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Defenders Spotlight

Defenders Spotlight: Iron Fist

The legend of this Immortal Weapon, from the formative years of Danny Rand to his rise as a premiere hero and Defender

By Ben Morse

On December 7, the most unorthodox team in history may be our only hope and reality’s last line of defense against insanity. Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson bring together some of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe to face an ancient evil unbound in DEFENDERS #1!

Each day this week, we’ll closely examine one of the Defenders making up this new roster, giving a detailed rundown of their personal history and pointing you to digital comics containing the seminal stories that brought them to their current states.

Before they band together to safeguard existence, get to know the heroes we need more than ever with Defenders Spotlight!

Danny Rand knows the importance of patience as well as evolution, training for years to prove worthy of the Iron Fist mantel then returning to the world beyond his Immortal City where he embraced corporate life to further his benevolent goals and became a Hero for Hire alongside Luke Cage in order to help those in need. He looks to the future but also continues to explore his past, whether that means learning about his own predecessors or forming new alliances, such as his impending entrance into the Defenders.

Orphaned outside the mystic city of K’un-L’un after a business rival slew his parents, young Daniel Rand grew to adulthood under the tutelage of those who had previously trained his father in the martial arts. Becoming a skilled fighter, Danny defeated the dragon Shou-Lao in combat, earning the powers and title of Iron Fist. Rand would subsequently leave K’un-L’un to return to New York City, where he avenged his parents’ death and became a costumed hero.

Iron Fist formed a surprising bond with the street savvy Power Man, Luke Cage, and the two formed Heroes For Hire, a for-profit crime fighting outfit that nonetheless ended up doing much of their work pro bono. During this period Rand would also come into contact with cop-turned-bodyguard Misty Knight, with whom he’d become romantically involved, as well as The Steel Serpent, a rival of his father’s from K’un-L’un who wished to become Iron Fist himself.

For years, Danny went missing, presumed to have died, but in fact replaced by a Skrull doppelganger and put into suspended animation. Iron Fist would return to action both on his own and as a part of a revived and expanded Heroes For Hire operation alongside Cage. Rand would briefly substitute for Matt Murdock as Daredevil during the latter’s incarceration in order to help safeguard his secret identity.

Following Civil War, Danny met Orson Randall, his predecessor as Iron Fist, and learned more about the lineage of his identity as well as the history of K’un-L’un and other Cities of Heaven, each with their own Immortal Weapon. After Randall perished in battle with HYDRA and The Steel Serpent, he passed his Iron Fist power to Rand, who would go on to compete in a tournament involving the other Immortal Weapons and help to overthrow the corrupt regime ruling K’un-L’un.

Back on Earth, Iron Fist joined the Avengers team led by his old friend Cage while also taking back control of his business and introducing the other Immortal Weapons to a more mortal lifestyle. While adventuring with the Avengers, Rand would gain a new costume and modified powers with unexplained ties to the mystic entity Agamotto. He has recently taken a new youthful Power Man, Victor Alvarez, under his wing.


The first appearance of Iron Fist.

IRON FIST (1975) #14

Iron Fist battles Sabretooth!

DAREDEVIL (1998) #87

While posing as Daredevil, Danny clashes with the true Man Without Fear in a case of mistaken identity!


Danny Rand begins to learn the legend of the Iron Fist mantel.


A demon from the past stalks Danny Rand!

NEW AVENGERS (2010) #4

An encounter with Agamotto changes Iron Fist forever!


Iron Fist meets the new Power Man.

Come back tomorrow when the Defenders Spotlight falls on Doctor Strange, and be sure to grab DEFENDERS #1 on December 7!

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