The legend of the Iron Fist is often only associated with the character Danny Rand. With connections to the legacy through his father, Wendell Rand, he was destined to take to gain these powers and continue the ancient legacy. Although a portion of his history has been explored in the Netflix series Marvel’s Iron Fist, many fans (those that don’t read the comic books) may be confused about the history of his power.
Dating back centuries ago in the mystical city of K’un-Lun, the legacy of the Iron Fist existed long before Rand or his father were alive. In fact, Danny Rand is believed to be the 66th warrior to hold the coveted title. Although inheriting the power brings great strength, abilities, and enlightenment, users must pay a have price for this gift. The powers of the Iron Fist are temporary, leaving the warrior with an important choice to make about their future. They must choose to either relinquish this gift or face the possibility of death at the age of 33 at the hands of the beast Ch'i-Lin.
This tradition of power transference makes the legendary Iron Fist unique in the Marvel Universe where many heroes retain their given powers. There have been circumstances where heroes have gained the Iron Fist in quite interesting ways, thanks to the multiverse and clever storylines.
Whether gained through tradition or the creative genius of a Marvel writer, here are the 17 Other Characters Who've Held The Power Of Iron Fist.
You have to love multiverses. They give comic book writers an opportunity to explore scenarios and storylines without disrupting the balance of the main world. Sometimes the new universe explores “What If” scenarios and the ramifications of major catastrophic disasters and implausible cosmic dangers. Moreover, there are those times that new worlds are created just for the sake of twisted versions of your favorite characters.
Thanks to the creative mind of writer Karl Kesen and artists Ramon Bachs and John Watson, fans were taken to Earth-8101 known as the world of Marvel Apes. Introduced as the simian version of Earth-616, the Ape-Vengers included HawkApe, Iron Mandrill, Spider-Monkey, and Iron Paw. Given the same powers as Iron Fist, he fought alongside his companions in the four issue comic series in 2008.
The Marvel vs. Capcom crossover game franchise created the perfect mix of comics and video games for fans everywhere. Players could have their favorite comic book heroes face off against classic gaming heroes like Street Fighter’s Chun-Li and Devil May Cry’s Dante.
Though he makes an appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, Iron Fist did not become a playable character until its newer version Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom was released. Since the ending of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has Ryu and Iron Fist potentially facing off, he received an upgrade in the updated version.
According to Den of Geeks, “Ryu starts putting on what appears to be his red bandana while talking about how he has finally found the right direction to overcome the Dark Hadou and reach his potential. Akuma challenges him and in the next image, we see Ryu’s new calling.” After accepting his calling, players were introduced to Iron Fist Ryu.
Originating from a chance meeting (and a case of mistaken identity), Power Man (aka Luke Cage) and Iron Fist grew to respect one another and joined forces. With help from their mutual friends Misty Knight and Colleen Wing, these close-knit friends helped bring justice to New York. However, their bond was broken when Luke Cage was accused of killing Iron Fist.
After journeying to K'un-Lun, the plantlike H'ylthri kidnapped him and replaced him with an imposter. Given the same powers and abilities of the real Iron Fist, he returned to New York to take his place. Though the doppelgänger exhibited some strange behaviors, he was accepted by his friends and even started to believe he really was Danny Rand.
In Power Man and Iron Fist Vol 1 #125, however, the fake Iron Fist ended up dying trying to save Captain Hero, and Cage is blamed for his death. Thanks to the efforts of Namor the Sub-Mariner, however, the truth of the imposter comes to light, the real Iron Fist is recovered, and Cage’s name is cleared.
Ae we mentioned earlier, the legacy of the Iron Fist dates back centuries before Danny Rand held the title. The heroes that have held the title before him came from many different backgrounds and countries to train for the process. After successfully defeating the Shou-Lao the Undying, the next warrior can obtain its powers of the Iron Fist.
Although Danny Rand is the most well-known user of this power, this legacy initially began with the first Iron Fist, Quan Yaozu.
In the 2006 series The Immortal Iron Fist, a captured Rand comes face-to-face with Yaozu. He shared that after successfully defeating the dragon, he aided the other Seven Capital Cities of Heaven in using the newly discovered Eighth City as a prison for wrongdoers. As they struggled to shut the gate closed, Yaozu sacrificed himself and entered the dimension city to close its doors, trapping himself in hell for centuries.
Throughout the years, many warriors felt worthy of obtaining the power of the Iron Fist in order to fight for justice. However, Iron Fist Li Park was the first pacifist to gain the powers.
As a student at the School of Thunder, Li's primary focus was not to become a great fighter but to watch over his younger brother Jianjun. Though he was a talented fighter, his teacher, Lei Kung, the Thunderer, could not get him to concentrate on developing his abilities.
However, after a terrible plague killed many of the residents of K’un-Lun around 730 A.D, very few students remained who could obtain the Iron Fist power and save the city. Li, reluctantly, took on this task and successfully defeated Shou-Lao.
