Get Started In IRON FIST

Current Series  |  Latest Jumping-On Points  |  Compilations  |  1st Appearance  |  Origin Story  |  Main Publication History  |  Secondary Publication History  |  Key Storylines  |  Media Source Material  |  Key Issues

by snowbi-wan, updated Jun 2019

Iron Fist is a top-level martial artist and wields the mystical Iron Fist force, which allows him to focus his chi (life-force) energy to greatly enhance his natural abilities. Originating from the 70's pop-culture trend in martial arts, Iron Fist has a long publication history with Marvel as a second-tier superhero. But the character got bumped up a half notch in March of 2017 from his live-action television series and recurring role in the Netflix arm of the MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE (MCU). To rescue both characters from cancellation in 1978, Chris Claremnont and John Byrne forged the classic partnership between Iron Fist and Power Man. The first time Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist meet up is in 1982 in Frank Miller's Daredevil run, but their modern relationship would be forged in 2002 in DAREDEVIL [1998] #38-40. Iron Fist received a critically acclaimed modern reinvigoration from Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker with their intial story arcs in the IMMORTAL IRON FIST [2007] series. The MCU interpretation borrows heavily from this expanded mythos.

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Current Series

Current Series cover for IRON FIST

This is a curated list of the current series to help you get started with Iron Fist comic books. The series listed in this section are predominantly series of individual comic issues, but the list can include digests and softcovers (and even hardcovers) if the material is original material.

After recently starring in his own solo series and as a member of the new Defenders in their maxi-series, Iron Fist is on a publishing hiatus from an ongoing series right now.

Latest Jumping-On Points

Comic books are serialized periodicals. The absolute best place to jump on with any comic series is a series beginning, but, if the run has gotten lengthy, the beginning of a new story arc or of a new creative team are other great--and perfectly acceptable--places to get started right away. This section contains a curated list of the latest issues from current and recent series where you can get started in Iron Fist. Look below for series beginning or start of a story arc. Subsequent sections explore the subject's publishing history and indicate other less recent places to get started in Iron Fist.

There are currently no latest points to display.

Compilations

In modern comic publishing, it's common (and expected) for individual comic book issues to be collected into compilations of trade paperbacks and/or hardcovers, as well as other special compilations. Unlike the individual source issues, the collected editions typically stay in print for long periods and are less 'collectible.' If individual issues are out of reach or are not of interest to you or if you just need reading copies, the following collected editions of Iron Fist comic books are the most recent in-print editions and are the perfect alternative to get started right away with Iron Fist. The following compilations are presented in a chronologically-based suggested reading order with softcover editions before any hardcover editions (unless the only in-print editions are hardcover--these are integrated into the softcover list).

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CoverRelease MonthSeries / Number / Storyline
IRON FIST EPIC COLLECTION VOL 01: THE FURY OF IRON FISTQuick ViewSep 2018IRON FIST EPIC COLLECTION [2018-TPB] VOL 01: THE FURY OF IRON FIST
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
IRON FIST: DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU--THE COMPLETE COLLECTION Quick ViewFeb 2019IRON FIST: DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU--THE COMPLETE COLLECTION [2019-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
POWER MAN AND IRON FIST EPIC COLLECTION VOL 03: DOOMBRINGERQuick ViewOct 2019POWER MAN AND IRON FIST EPIC COLLECTION [2015-TPB] VOL 03: DOOMBRINGER
  
PRE-ORDER$39.99
$25.99
      
IRON FIST: THE RETURN OF K'UN LUN Quick ViewMar 2015IRON FIST: THE RETURN OF K'UN LUN [2015-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
IMMORTAL IRON FIST: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION VOL 01Quick ViewDec 2013IMMORTAL IRON FIST: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION [2013-TPB] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
IMMORTAL IRON FIST: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION VOL 02Quick ViewMay 2014IMMORTAL IRON FIST: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION [2013-TPB] VOL 02
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON COMPLETE COLLECTION Quick ViewMar 2017IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON COMPLETE COLLECTION [2017-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
IRON FIST VOL 01: TRIAL OF THE SEVEN MASTERSQuick ViewSep 2017IRON FIST [2017A-TPB] VOL 01: TRIAL OF THE SEVEN MASTERS
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
IRON FIST VOL 02: SABRETOOTH--ROUND TWOQuick ViewMar 2018IRON FIST [2017A-TPB] VOL 02: SABRETOOTH--ROUND TWO
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
DEFENDERS VOL 01: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVERQuick ViewDec 2017DEFENDERS [2017-TPB] VOL 01: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
DEFENDERS VOL 02: KINGPINS OF NEW YORKQuick ViewJun 2018DEFENDERS [2017-TPB] VOL 02: KINGPINS OF NEW YORK
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
IRON FIST: PHANTOM LIMB Quick ViewJan 2019IRON FIST: PHANTOM LIMB [2019-SC]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon

