Iron Fist (Daniel Rand) is a fictional character, a comic book superhero in the Marvel Comics universe, and a practitioner of martial arts. Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, he first appeared in Marvel Premiere #15 (May 1974).
Iron Fist, along with the previously created Shang Chi, Master of Kung Fu, came from Marvel Comics during a pop culture trend in the early 1970s for martial arts heroes. Debuting in a story by writer Roy Thomas and penciler Gil Kane in the umbrella title Marvel Premiere #15–25 (May 1974 - Oct. 1975), he was then written successively by Len Wein, Doug Moench, Tony Isabella, and Chris Claremont, with art by successive pencillers Larry Hama, Arvell Jones, Pat Broderick, and, in some of his earliest professional work, future industry star John Byrne. Following this run, Iron Fist was immediately spun off into the solo series Iron Fist, running 15 issues (Nov. 1975 - Sept. 1977). A storyline involving the Steel Serpent was wrapped up in two issues of Marvel Team-Up.
The character later co-starred in the Luke Cage series Power Man, re-titled Power Man and Iron Fist from #67-125 (Feb. 1981 - Sept. 1986), the final issue. Two solo miniseries followed a decade later: Iron Fist vol. 2, #1-2 (Sept.-Oct. 1996), by writer James Felder and penciller Robert Brown; and Iron Fist vol. 3, #1-3 (July-Sept. 1998), by writer Dan Jurgens and penciller Jackson Guice. Also around this time, he was among the ensemble of the group series Heroes for Hire which ran 19 issues (July 1997 - Jan. 1999).
Following a four-issue miniseries by writer Jay Faerber and penciller Jamal Igle, Iron Fist: Wolverine (Nov. 2000 - Feb. 2001), co-starring the X-Men character Wolverine and cover-billed as Iron Fist/Wolverine: The Return of K'un Lun, came another solo miniseries, Iron Fist vol. 4, #1-6 (May-Oct. 2004), by writer Jim Mullaney and penciller Kevin Lau. The first issue of a new ongoing series, The Immortal Iron Fist, by co-writers Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction and primary artist David Aja, premiered with a January 2007 cover-date.
Writer co-creator Roy Thomas wrote in a text piece in Marvel Premiere #15 that Iron Fist's origin and creation owe much to the 1940s Bill Everett character, Amazing Man. Thomas later wrote that he and artist co-creator Gil Kane had "...started 'Iron Fist" because I'd seen my first kung fu movie, even before a Bruce Lee one came out, and it had a thing called 'the ceremony of the Iron Fist' in it. I thought that was a good name, and we already had Master of Kung Fu going, but I thought, 'Maybe a superhero called Iron Fist, even though we had Iron Man, would be a good idea'. [Publisher] Stan Lee liked the name, so I got hold of Gil and he brought in his Amazing Man influences, and we designed the character together....
Iron Fist appearances outside his own title include three Iron Fist stories in Marvel's black-and-white comics magazine Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #10 (March 1975), an additional story co-starring the Sons of the Tiger in #18 (Nov. 1975), and a six-part serial, "The Living Weapon", in #19-24 (Dec. 1975 - May 1976). He made guest appearances in such titles as Marvel Two-In-One, Marvel Team-Up, the Sub-Mariner series Namor, Black Panther, and Daredevil.
- Alter Ego #70 (July 1970): Roy Thomas interview, p. 38