As a local village battled with a Chinese general intent on conquering the weakened city, Li utilized his new discovered hypnotic fist technique to dissuade the soldiers (a technique that would later be employed by other Iron Fist fighters). When his technique failed in saving the lives of the villagers, he learned that he must put aside his passivity and use more aggressive actions. In the end, he was able to rescue the remaining villagers and lead them to K’un-Lun safely.
Like the many strong Iron Fist fighters before him, Bei Ming-Tian wielded his powers for the well-being of the people and the protection of K’un-Lun.
Born in 1194 A.D., he had successfully obtained the powers of the Iron Fist by the time K’un-Lun met the fierce Mongolian leader Genghis Khan around 1227 A.D. As the warriors invaded Western Xia near the mountains of K’un-Lun, Bei Ming-Tian eagerly met them in a small village near the foothills.
While some details of his life were recounted in the Immortal Iron Fist series, very little is known about his true identity. Sadly, the warrior did meet his end at the age of 33 at the hands of the mythical beast Ch’i-Lin. This fated age and death has become the cursed end for most of the wielders of the Iron Fist powers.
Around 1545 A.D, Wu Ao-Shi became one of the few women to obtain the title of the Iron Fist. Known to be an unruly child and a thief, Lei Kung the Thunderer still saw potential in her to be a great fighter. After taking her under his wing, she began training to one day become the next Iron Fist.
However, Wu's plans were almost deterred when she fell in love with a local fisherman. They exchanged rings that were infused with her chi and would glow whenever they were near each other. After getting engaged, she faced and defeated the dragon, gaining the legendary chi-controlling powers. However, her fiancé did not agree with her violent future and left K’un-Lun.
Wu left in search of him once the city connected with Earth. To make money, she became a mercenary. After being defeated while trying to overtake the Wokou pirates, she was taken to be executed but her fiancé found her in time. Wu managed to kill most of the pirated using her impeccable archery skills and flaming chi arrows. After she gained the title of as the Pirate Queen of Pinghai Bay, the couple was able to spend their remaining years together.
After obtaining the powers of the Iron Fist, each incarnation developed powers and abilities that are unique to each warrior. For Bei Bang-Wen, he developed not only enhanced physical but mental abilities as well. His technique, known as the Perfect Strategy Mind, gave him the skills to strategize and predict the outcomes of thousands of scenarios. He became overconfident in this technique which, eventually, led to his downfall.
Bei decided to participate in the Second Opium War in 1860 AD, siding with his fellow Chinese countrymen as they fought the British and French forces. He created a scenario that involved taking down tens of thousands of enemy soldiers. In the end, however, the Chinese were defeated, and Bei was captured.
Finding inspiration from fellow captive and mythical warrior Vivatma Visvajit, the two escaped to Visvajit’s homeland of Burma, India. While fighting alongside his friend, they fell into the trap of chi-draining villain Tiger Jani.
Bei, mortally wounded in the fight, was saved by combining their two powers to heal him. After devising the perfect strategy for his friend to save his country, a mentally defeated Bei returned to his country and relinquished his Iron Fist powers.
Believed to be the immediate successor to Bei Bang-Wen, Chinese warrior Kwai Jun-Fan decided to take on the Wild West of Texas around 1878. After stopping in a bar to rest and replenish, the other patrons would not stop disturbing him.
What he did not know was that this town had been set up as a trap for him by the creature Ch’i-Lin, intent on killing the 33 -year old warrior. The townspeople were under the control of Zhou Cheng, the creature’s servant, and they viciously attacked him. Outnumbered by an entire town, Kawi suffered numerous injuries and became worn down. Zhou Cheng attacked him, tearing off one of his feet and ripping out his heart. The creature used these body parts (and Kwai’s chi) to transport them to the cave of Shou-Lao the Undying.
Ch’i-Lin arose from the hole in Kwai’s chest and attempted to consume the unhatched egg of the dragon. However, he was defeated by Lei Kung the Thunderer and a hundred other warriors that awaited his return. Kwai became the latest victim of the Iron Fist curse.
In the multiverse timeline of Earth-90221, Wah-Sing Rand became the youngest warrior ever to obtain the Iron Fist powers in 3099 AD. Though little is known about his real identity, his name certainly reflects a familial connection to the Rand family.
Born and raised on K’un-Lun, he was fast-tracked to become the next Iron Fist due to a crisis at a Chinese colony on the planet Yaochi. However, the leader of the planet, the evil President Xing learned of his training and froze his shuttle in a temporal pocket to prevent his landing.
Forced to helplessly look on the planet, he gradually gained the ability to move and use his powers again over a 20-year period. In total, his trip took 24 years to complete. Once he arrived, he ultimately sacrificed himself to defeat the president and save the colony.
While the legacy of the Iron Fist dates back centuries ago, so does its connection to the cosmic power known as the Phoenix. Yu-Ti, the August Personage of Jade and leader of the Dragon-Kings, had a prophetic dream that one day, a girl with red hair and green eyes would be capable of controlling the cosmic entity.
The child of a human father and K’un-Lun-born mother, Fongji Wu became that prophesied child and was trained by Yu-Ti as the next Iron Fist. Aided by of Lei-Kung the Thunderer, she was able to manifest the powers of The Phoenix and gained the Iron Fist abilities as well.
