Friday, August 21, 2015

Making a Splash: Iron Fist Before He Was Byrne-d

HiiiiiiiiYA, Groove-ophiles! Ol' Groove has Iron Fist on his mind today. Well, I've had Danny Rand and company on my mind for a while now 'cause I've been reading the totally far out Iron Fist Epic Collection recently (and looking forward to the Power Man/IF EC* in time for m'birthday next week--woot!). As I read the stories, I was reminded of how much I dig IF. The mystical, kung-fu origin (inspired by Bill Everett's Golden Age Amazing Man**). The Ninja. Colleen Wing and her dad. Misty Knight and the revelation of her bionic arm. The reveal of who The August Personage In Jade truly was. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Yeah, it was one of those strips that had a virtual merry-go-round of creators (five writers, four pencilers, five inkers, two editors and a K'un-Lun partridge in a pear tree), but it all hangs together, almost like there was a master plan was in place to keep things moving forward until the ultimate IF team of Chris Claremont and John Byrne took over. Rand transformed from a vengeance-seeking near-madman to a mis-understood victim to a super-hero over the course of these issues. Kudos to writers Roy Thomas, Len Wein, Doug Moench, Tony Isabella, and Claremont for keeping things moving so steadily for our hero! The other heroes, co-creator (with Thomas) Gil Kane, Larry Hama, Arvell Jones, and Pat Broderick (usually inked by Dick Giordano or Vinnie Colletta) get to strut their stuff right now with the mind-bending splash pages from Marvel Premiere issues 15 through 24 (February 1974-June 1975)!

(*Yeah, Ol' Groove has the original MP, IF, and PM/IF mags, but I'm splurgin' a little and these tpbs are really well made!)

(**Gallant Comics is publishing, as we speak, a fantastic new AM comic, John Aman, Amazing Man ,written by Barry Gregory with gorgeous art by Steven Butler. You can read the first four issues online so get thee to and enjoy!)


  1. I had that first one as a kid. Have you read 'The Immortal Iron Fist' from about 7 years back? I really enjoyed at least the first 12 issues or so. The concept was that Danny Rand was the latest in a long line of Iron Fists.The artist, David Aja, is one of my favourites of the current generation. And they brought in Groovy Agers Howard Chaykin, John Severin, and even Our Pal Sal to do the flashbacks.

  2. The pre Claremont/Byrne Iron Fists had some good issues. My personal favorite was Marvel Premiere # 23. It had some really beautiful Broderick/McLeod artwork (one of Mr. McLeod's 2 best efforts, along with X-Men # 94).

  3. Wow, you've just whetted my appetite: my Iron Fist Epic book just arrived recently (and yes, the PM&IF Epic will be on it's way soon), and I can't wait to dig into these stories.

  4. 'wrote you a mail yesterday and was a bit stunned not to see the least trace on your site, was wondering if my shaky English might have doomed me before realising the message was never sent. Stupid. Anyway, I just wanted to say that so many people around the launching of a character reminded me of Daredevil's messy start, right up to the golden age connection and Bill Everett being involved. I first sent you a link with the tale of (our) DD's birth where Stan Lee doesn't come out so great, but don't feel like pushing my luck so here we go...



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