and Noah Burstein, close associates of Luke Cage, better known as Power Man. He holds them hostage to force Cage to eliminate Knight. Iron Fist is on hand to stop him, but the truth comes out after a battle. Rand helps Cage and the Daughters of the Dragon (Knight and Wing) battle Bushmaster, rescue Temple and Burstein, and obtain evidence that proves Cage’s innocence of prior drug charges. Afterward, Iron Fist and Power Man become partners, forming Heroes for Hire, Inc.
Iron Fist, in his secret identity of Danny Rand, resumes control of his parents’ fortune as half of Rand-Meachum, Inc., making him quite wealthy. So naturally, this causes tension between Rand and Cage, who were raised poor.
Power Man and Iron Fist’s partnership ends when Rand is diagnosed with cancer. Rand gets kidnapped as part of a plot masterminded by Master Khan. Just before a battle with the Black Dragon Chiantang (the brother of the mythical Dragon King). Danny is replaced by a doppelgänger created by the extra-dimensional H’ylthri. The double (who wears a red variant of the Iron Fist costume) is killed by Captain Hero a short time later. Cage, now the prime suspect in Rand’s apparent death, becomes a fugitive.
Posing as Daredevil
Rand disguises himself as Daredevil to convince the media and the public that Matt Murdock is not the masked vigilante.
During the “Civil War” storyline, he opposes the Superhuman Registration Act, joining Captain America while still pretending to be Daredevil. However, Rand is apprehended by Pro-Registration forces. He is later freed from the Negative Zone Prison, joining Captain America’s team to battle Iron Man’s forces.
After the arrest of Captain America, Rand joins the New Avengers, an underground group provided with secure accommodation by Doctor Strange and which includes his former teammate Luke Cage. In the public eye, Rand can avoid arrest with legal loopholes. Rand leaves the New Avengers due to a variety of problems but lets them know that if they ever need him, to give him a call. He later aids the New Avengers in locating and rescuing Cage from Norman Osborn after Cage suffered a heart attack and was summarily taken into custody as a fugitive.
In Iron Fist: The Living Weapon, Iron Fist is approached by a young monk named Pei, who tells him to return to K’un-Lun. Upon returning, Iron Fist discovers the city in ruins and Lei Kung dead at the hands of the One. This chi-powered robot believed itself to be Danny’s father, Wendell Rand. Iron Fist is defeated by the One but is rescued by his childhood friend Sparrow and the One’s creator, Fooh. They nurse him back to health and warn him that the One and Davos are working together to turn New York into New K’un-Lun.
During Iron Fist’s and the One’s second confrontation. The One opens an artificial portal between Earth and Heavens in an attempt to retrieve Wendell’s deceased wife, Heather Rand, from the afterlife. Unfortunately, the Xian fire god Zhu Rong emerges in Manhattan to punish the mortals for upsetting the universal order. By focusing his chi energy on his Fist and launching himself into Zhu Rong, Iron Fist defeats the fire god.
Meanwhile, Davos attempts to take the power of the Iron Fist from a reborn Shou-Lou but is stopped by Pei. Who gains the power of the Iron Fist to defeat Davos and revive Shou-Lou, naming his adolescent reborn form “Gork.” As youngest person to ever bear the mark of the Iron Fist, Pei is taken by Danny as his ward.
In the Marvel NOW! era, Iron Fist rejoins Luke Cage as the Heroes For Hire, having been employed by Boomerang to arrest his former colleagues in the Sinister Six.
All-New, All-Different Marvel
In the All-New, All-Different Marvel era, Danny and Luke are forced to return to crime-fighting. After former Heroes for Hire secretary Jennifer “White Jennie” Royce becomes embroiled in a gang war with Black Mariah against Tombstone. After that is dealt with, Power Man and Iron Fist take to the streets as the Heroes for Hire.
During the “Secret Empire” storyline, Iron Fist became a member of the Defenders alongside Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones. They, alongside Cloak and Dagger, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Woman, fought the Army of Evil. During Hydra’s takeover of the United States, where Nitro defeated them. However, iron Fist and those with him were trapped in the Darkforce dome by Blackout when his powers were enhanced by Baron Helmut Zemo using the Darkhold.
During the “Hunt for Wolverine” storyline, Iron Fist babysat Danielle Cage. While Luke and Jessica were away helping Iron Man and Spider-Man look for Wolverine’s body after it went missing from its private resting place. After the mission was over, Luke and Jessica thanked Iron Fist for babysitting Danielle.