1st Appearance

The first appearance of a character in comic book form is often the most valuable issue featuring that character. It's a nice place to get started in Iron Fist, if it's within your budget.

  • MARVEL PREMIERE [1972] #15  (1st appearance of Iron Fist)

Origin Story

The original presentation of an origin story or a retelling/recounting of it can be a good place to get started with a character or subject. Danny Rand was the original Iron Fist before the mythos surrounding the Iron Fist force was expanded to include previous wielders of the mystical energy force.

  • MARVEL PREMIERE [1972] #15-16   
  • IRON FIST [1975] #8   (origin retold)
  • OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE [1983] #5   (encyclopedia-type series with the Iron Fist entry)
  • UNCANNY ORIGINS [1996] #14   (origin retold)
  • IMMORTAL IRON FIST [2007] #1   (origin retold)
  • IMMORTAL IRON FIST: THE ORIGIN OF DANNY RAND [2008] #1   (reprints MARVEL PREMIERE [1972] #15-16 with new framing sequence)

Main Publication History

Series beginnings are always great places to get started in comic books. Here is the Main Publication History for Iron Fist comic books. Iron Fist has a long publication history since 1972 with multiple solo series. The following list summarizes only the main series that starred Iron Fist as a headline character or a main team member or were instrumental in his history. Chris Claremnont and John Byrne forged the classic partnership between Iron Fist and Power Man. See the secondary publication history for numerous appearances in other series.

  • MARVEL PREMIERE [1972] #15-25   
  • IRON FIST [1975] #1-15   
  • MARVEL TEAM-UP [1972] #63-64   (wrapped up unresolved subplot from cancelled 1975 solo series)
  • POWER MAN [1974] #48-49   (paired with Power Man to rescue both characters from cancellation)
  • POWER MAN AND IRON FIST [1978] #50-125   (title changed to shared billing; apparent death of Iron Fist in #125)
  • NAMOR, THE SUB-MARINER [1990] #21-25   (reintroduced)
  • IRON FIST [1996] #1-2   
  • HEROES FOR HIRE [1997] #1-19   (team member)
  • IRON FIST [1998] #1-3   
  • IRON FIST/WOLVERINE [2000] #1-4   
  • IRON FIST [2004] #1-6   
  • IMMORTAL IRON FIST [2007] #1-27   (writers Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker greatly expand the Iron Fist mythos)
  • NEW AVENGERS [2010] #1-34   (team member)
  • IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON [2014] #1-12   
  • IRON FIST [2017A] #1-7   
  • DEFENDERS [2017] #1-10   (team member)
  • IRON FIST [2017B] #73-80   (return to legacy numbering)
  • IMMORTAL IRON FISTS [2018-SC]    (original material w/Danny Rand as mentor to apprentice named Pei)
  • IRON FIST: PHANTOM LIMB [2019-SC]    (original graphic novel)

Secondary Publication History

In addition to his main publication history, Iron Fist has made numerous guest appearances in many Marvel titles. Listed here are appearances where Iron Fist was key to the storyline, and not just a cameo or one of countless heroes in ensemble. See the Main Publication History for series with Iron Fist as a headline character.