Soon after, she took off for space and was never seen or heard from again. One of the best visual connections of the Phoenix and Iron Fist can be found in the similarities in their green and yellow costumes and mystical flying creature emblems on their chest.
In an effort to save two failing comics in the 1970s, the heroes Power Man and Iron Fist were brought together to form a new team. Known as the Heroes for Hire (Luke Cage’s initial solo moniker), the two became close friends and a favorite duo in the Marvel Universe.
Although the two have had their fair share of conflicts and disagreements, it is hard to imagine these two not working together. However, in the Exiles comic book series, we see the powers of these two best friends combined into one character: Power Fist.
Originating from Earth-8545, Power Fist became the perfect combination of Luke Cage’s brute strength and near indestructibility and Iron Fist’s chi control. Not only is Power Fist integral in the defeat of the Vi-Locks but he also served as the leader of the Avengers; a title Iron Fist has never held.
Considered a martial arts prodigy at a very early age, Junzo Moto was recruited to be a member of the Hand, a group of world-class assassins. Guided my family friend Hiromitsu (who murdered Muto’s parents so he could recruit him), he became one of the deadliest assassins within the organization. His power surpassed many members of the organization and eventually led to him becoming the leader of the Hand.
However, his mastery of martial arts did not satisfy his lust for power, and he began researching the mystical legacy of the Iron Fist. After defeating the Steel Serpent and draining him of his abilities, he then used these new powers and his own absorption abilities to steal Danny Rand’s legendary capabilities.
After setting his sights on and nearly capturing K’un-Lun, Muto was ultimately defeated and fled using his powers of sorcery. Though Rand’s powers were eventually restored by the Dragon Kings of K’un-Lun, there has been no definitive proof that Muto lost his powers in the process.
Though most warriors in K’un-Lun viewed the powers of the Iron Fist as a coveted reward, Orson Randall came to see it as a curse. Serving as the Iron Fist right before Danny Rand, this K’un-Lun warrior completed his training and left the city shortly after choosing to fight in World War I. The constant violence and death that came with fighting in such a massive war began to take a toll on him.
Vowing only to fight when necessary, Randall attempted to suppress his experiences with alcohol and drugs. During this dark time, however, he met a young Wendell Rand (Danny Rand’s father) and trained him. He told Rand of the tales of K’un-Lun and the Iron Fist legacy.
Motivated, Rand left Randall’s care to seek out the power for himself. Before his eventual death, he managed to find Danny Rand to share his history, their connection, and give him the rest of his chi.
Davos, aka the Steel Serpent, has always been one of Danny Rand’s significant adversaries. The son of Lei-Kung the Thunderer, he knew he was destined to inherit the powers of Iron Fist.
However, he had to face and defeat the other potential successor: Wendell Rand, Danny’s father. After losing the fight, Davos attempted to steal the powers of the Iron Fist illegally and was banished from his home of K’un-Lun.
Intent on exacting revenge for being denied his legacy, he made it his life's mission to seek out Wendell’s son and take his powers. Using his formidable serpent powers, he failed numerous times to absorb Rand’s Iron Fist powers.
In one fated fight with Danny in Marvel Team-Up #64, he succeeded in absorbing his powers but was unable to control them. Danny returned the powers to his body but not before they ultimately consumed the Steel Serpent. Unfortunately, he was brought back to life and continued his ruthless attempts to steal what Danny had rightfully earned.
The character of Deadpool has always been hugely popular with fans, well before the release of the Deadpool movie. The sheer ridiculousness of his personality and razor-sharp, witty comebacks makes it hard not to like the guy. So much so that his character has taken on the combined personas of some of the most popular characters in the Marvel Universe. Crazy Deadpool mash-ups include Wolverinepool, Grootpool, and Deadpool the Duck.
To add to the collection, writers Ben Acker and Ben Blacker made the combination of DeadFist a reality. Appearing in the Deadpool v Gambit, Vol. 1 series, Deadpool is granted the powers of K’un-Lun and charged with finding The Dragon’s Tongue that was stolen by Raul Chalmers (which turns out to be Loki in disguise). Deadpool and Gambit together are a pretty insane pair but adding DeadFist to the mix made for even more fun.
In the 2010 The New Avengers series, “The Heroic Age” team consisted of Luke Cage, Mockingbird, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Ms. Marvel, Victoria Hand, Spider-Man, The Thing, and Wolverine.
Faced with mystical arts that were far more powerful than anything they had ever seen, the team had to find a way to defeat Agamotto in a mystical duel. With the help of Brother Voodoo, the heroes combined their powers into one hero to take on this task. The team, along with Iron Fist, combined their powers into the one superhero that could withstand that type of physical burden: Wolverine.
By the end of issue #5, fans got to see their favorite mutant with the dragon emblem emblazed on his chest. There is no denying that it was a pretty impressive sight to behold.
Danny Rand will be seen next in The Defenders, out on Netflix, August 18 2017.
Which of these alternate Iron Fists is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!