Iron Fist: Throwing the First Punch
Get your exclusive first look at Danny Rand’s new foes, plus writer Ed Brisson shares details!
Danny Rand finds himself in a real good news-bad new kind of situation beginning March 22. The good news? He’s the star of a brand-new IRON FIST ongoing series. The bad? K’un-Lun lays in ruins, his powers appear unreliable at best, and he has been mystically abducted to a strange and mystical island.
Writer Ed Brisson took a short break from derailing the life of Iron Fist to hint at what awaits Rand in the new book. Plus, get an exclusive sneak peek at the fresh foes that will be plaguing Danny courtesy of series artist Mike Perkins!
Marvel.com: In considering the years of Iron Fist stories, what do you consider to be the essential elements of Danny Rand?
Ed Brisson: I think the major thing about Danny is that he’s almost always an outsider. He was the orphan taken into K’un-Lun, where he spent his formative years. When he left K’un-Lun, he returned to a city—New York—that was completely foreign to him, even though it was his home. He’s always got a foot in each world, which I think makes it difficult for him to fully fit in in either.
You often see him trying to overcompensate for these feelings with his humor, which is something that I love about him. He’s always looking to be a people pleaser. It doesn’t always serve him, but he doesn’t give up.
Marvel.com: Looking beyond those essentials, however, every writer wants to make a character their own by exploring unique aspects of the character. For you with Iron Fist, where did you find those parts that you thought you could use to really make an impact?
Ed Brisson: For this first arc, I really wanted to focus in on Danny’s own sense of identity. What happens when the one thing he was sure of about himself is being stripped away? How far will he go and what potentially dangerous situations will he put himself into just for a sliver of hope that it’ll allow him to hang on to the one thing that defines him?
Marvel.com: At the start of the IRON FIST #1, where do we find Danny Rand, both in physical space and in terms of mentality?
Ed Brisson: When we join Danny, he’s struggling to access his Chi. He’s unable to call forth the thing that makes him Iron Fist. He’s losing his sense of who he is and struggling to hold onto this thing that has defined him for most of his life. Who is he if not Iron Fist?
Because he’s separated from K’un-Lun, he can’t return to seek the answers he needs so he’s focusing on his Kung-Fu, the one thing he still has, and is trying to push himself, hoping that a spark will ignite. That somehow he’ll reconnect.
The problem with being the best, though, is that there is no one out there that’s able to properly push him. And that comes with its own set of problems.
Marvel.com: One thing that is different we learn early on is that K’un-Lun has been devastated. How much of an influence does that change in the mystical city’s status have in Iron Fist’s life?
Ed Brisson: We saw the destruction of K’un-Lun in Kaare Andrews’ run on IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON. In this series, we’re taking the baton and running with it.
K’un-Lun’s current status is a larger part of why Danny’s struggling to connect. The city provides him with his powers and with the city now down…well, so are Danny’s powers.
Marvel.com: Is the “how” and “why” of K’un-Lun’s destruction an important element of the story?
Ed Brisson: It’s not the central theme to the story, but the how and why certainly do play into where Danny’s journey leads him—or rather, why he’s being lead on it.
What does it mean to be the champion of a city that lays in ruins because you were not there to protect it? That’s something that Danny’s going to have to struggle with. Something that’s going to be thrown in his face several times.
Marvel.com: Shortly after learning his patron city’s fate, Rand finds himself in another unusual locale: Liu-Shi. What has drawn Danny to this place?
Ed Brisson: Liu-Shi presents itself as an island—or series of islands—where Kung-Fu is king. They’ve dedicated themselves to the perfection of it, drawing on other, more mystical influences.
Like Danny, they’re looking for a chance to prove themselves. And, who better to prove themselves against than Kung-Fu Master and current reigning Champion of K’un-Lun.
Of course, there’s more to Liu-Shi than meets the eye and a large part of this first arc will be peeling back the layers to what the island really is and what it is that they’re really after.
Marvel.com: In brief, what can you tell us about the seven champions that also are on Liu-Shi? What, if any, relationship do they have to Iron Fist?
Ed Brisson: The Seven Masters of Liu-Shi are: The Eel of Blessed Waters, The Rat of Twelve Plagues, The Resourceful Snake, The Rabbit of Holy Flame, The Long-Armed Bull, The Mountain Slaying Bear and The Divine Wolf. Each is the champion of each of the seven schools of Kung-Fu on the island. There’s a specific reason why there are seven, but readers will have to check out the series to find out why.
Over the series, it’ll become clear that some of the seven have very real beefs with Danny and/or K’un-Lun. That the timing of them appearing in Danny’s life at this moment is not coincidental.
These characters were a lot of fun to create and Mike Perkins did an amazing job in designing them. I think that readers are going to get a kick out of the new characters. Big nods to 70’s Kung-Fu flicks are in store!
Marvel.com: Speaking of the artist, how does Mike Perkins’ art style complement your aims with this title? How does his work enable your vision for the story to be realized?
Ed Brisson: Mike is an incredible artist whose art feels grounded, while still feeling larger than life, if that makes any sense at all. Everything has a purpose. His character acting and storytelling skills are beyond compare. He also brings a lot of strong design skills to the table, but is also open to input.
I’ve found that talking with him about stuff has been really easy, which is great. You don’t often get to have that type of dialog when working on a bigger book. We’re both on the same page and have been excited about what the other is doing. That’s something that I think you’ll be able to see on the page.
IRON FIST #1 from Ed Brisson and Mike Perkins kicks off the action on March 22!
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