Uncanny Origins #14
FEATURING: Iron Fist
Marvel Comics (October, 1997)“Fist Of Iron, Heart Of Fire!” WRITER: Len Wein (based in part on the original stories by Roy Thomas, Gil Kane, Len Wein, and Larry Hama) PENCILER: M.C. Wyman INKER: Ralph Cabrera COLORIST: Bob Sharen LETTERER: John Costanza EDITOR: Joe Andreani
It’s the origin of Danny Rand, the Iron Fist. As a boy, Danny went on a trip with his parents and his dad’s business partner to the Himalayas in search of the secret place of K’un-Lun. However, the business partner kills Danny’s father, hoping to take over the business and his wife. Instead Danny and his mother travel until they find themselves at the city, but at the cost of the mother’s life. The rest of the story is Danny training and gaining the power of the Iron Fist, but choosing to return to civilization over immortality, presumably to get revenge on his father’s killer.
What they got right: The story is well done and outside of the narration style (I’ll get to that) was enjoyable. It was telling the origin to a younger audience but didn’t skip out on the death, including Danny’s mom throwing herself to the wolves to keep them from her son. That’s hardcore mothering, there (although it proved unnecessary when the archers took out the wolves just a bit too late to save her).
What they got wrong: The framing device is Danny, for some reason, having a one-second flashback. You have the narrator to say “but let’s take a look back to Iron Fist’s origin”. You don’t have to have a sudden memory while fighting the Wrecking Crew. Also, why is the narrator speaking like “you find yourself in the mysterious land” all of the time? Was his first job in Choose Your Own Adventure books? Also, Misty Kinght and Luke Cage are on the cover, but not in the story. Finally, we never learn if Danny was able to get his revenge on Mecham. Kind of important to see what happened when first arrived back in America.
Recommendation: I’ve never read the actual origin so I can’t compare the two like I could Daredevil last week. On its own it’s a good read and decent artwork. If you’re curious about the character’s origins, it’s worth a look even though I would have liked to have seen what happens next.