“And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born—to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!”
Each Friday Marvel.com will present a different column focusing on the one and only Avengers. From line-ups to costumes to villains to classic stories and beyond, we’ve got you covered on the history of Marvel’s most prolific team of heroes!
So let the call go out: Avengers Assemble!
By TJ Dietsch
Danny Rand's general philosophy when it comes to costumes seems to be keep to the classics.
For most of his nearly 40 years kicking around the Marvel Universe, the kung-fu hero sported a low cut green body suit with big yellow collar, slippers, belt and mask. The plunging neckline offered all comers a look at the dragon tattoo he acquired while proving himself in the fabled city of K'un L'un, which became his de facto insignia. After going through all that, you might as well show it off, right?
Even the few times he's changed things up look-wise, Danny always sticks to either the color scheme of the original or the basic costume with new hues. He knows what works and sticks with it.
Today as he's discovering connections between his own powers and that of the
Iron Fist first appeared back in 1974's MARVEL PREMIERE #15 written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Gil Kane before getting his own self-titled book and eventually teaming up with fellow Hero for Hire Luke Cage in POWER MAN AND IRON FIST. For most of that period—and most of the character's existence -- Danny Rand sported the classic costume, a very 70’s take on ninja attire but with bright super hero colors.
The Red Clone
For a brief time, Danny Rand got replaced by a member of the plant race called the H'ylthri. This new version fought an inter-dimensional dragon trying to save Power Man and The Thunderer. During the battle, the green part of his costume turned red and he stuck with it for a bit. This copy kept going under the guise of Iron Fist until the plot came to light and the real Danny Rand returned, both to the world and his green duds.
90’s Heroes for Hire
In the wake of Onslaught, Iron Fist and Power Man reformed the Heroes for Hire to help keep people safe—and make some scratch on the side. Towards the end of the series that ran from 1997 to 1999, Iron Fist updated his costume by keeping the same basic color scheme, but ditching the huge collar and low-cut shirt, using the dragon chest tattoo as a logo on his chest. This costume might not be the most well remembered, but it’s actually quite similar to the revision that came about 10 years later.
Around the time of Civil War, Matt Murdock found himself first locked up in jail and then gallivanting around Europe on various adventures. To help keep the neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen safe, Danny Rand filled in as Daredevil. The DD costume stayed exactly the same, but could not hide Rand's Iron Fist abilities.
Immortal Iron Fist
In 2006, Rand and his identity got rejuvenated by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and David Aja, who turned the identity of Iron Fist into one that had been passed down from generation to generation. Danny kicked off that series in the classic look, but after getting beaten down pretty bad, he turned to a new costume. Like the 90’s revision, this one got rid of the collar and low-cut shirt as well as the lighter brighter green body suit for a darker one.
Fraction and Brubaker revealed Orson Randall as the Iron Fist directly preceding Danny Rand. Thanks to his powers, he survived World War II to meet Rand during the first arc IMMORTAL IRON FIST. Taking a page out of heroes from the pulp era, Randall's costume looked more utilitarian. He wore thick boots and a green body suit, but it looked like normal fabric instead of the tight fitting material most super heroes sport. He also had a bulky utility belt with holsters to hold his hand guns.
The White Costume
After the events of Siege, Iron Fist rejoined the New Avengers and wound up facing the Ancient One in another dimension only to return with a white costume. Much like the clone's red outfit, this one kept the yellow elements the same and replaced the green with white. He has bounced around in this costume throughout Shadowland, Fear Itself and as a member of the Defenders. He's currently wearing it as Avengers Vs. X-Men rages on.
Ultimate Iron Fist
Ultimate Iron First originally showed up in the pages of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN sporting a look he would keep throughout his various appearances. Like his Marvel Universe counterpart, this Iron Fist favored green and yellow, but instead of a plunging neckline, he simply wore a vest with no shirt to show off his chest tattoo. He also ditched the mask to show off those blond locks.