1977 · The 70s

May 1977: Iron Fist 15- In which we learn the best clothes for snow is apparently lycra and ballet shoes.

Iron Fist 14 - Snowfire - 00 - FC Iron Fist 14 - Snowfire - 01

Synopsis: Iron Fist 14 was done written by Chris Claremont and drawn by John Byrne, shortly before this double act launched the X-Men’s popularity soaring. It opened with Danny ‘Iron Fist’ Rand and his friend Colleen Wing being chased by  masked goons over the snow. They fall into a snowy crevasse and are assumed dead. Danny carries the unconscious Colleen onwards towards shelter and remembers a recent attack by someone dressed very much like him, who was able to drain off some of his chi. Back in the here and now, Danny finds a cabin, stripped of anything useful, but at least it is a small amount of shelter.

Iron Fist 14 - Snowfire - 03 Iron Fist 14 - Snowfire - 05

We are then flashed back to a day earlier when Colleen has invited Danny to a Rand-Meachum facility in Calgary for a bodyguard job for a mutual friend, Jeryn Hogarth. Jeryn is looking into some embezzlement and it’s getting a bit dangerous. As they arrive, they realise it’s already too late. Jeryn has been captured by a mercenary called Sabretooth, who then sends men after Danny and Colleen.

Iron Fist 14 - Snowfire - 07 Iron Fist 14 - Snowfire - 09

After a zen trance to lower their bodies’ energy use, Danny and Colleen take out their hunters and dress in their clothes and make their way back to Sabretooth to rescue Jeryn and his staff, who take care of the guards, while Danny takes on Sabretooth. There is a battle between the two which takes them outside as the sun comes up, temporarily blinding Iron Fist. Falling back onto his training, he focuses his hearing and detects Sabretooth’s footsteps and quickly turns the tables, even when blind.

Iron Fist 14 - Snowfire - 11 Iron Fist 14 - Snowfire - 13

Iron Fist 14 - Snowfire - 16 Iron Fist 14 - Snowfire - 17

He wins the fight and everything works out for the best, knowing his eyesight will return, he even has a corny learning a lesson today sort of moment before we have the next issue blurb. In fact, lets look at that last panel and can someone tell me what the f#@£ that’s supposed to mean?

Iron Fist 14 Cropped

Notes: Iron Fist was an attempt by Marvel to cash in on the martial arts on TV and film craze which was nearing it’s waning point. Iron Fist kind of reads like the TV show Kung Fu, in which a boy trained in a temple in rural China, then travels through a more industrial world looking for answers to family questions. There’s a bit more of a supernatural/super heroic tinge to it, but they both have that premise.  I have often said that Iron Fist and the other heroes for hire characters would be great on TV, it looks like Marvel and Netflix agree.

In regards to this comic itself, I liked the issue, but I am a fan of comics that would make a good TV series, Chris Claremont and John Byrne, so I was always going to enjoy this. The art is great, Byrne being the quintessential super hero artist for this era, the marks on Danny’s back, the layouts and fight scenes are all lots of fun and like Kirby, his heroes look damn heroic. Claremont does his usual and over writes, but it fits the era of the story and he adds colour to the characters with a more dramatic dialogue.

Relevance: This was the first appearance of Sabretooth, who like Wolverine had a huge impact on the X-Titles down the road and this also had Colleen Wing in it, who along with Misty Knight appeared in the Byrne Claremont run on the X-Men.

Next Time: You can’t throw a mighty shield if you can’t see.

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