  • MARVEL TEAM-UP [1972] #31, 105   
  • DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG-FU [1974-MAG] #10, 15, 18, 19, 29, 31, 32   (sporadic appearances)
  • MASTER OF KUNG FU ANNUAL [1976] #1   
  • MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE [1974] #25   
  • MARVEL TREASURY EDITION [1974-TREA] #18   (reprints MARVEL TEAM-UP [1972] #31)
  • DEFENDERS [1972] #62-65   
  • MARVEL TEAM-UP ANNUAL [1976] #3-4   
  • ROM [1979] #23-24   
  • DAREDEVIL [1964] #178   
  • MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE [1974] #94   
  • DAZZLER [1981] #24   
  • MARVEL TALES [1966] #197-198   (reprints MARVEL TEAM-UP [1972] #63-64)
  • MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS [1988] #111, 113-118, 125-137, 140-141   
  • NAMOR, THE SUB-MARINER [1990] #31-34   
  • CAGE [1992] #12   
  • MARVEL FANFARE [1996] #6   
  • FANTASTIC FOUR [1998] #6   (Sue trains with Iron Fist)
  • SPIDER-GIRL [1998] #24   
  • BLACK PANTHER [1998] #38-40   
  • MARVEL KNIGHTS DOUBLE-SHOT [2002] #4   
  • DAREDEVIL [1998] #38-40   
  • EXILES [2001] #26-27   (alternate world where Iron Fist rules all superheroes)
  • TYPHOID FEVER: IRON FIST [2019] #1   (third in a series of interconnected one-shots featuring Typhoid Mary vs. different heroes)

Selected Key Storylines

This section contains a curated list of some of the best storylines for Iron Fist, any one of which can be a good place to get started.

Key Storyline cover 1 for IRON FISTKey Storyline cover 2 for IRON FISTKey Storyline cover 3 for IRON FISTKey Storyline cover 4 for IRON FIST
1974MARVEL PREMIERE [1972] #15-22   (1st appearance and origin; this first story arc establishes Iron Fist and his cast)
1975IRON FIST [1975] #1-15   (strong stories from powerhouse creative team of Claremont and Byrne)
MARVEL TEAM-UP [1972] #63-64   (more Claremont/Byrne that wrapped up the unresolved subplot from cancelled 1975 solo series)
1978POWER MAN AND IRON FIST [1978] #50   (along with #48-49 before the title changed names, Claremont and Byrne forge the classic partnership of Power Man and Iron Fist)
1982DAREDEVIL [1964] #178   (part of Frank Miller's Daredevil run, the first time Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist meet up)
1983POWER MAN AND IRON FIST [1978] #90   (THE UNTOUCHABLE, a done-in-one top-notch story from the then-newbie Kurt Busiek)
1983POWER MAN AND IRON FIST [1978] #99-100   (Busiek gives glimpses of a deeper Iron Fist history which Fraction and Brubaker will fully explore years later)
2002DAREDEVIL [1998] #38-40   (THE TRIAL OF THE CENTURY, sets up the modern relationship of Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist)
2007IMMORTAL IRON FIST [2007] #1-6   (THE LAST IRON FIST STORY, critically acclaimed modern reinvigoration of the Iron Fist story from Fraction and Brubaker)
2007IMMORTAL IRON FIST [2007] #8-14   (THE SEVEN CAPITAL CITIES OF HEAVEN, Fraction and Brubaker up the ante with more awesome martial arts and outstanding new characters)
2003IMMORTAL IRON FIST [2007] #17-21   (THE MORTAL IRON FIST, new creative team maintains the quality level following Fraction/Brubaker)

Media Source Material

Media source material cover for IRON FIST

If you've enjoyed non-comic media for Iron Fist, this section describes the comic book source material for some of the most popular non-comic media. Aside from a failed film production attempt in the 2000's, Iron Fist has not had any film or live-action television series of his own until his series from Netflix. WARNING: This section may contain spoilers!

Media source material cover for IRON FIST

The first season of Netflix's Iron Fist series, released in March of 2017, leans heavily on the canonical origin as presented in MARVEL PREMIER [1972] #15-16, other material from his run from #15-25 in that series, as well as elements from the wildly popular modern reinvigoration from Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker in the IMMORTAL IRON FIST [2007] series. This comic series added layers to the origin of the Iron Fist force, revealing that Danny Rand was just one in a long line of wielders of the Iron Fist force. Iron Fist's first appearance was in MARVEL PREMIER [1972] #15. Colleen Wing is a main supporting character in the Netflix series, and her first appearance was in MARVEL PREMIER [1972] #19. The Meacham family plays an important part in the first season of the Netflix series, and they all have prominent roles in the early Iron Fist comic book storylines, although the family structure has been slightly altered. In the comic books, Ward Meachum is the brother of Harold Meachum, not his son. Harold's plotline has been significantly altered from the comic book canon to the television series, but his covertly antagonistic relationship with the Rand family is primarily preserved. In parallel with their Daredevil series, Netflix has established The Hand as the major villainous organization--as well as the archenemy--for Iron Fist. The Hand has infiltrated Danny's father's corporation, the Rand Corporation. The Hand's first appearance was in DAREDEVIL [1964] #174, and the crime organization has had a long and intricate history in the Marvel Universe proper. In the television series, Danny's boyhood friend and adolescent rival in K'un-Lun is Davos. In comics, Davos is the second Steel Serpent, an archvillain of Iron Fist, and his first appearance was in IRON FIST [1975] #1. Davos played a large role in the IMMORTAL IRON FIST [2007] comic series, which--given the ending of season one of Iron Fist--may contain source material for Netflix's season two of Iron Fist.

Media source material cover for IRON FIST

The second season of Netflix's Iron Fist series, released in September of 2018, centers on Davos taking the Iron Fist from Danny, Colleen's attempt to uncover her family history, and the introduction of Typhoid Mary. Colleen and Misty Knight team-up in this season quite a bit. In print, this duo is known as the Daughters of the Dragon. Their first appearance as this duo is DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU [1974-MAG] #32. In comics, the first appearance of Typhoid Mary is DAREDEVIL [1964] #254. Her comic book origin is intimately tied to Daredevil. The Netflix show gives her a self-contained origin, but her violent identity still ends up as an assassin/fixer for criminal organizations. In the show, she is instrumental in capturing Danny in order for Davos to successfully take the Iron Fist from him. In comics, Davos stole Danny's power in the 2-part story in MARVEL TEAM-UP [1972] #63-64. This story wrapped up the unresolved subplot from Iron Fist's cancelled 1975 solo series. In comics, Davos would return later in the critically-acclaimed modern reinvigoration from Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker with their initial story arcs in the IMMORTAL IRON FIST [2007] comic book series. The Netflix series is a healthy nod to this expanded Iron Fist mythos with mention of other Cities of Heaven besides K'un-L'un and the incorporation of Orson Randall, a previous wielder of the Iron Fist. In the show, the Crane Sisters perform the tattoo transfer. In comics, the Crane Mother brings Davos back and lends him her Crane Daughters as henchmen. Each City of Heaven has a champion--like K'un-L'un has the Iron Fist--all together referred to as the Immortal Weapons. The epilogue to the Netflix season reveals some intriguing developments with Colleen still wielding a white Iron Fist power through her sword and Danny somehow wielding yellow power again through handguns. While this is potentially hinting at the IMMORTAL IRON FIST comic series' Contest of Champions, the Netflix show was cancelled with season 2, so we may never know where the show was ultimately headed.

Key Issues

A key issue can be an acceptable place to get started with Iron Fist, but they are more of a collector's checklist, as they can carry high price tags.

Key Issue cover 1 for IRON FISTKey Issue cover 2 for IRON FISTKey Issue cover 3 for IRON FISTKey Issue cover 4 for IRON FIST
  • MARVEL PREMIERE [1972] #15   (1st appearance of Iron Fist)
  • MARVEL PREMIERE [1972] #16   (2nd appearance of Iron Fist)
  • MARVEL PREMIERE [1972] #19   (1st appearance of Colleen Wing)
  • MARVEL PREMIERE [1972] #21   (1st appearance of Misty Knight)
  • MARVEL PREMIERE [1972] #25   (1st Claremont/Byrne work on Iron Fist)
  • IRON FIST [1975] #1   (1st issue of this series; battles Iron Man; 1st appearance of Steel Serpent (Davos))
  • IRON FIST [1975] #14   (1st appearance of Sabretooth)
  • IRON FIST [1975] #15   (X-Men appearance)
  • IMMORTAL IRON FIST [2007] #1   (1st issue of this series; expanded mythos)