The writer of Marvel's new Iron Fist series has revealed details on the mysterious Asian character who is taking over the mantle from Danny Rand. While the identity of the Asian Iron Fist is not given, writer Alyssa Wong provided more clues for the storytelling choices that led to the change, along with new character designs showing off this Iron Fist's redesigned costume. Wong also teased what will make this Iron Fist stand out from Danny Rand, and how the original will still play a role in the series.
"I am so excited to be writing an Asian Iron Fist!" Wong told IGN. "That's something that a lot of people have wanted to see for a long time, myself included, and it feels special to be entrusted with that opportunity. We have seen Iron Fists of Asian descent before, like Wu Ao-Shi and Pei, but as supporting characters in Danny Rand's story (and in the case of past Immortal Iron Fists, all long dead). Having a new Iron Fist take the lead represents a new chapter for the Iron Fist legacy--not erasing decades of comics history, but building on it."
She continued, "Danny Rand as Iron Fist first appeared in 1974, inspired by kung-fu films. What does it look like to become an Iron Fist in 2021, almost fifty years later (in real time, not comics time)? It has to be different. Every Iron Fist's journey is different, because they're different people born in different eras. It's definitely something I'm exploring in this run."
Wong also stressed how Marvel isn't disregarding Danny Rand's contribution to the Iron Fist mythos. "I also know there are many people for whom Iron Fist is incredibly important," she said. "I never want to discount that. I hope that this story will speak to those who have loved Danny for years, as well as folks who have never read an Iron Fist comic but are aching to see a character they can relate to. Everyone deserves the chance to see themselves in the comics they love."
One of the running mysteries in Iron Fist will revolve around how his powers will be tied to his origin story, which will be different from Rand's. "What I can say is that he's taken a slightly unorthodox path to becoming an Iron Fist (which not everyone in K'un-Lun is pleased about). He's also been trained by several different people, including some familiar faces. His fighting style is influenced by them. Something we don't always see in male super heroes is emphasis on agility over sheer power, so I wanted to give him a more acrobatic style, the kind you might associate with a cat burglar. As for his powers… they're strange. They're tied into his origin story, with an intense Iron Fist twist. You'll have to read it to find out more!"
The reason Marvel's new Iron Fist appears is Danny Rand will lose the powers he received from K'un-Lun. This will send Rand searching for answers, leading to a potential matchup (or mentorship) with his replacement. "When the story kicks off, Danny believes the Chi of Shou-Lao the Undying is chilling peacefully in K'un-Lun where he left it. So when he discovers that this apparently is not the case, he's determined to find answers," Wong teased. "Saying anything more would be a spoiler, but I do think Danny is in a unique position to mentor the new Iron Fist… if he can catch him first!"
Superstar artist Jim Cheung designed the new Iron Fist costume. It borrows from previous Iron Fist suits, including a bold bandana to help keep his identity a secret. "From the very start, we knew we wanted to give this character an updated Iron Fist costume. Something that felt unique to him," the writer said. "The team discussed it a lot, and when I wrote the first script, I included a description of what I had in mind, which was basically a list of suggestions and a general vibe. Every script is a discussion and invitation, and I'm always so thrilled to see what each member of the team comes up with. Jim Cheung's design knocked it out of the park. It's so beautiful that I had to lie down when I saw it. "
What do you think about the new Iron Fist? The first issue arrives on February 16, 2022.