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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Iron Fist Key Comics List Part One

I was planning to do an Iron Fist key issues list during the 40th year anniversary of the character last month, but it looks like I got sidetracked. I could've swore I did one, but it looks like I didn't.

Because of the upcoming Netflix television show that will feature the character, and since Luke Cage is also a show in the Netflix t.v. series in production as well, I figure it'd be a good time to do a key comics list for the character since many of Iron Fist's stories are linked in with Luke Cage Powerman. Unlike the Marvel Premiere key issues list done last month, this Iron Fist key comics list will be more in-depth pertaining to the character. It will spread across various titles since the character was shifted quite a bit.

Alright, here we go!

First appearance of Iron Fist
First appearance Yu-Ti
First Dragon Kings
First Wendell and Heather Rand
First Harold Meachum

The issue that started it all for Iron Fist. Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Marvel Premiere #15 is the first appearance of Iron Fist. I've talked a little bit about this issue but for good reason. As we all know, a Netflix television series will feature the character in 13 episodes before he meets up with other characters in The Defenders t.v. show.

Not only does Marvel Premiere #15 hold the first appearance of Iron Fist, it also begins the origin to this character and establishes quite a lot of supporting characters as well. The first and foremost important supporting character is Yu-Ti, later called Tuan, whom is the head of the Dragon Kings and ruler of K'un L'un. 

Yu-Ti adopted Danny Rand's father, Wendell Rand, as his brother when young Wendell saved his life long ago. This issue has the first appearance of Wendell Rand and his wife Heather Rand but only in flashback. As Danny Rand thinks back on the past in this issue, he remembers journeying on an expedition in the Himalayas with his parents to once again find K'un L'un where his father is from. 

Also joining Danny and his parents was Harold Meachum, Wendell's business partner. When Danny slipped off the path  while they journeyed up a mountain, he took his mother over the edge also. Wendell Rand dangles himself from the side of the cliff and is able to save his wife and son by lowering them to a nearby ledge. 

However, when Wendell asks for help from Harold Meachum, who also loved Heather secretly and realized that he could own Wendell's shares, Meachum stamps on Wendell's hand causing him to fall to his death. Meachum offers Heather and Danny help, but Heather refuses. Harold Meachum then leaves them stranded to die.

Later, Danny Rand recalls both him and his mother hiking out of the mountains and come across a bridge where they are attacked by wolves. Heather sacrifices herself so Danny can cross the bridge, which leads to K'un L'un. Once there, he is adopted much like his father was and begins training for revenge against Meachum.

Like many first appearances during the bronze age, this comic has blown up quite nicely in CGC high grades. You will not find it cheap anymore. This comic was published May, 1974 and is one of the best Bronze Age investment comics on the market currently.

eBay - A couple months ago, this issue was a bit scarce, but it seems more CGC copies have sprung up in the meantime. Three 9.6s on eBay at the moment. One of them is a Signature Series. Quite a few 9.2s and 8.0s also.

mycomicshop - Three CGC copies here. Two are Signature Series signed by Stan Lee. Highest SS copy is a 9.6. Other SS copy is 9.0. Only CGC copy that isn't a Signature Series is a Universal 9.2.

ComicConnect - One beautiful CGC 9.8. It's a Signature Series signed by Stan Lee. It goes up for auction 8/04.14.

ComicLink - Three CGC copies. One is a CGC 9.4 and the two other are 8.0 VF.

2nd appearance of Iron Fist
First appearance of Scythe
First appearance of Lei-Kung
First Shou-Lao The Undying
Origin continued

Continuing the legend of Danny Rand as Iron Fist, Danny Rand travels back to New York and is greeted by a gang of street thugs, whom he defeats. Reflecting back on his training in K'un L'un, Danny's origin tale continues, revealing even more characters important to Iron Fist's mythos.

After being adopted into K'un L'un society, Yu-Ti put Danny under the training of Lei-Kung The Thunderer,  who makes his first appearance in this issue. When he proves himself, Yu-Ti allows Danny to challenge the dragon Shou-Lao The Undying to obtain the power of the Iron Fist if he wins. Of course, Danny wins and the famous dragon tattoo is branded upon his chest. He also dips his hands in a cauldron containing Shou-Lao's undying heart, giving him the power of the Iron Fist.

Returning back to the present, he encounters Scythe and battles with him. In the end, Iron Fist defeats Scythe and finds out that the person who sent Scythe to take him out was Meachum. This issue was published July, 1974.

eBay - Five CGC copies available at the time of this writing. Highest is a 9.6 NM+. Two 9.4 copies as well. A few unslabbed options for the 2nd appearance of Iron Fist on eBay.

mycomicshop - One CGC 9.4 copy here. Rest are unslabbed raw copies in stock. Highest raw copy is a FN/VF 7.0.

ComicConnect - Two CGC copies here for this issue. Highest is a CGC 9.6 and the other is a VF/NM 9.0. Two unslabbed copies in stock as well. Highest raw copy is a NM 9.4.