Meeting the New Iron Fist
A powerless Danny fights several demons attacking a Chinese antique shop in Flushing for a mysterious green shard. Lin Lie helps him, formerly the superhero Sword Master. Who is now garbed in the mantle of the Iron Fist and possesses the chi of Shou-Lao. After they defeat the demons and recover the shard, Danny attempts to question Lie about his background and offers to help him. Still, Lie rebuffs him and flees through a portal in a nearby subway back to K’un-Lun.
Danny contacts Fat Cobra and the Bride of Nine Spiders to track down the new Iron Fist, eventually finding him in Gansu. Danny travels with the two and Luke to China. Still, he and Luke get separated from the two Immortal Weapons, who encounter Lie before him.
Later, one of Iron Fist’s and the Black Panther’s enemies, Nightshade, resurrected the Black Dragon in the hope that they could control and use it against the Black Panther. She set the Dragon on a mission to capture Panther’s U.S. State Department handler, Everett K. Ross. However, the Black Dragon had plans of his own. Instead of capturing Ross, he switched bodies with Ross for his purposes.
When the Black Panther discovered this, the Panther set out to destroy the Dragon’s eggs. Not wishing to engage the Panther directly, the Dragon confronted Iron Fist. Restored the power of his iron fist by using a small favor borrowed from the Dragon’s gods and created an imbalance in his psyche that would brainwash Iron Fist into fighting the Panther. By a narrow margin, the Panther was able to render him unconscious, which helped restore him to his right mind. The Dragon then battled both heroes directly and was ultimately defeated.
Iron Fist continued to work with Luke Cage. The two investigated a virus attack on the Rand Corporation, leading to a confrontation with the BAD Girls, Cable, and Deadpool.
Later, as Danny attended a meeting concerning Rand Corp’s crumbling state, he was ambushed by Norman Osborn and the Thunderbolts. After a short-lived battle, Danny was defeated, drugged, and kidnapped. He found himself somewhere in the Thunderbolts base. Being brainwashed by Ghost and the Iron Patriot to be a member of the Thunderbolts. Osborn used new technology to brainwash Danny. Using mentally-induced simulations in which Rand would kill nearly all the New Avengers but couldn’t bring himself to kill Luke Cage.
The Ghost then suggested completely mind-wiping Rand. However, Osborn did not want him to lose his skills. So he forced Danny to undergo a dangerous procedure in which his mind was further tampered with. Iron Fist assisted in capturing Luke Cage, who later escaped thanks to the Ghost’s tampering. Iron Fist soon attacked Luke (who had been assisted in his escape by Ant-Man (Eric O’Grady), whom he had previously swallowed). It then made it appear that he had killed Cage, allowing the two to escape by surprise.
Meeting His Successor
While meeting up with Luke and Pei for lunch in Flushing, Danny encountered several demons attacking a Chinese antique shop for a mysterious green shard. As Danny struggled against the demons. A young man dressed in the ceremonial attire of the Iron Fist appeared and helped defeat the demons. With green energy protruding from his hands and the chi of Shou-Lao and took off with the shard.
Danny tracked down the youth meditating on a nearby rooftop and questioned him about his background while offering to help him. The new Iron Fist rebuffed him. But Danny provoked him into attacking him by revealing he took the shard from him. As they fought, Danny confirmed that the youth was trained in K’un-Lun but lacked the experience to properly control the Iron Fist. Despite this, the new Iron Fist reclaimed the shard and fled through a portal to K’un-Lun in a nearby subway.
After more footage of the new Iron Fist and his companion emerged on social media. Danny discussed his successor’s identity with Luke, Colleen, Misty, and Pei. When Danny wondered how the two were able to create portals to K’un-Lun despite the city being sealed off. Pei and Luke suggested either enlisting Fooh or capturing the new Iron Fist; Danny had another idea instead. Danny contacted Fat Cobra and the Bride of Nine Spiders to track down the new Iron Fist, eventually locating him in Gansu. The two Immortal Weapons confronted him while Danny and Luke were stuck driving alongside the Gansu mountains in their car. After noticing a nearby explosion in the distance, Danny could get a glimpse of his successor racing towards the blast.
- Peak Human Physical Conditioning:
- Master Martial Artist:
- Weapons Master:
- Nervous System Control:
- Pressure Point Locator:
- Master Acrobat:
- Iron Fist’s Suit: