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Iron Fist, Power Man and Iron Fist, Luke Cage

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Iron Fist, Power Man and Iron Fist, Luke Cage

Old 05-13-20, 01:23 AM
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Iron Fist, Power Man and Iron Fist, Luke Cage

So back in the 70's I picked up a couple issues of Iron Fist. Actually, one was an issue of Marvel Premiere (#15), and the other was the LAST issue of Iron Fist's own comic (#15, featuring the X-Men, with art by John Byrne).

At the time, I wasn't familiar with the backstory of Iron Fist, and didn't know much about the character - I just loved the covers! (And I ended up really liking the comics, too.)



I ended up buying a couple issues of Marvel Team Up a couple years later featuring Iron Fist (ones that tied directly in to his own, by then defunct, comic). I still only had a partial picture of his backstory, but the more I read the more I liked the character. So when they added him to the Luke Cage: Power Man comic and renamed it Power Man and Iron Fist I was all over that title (buying it semi-regularly).

I really loved Kerry Gammill's art on that title - he really did a great job.

The contrast between the street smart tough guy Luke Cage and the affluent, raised in another dimension/reality as a disciplined, honorable martial arts master Danny Rand couldn't have been more stark - and the pairing of those characters couldn't have been more perfect!

The Iron Fist backstory was really quite good, and you had Chris Claremont and John Byrne teaming up for much of the short run of Iron Fist's own comic. But the character was created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, and they laid the foundation for what was really a fascinating character with some fantastic stories. Just prior to John Byrne taking over Pat Broderick was the pencil artist during the tail end of the Marvel Premiere run, and he did a good job as well.

I'm not sure why Iron Fist didn't catch on. The comic had a great balance of action and character development, and the concept was different from the standard superhero fare (but still very accessible). And you had the Claremont/Byrne team just prior to doing The Uncanny X-Men. All the ingredients for a successful comic were there.

And you can't beat this cover as an introduction to the character...
Old 05-13-20, 01:42 AM
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Re: Iron Fist, Power Man and Iron Fist, Luke Cage

Great corner spotlight/box art, too...

Old 05-13-20, 09:04 AM
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Re: Iron Fist, Power Man and Iron Fist, Luke Cage

[QUOTE=B5Erik;13740493]

I'm not sure why Iron Fist didn't catch on. The comic had a great balance of action and character development, and the concept was different from the standard superhero fare (but still very accessible). And you had the Claremont/Byrne team just prior to doing The Uncanny X-Men. All the ingredients for a successful comic were there.E]

It likely didn't catch on because it was aimed at a much smaller segment of the market. In the 1970's, martial arts movies and tv shows were very popular but that didn't transfer as well to comic book format. So like Master of Kung Fu, Iron Fist was a slow selling comic as the genre of martial art comics was a very small portion of the comic buying public who mostly wanted super hero comics.
Old 05-13-20, 10:04 AM
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Re: Iron Fist, Power Man and Iron Fist, Luke Cage

Originally Posted by movieguru
Originally Posted by B5Erik

I'm not sure why Iron Fist didn't catch on. The comic had a great balance of action and character development, and the concept was different from the standard superhero fare (but still very accessible). And you had the Claremont/Byrne team just prior to doing The Uncanny X-Men. All the ingredients for a successful comic were there.
It likely didn't catch on because it was aimed at a much smaller segment of the market. In the 1970's, martial arts movies and tv shows were very popular but that didn't transfer as well to comic book format. So like Master of Kung Fu, Iron Fist was a slow selling comic as the genre of martial art comics was a very small portion of the comic buying public who mostly wanted super hero comics.
But Iron Fist WAS a superhero. He had the iron fist. He was able to knock Luke Cage through a wall the first time they met (and fought).

I know when I was a kid in the 70's, being a huge superhero fan, I liked the two Iron Fist comics I bought.
Old 05-13-20, 10:46 AM
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Re: Iron Fist, Power Man and Iron Fist, Luke Cage

Originally Posted by B5Erik
But Iron Fist WAS a superhero. He had the iron fist. He was able to knock Luke Cage through a wall the first time they met (and fought).

I know when I was a kid in the 70's, being a huge superhero fan, I liked the two Iron Fist comics I bought.
He was a superhero in that he had some powers, but his origins, villains, and storylines were heavily influenced and aimed towards the martial arts genre. The martial arts genre is really best portrayed onscreen and not in comic books or written novels. You need to see the motions and the choreographed moves which just doesn't transfer well into other mediums.
Old 05-13-20, 10:56 AM
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Re: Iron Fist, Power Man and Iron Fist, Luke Cage

Originally Posted by movieguru
He was a superhero in that he had some powers, but his origins, villains, and storylines were heavily influenced and aimed towards the martial arts genre. The martial arts genre is really best portrayed onscreen and not in comic books or written novels. You need to see the motions and the choreographed moves which just doesn't transfer well into other mediums.
Same with Luke Cage, he was technically a superhero but based on blaxploitation films. As both film genres' popularity waned, they put both together and the magic happened.

Fraction and Brubaker did a great run on Iron Fist (The Immortal Iron Fist). If you're an Iron Fist fan, it's basically a must read.
Old 05-13-20, 04:54 PM
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Re: Iron Fist, Power Man and Iron Fist, Luke Cage

I always loved the duo in the 80s and wondered why they weren't more popular.
Old 05-14-20, 10:15 PM
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Re: Iron Fist, Power Man and Iron Fist, Luke Cage

I love the character of Luke Cage (I have ever since he temporarily filled in for The Thing in the Fantastic Four), but I've never had the chance to read the pre- Power Man and Iron Fist comics. I just never saw them on the shelves or spinner racks as a kid.

And the only reprints of those early issues are either the black & white Essentials (and I hate black & white reprints), or the now expensive Masterworks editions.

If and when Marvel puts them out in Epic Collections I'll be all over them.


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