Thursday, October 13, 2016

Iron Fist Epic Collection: The Fury of Iron Fist

Iron Fist, Epic Collection, The Fury of Iron Fist, collections from 1974 to 1977. It includes Marvel Premiere 15-25, Iron Fist 1-15, and Marvel Tema Up 62-63. Totals some odd 400 full-color pages.

Much of the continuous work is done by John Bryne, well known for his work on X-Men, Avengers, and later, his title, Next Men. There are a few other who's who of artists included in this volume including Gil Kane and Patrick Broderick,

These tales focus on Iron Fist origin and introduce many of the enemies and allies that would become main streams of the Marvel Universe, some of them taking on a much larger life than their initial introduction here would indicate.

Part of that is due to the author and writer combo of Chris Claremont and John Bryne. For example, when Sabertooth makes his introduction here for the first time in comics and appears in later volumes of Power Man & Iron Fist, few would suspect that Sabertooth would probably become more popular than Iron Fist himself (arguably) and have more appearances in X-Men comics.

For those unaware, Iron Fist is a martial art comic that took advantage of the martial art craze in the 70s. It was not the only comic to do so. There was also Shang-Chi, Master of Kung-Fu, and the black and white magazine, Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, where Shang-Chi and Iron Fist met and battle.

Some of the other characters introduced in the series include the Daughters of the Dragon, Colleen Wing, and Misty Knight; the latter can be seen in Sam Wilson's new Captin America titles.

For villains that are introduced and updated at a later time, we have such favorites as the Steel Serpent and the already mentioned Sabertooth.

Many of the other villains, though, some off as one trick ponies such as Scimitar whose only made a handful of appearances in the 40 years since the comic came out.

There is a nice play off of the character's original motif through the original story. Iron Fist is not only a deadly warrior, but he gained his skills to avenge the death of his father and mother. They were both killed by a friend during a trip to the mystic city K'un L'un, and only Danny survives it.

Danny undergoes a series of trials and tribulations cumulating in fighting a dragon and gaining the dragons' 'heart' and becoming the Iron Fist! This is an ability that still hasn't been fully explored, but it's primary use? Danny can summon his 'Chi' into his fist and strike very hard with it.

He's also been known to heal, meld minds, fight off radiation poisoning, fight off magic attacks, and other little cat out of the bag tricks.

But Danny became the Iron Fist to kill a man. When he finally finds that person, a wealthy tycoon who's surrounded himself with death traps and unique individuals to destroy Iron Fist, he discovers that this old man has suffered the ravages of time, lost his mind, and even his legs.

Iron Fist cannot bring himself to take that vengeance so instead, a newcomer, the Ninja, not just a ninja mind you, but the Ninja, comes out and does it. This leads to the daughter of the man Iron Fist came to kill, thinking Iron Fist is the murderer and set up a long sequence of events where Iron Fist has to discover what the Ninja wants, how to convince others that he's not a murderer, etc...

In the 30+ issues, the reader gets in this volume, there's some solid groundwork laid for future authors and writers.

If you're excited by the Nextlix series, this is an excellent trade to add to your collection.