ComicLink - Two CGC copies here. Highest is a NM+ 9.6. Other is a 9.4 NM.

Death of Harold Meachum
First appearance of Joy Meachum
Conclusion of origin

Iron Fist finally tracks down Harold Meachum but has to fight his way to get to the guy. Once Iron Fist does, he realizes that Meachum has lost his legs.

Meachum explains that after he left Danny and his mother he came across a village and was taken in by villager. His legs were severely damaged due to severe frost-bite and were amputated. While in the village, Meachum heard of Danny's fate and has since been preparing for Danny's return for revenge.

Instead of seeking out revenge, Danny feels nothing but pity for the man. He tries to walk away but Meachum tries to shoot him. Suddenly, a mysterious ninja arrives and kills Harold Meachum.

This is where Meachum's daughter Joy comes in. Finding Iron Fist checking to see if Harold is alive or dead, Joy Meachum assumes Iron Fist killed her father and swears revenge. October, 1974 was when this bad boy was published.

eBay - Six CGC copies so far. Three 9.8s and one 9.6. One 9.4 and 8.0 copy as well. No problem finding unslabbed copies for this issue here.

mycomicshop - Only raw copies here in stock. Highest is a low FN 5.5.

ComicConnect - Two CGC copies available. Highest CGC copy is a 9.8. Other CGC copy is a 9.4 NM. Also two unslabbed copies with the highest being a 9.2 followed by an 8.0 VF.

ComicLink - Two CGC 9.6 copies available here.


First appearance of Lee Wing
First appearance of Colleen Wing
Wolverine ad predates 1st appearance

This issue is in the Marvel Premiere key issues list on here and features the first appearance of two more important supporting characters. The first appearance of Lee Wing and his daughter Colleen Wing makes their way to issue 19 of Marvel Premiere and both are important characters in the Iron Fist mythos. Lee Wing is a professor of oriental studies at Columbia University. 

Because he knows secret knowledge and has secret books, Prof Wing is in danger with the Cult of Kara Kai. He and his daughter would procure Iron Fist's protection and later gain the hero's friendship and become allies of Iron Fist. 

Colleen Wing would often partner up with Misty Knight, and both are part of a group called the Daughters of the Dragon. This issue also has a very early Wolverine ad predating his first appearance.

eBay - Pretty limited selection. No CGC as of this writing and only a few unslabbed copies available.


First mention of Misty Knight

This issue first mentions the important character of Misty Knight, who has had various roles in Iron Fish stories as well as stories pertaining to both Iron Fist and Powerman. She is an ex-cop who becomes allies with the two. She is also the ex-partner of Rafael Scarfe. 

A key issue comics from the bronze age era, but so far pretty much a sleeper. Whether she will be in the Iron Fist television series is unknown, but will be odd if she isn't since she is connected to both Danny Rand and Luke Cage. This Bronze Age comic came out in January, 1975.

eBay - No problem finding unslabbed copies at the moment. Only one CGC copy, but it's a 9.8.

mycomicshop - One CGC 9.8 copy here. There's also unslabbed copies as well. Highest is a VF. Other raw copy options available.

ComicConnect - One CGC 9.2 copy and three raw copies available so far. Highest raw copy is an 8.5 VF+.


First published appearance of Misty Knight

Before being retconned, this is technically the first published appearance of Misty Knight, and the first time the character is actually seen by name.

However, it would be revealed that Misty Knight previously appeared as an unnamed character in Marvel Team up #1. The industry recognizes Marvel Team Up #1 as Misty Knight's first appearance, but much like Hulk #271, I'm recognizing Marvel Team Up #1 as her first appearance historically in the Marvel timeline.

Misty's partner is Colleen Wing and both are members of the Daughters of the Dragon group. She was also romantically linked to Iron Fist for a while. This issue debuted March, 1975.

eBay - Plenty of unslabbed, raw copies. High grade raw copies is a different story though. No CGC for this issue at the moment. Hopefully that changes.

mycomicshop - All unslabbed copies at the moment of this writing. Highest is a FN/VF 7.0. 2nd highest is a FN.

ComicConnect - Only one CGC 8.0 VF copy and a raw FN copy available at the time of this writing.

Well, there's the first batch concerning key issues related to Iron Fish. Quite a few more to go! Part 2 is ready, so click the PART 2 link below to continue with more Iron Fist key comics!


  1. dude this looks very familiar

    1. Yeah, I thought about that when working on it. The only issue on this list that's not on the Marvel Premiere key issues list is Marvel Premiere #18. This list will start looking drastically different as it goes on. There's five parts to it that are coming up soon.

  2. nevermind that was marvel premiere keys

  3. question (i know you've done this a while ago) but does Iron Fist not appear in the Deadly Hands Summer Special? which says it's published in summer of 1974? any way to find out which is his true 2nd appearance?