Iron Fist #15
Issue(s): Iron Fist #15
Disoriented, Danny goes to Misty's apartment for consolation, forgetting that she's on an assignment infiltrating the Bushmaster's organization.
Instead he runs into Wolverine, who has been moping about because he's in love with Jean Grey (Jean shares an apartment with Misty).
Iron Fist and Wolverine get into a fight...
...and Iron Fist notes Wolverine's similarities with Sabretooth, who he just fought last issue.
Soon all of the X-Men are drawn into the fight (with Nightcrawler first noting that Wolverine may not have a legitimate cause to be attacking, but soon getting sucked in when Danny attacks him pretty violently due to his demonic appearance).
Iron Fist does surprisingly well, handling Wolverine just fine and holding his own against the combined X-Men. But he's soon overpowered.
Jean and Cyclops show up to stop the fight...
...and Danny is invited to the X-Men's party. Jean recognizes Iron Fist as Misty's boyfriend immediately, resulting in a "Sheesh, does everyone know my secret identity?" moment.
Jean's landlord shows up to complain about the damage, but it turns out the building is owned by Rand-Meachum, so Danny is able to take care of things.
There's quite a bit here of interest to X-Men fans. This issue features the X-Men's homecoming after their Shi'ar adventure.
It is also in this issue where Nightcrawler finally decides to stop using his image inducer...
...and it's also one of the instances of Storm automatically changing outfits.
And Wolverine's decision to pursue Jean despite her involvement with Scott is a factor here as well, although it doesn't work out very well for him this issue. And of course the hinting of similarities between Wolverine and Sabertooth.
Even in my black & white Essentials reprint, Byrne's art is very nice. Clarement & Byrne were a great team. Nonetheless, Iron Fist is cancelled as of this issue, with the Bushmaster and Steel Serpent plots getting resolved in upcoming issues of Marvel Team-Up.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The X-Men appear here between Uncanny X-Men #108-109. Wolverine is still wearing Fang's costume.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Iron Fist vol. 1
Inbound References (3): showBanshee, Bushmaster, Colossus, Cyclops, Iron Fist, Lilandra, Misty Knight, Moira MacTaggert, Nightcrawler, Phoenix Force, Professor X, Rafael Scarfe, Steel Serpent, Storm, Wolverine
In the '70s Marvel seemed to have a policy of combining two failed series into one in the hopes that fans of both titles could keep a single one afloat. So Iron Fist and Power Man became a team. (I've also read that Iron Man and Daredevil likewise almost became one title). The stronger title was supposed to be the lead, and by its greater longevity that was Power Man. I've read Byrne state that the true circulation from the news stands wouldn't be known until months later (because of returns), and if they had, Iron Fist might not only have been the "lead", but that he might have continued as a solo title!
Despite some annoying Claremontisms, Iron Fist in the Claremont/Byrne issues was greatly superior to what had come before. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened had it stayed a solo title with Claremont and Byrne still on the title.
Posted by: Chris | May 13, 2012 5:01 PM
So this is where Logan got the photograph of Jean that he's 'crying over' in X-Men 114. That's bugged me for years.
Posted by: Chaim Shraga | June 8, 2012 5:43 PM
I agree with Chalm Shraga's comment. I wish they had included this in Classic X-Men. It's the same writer and artist and it fits in perfectly - it also has a number of developments to that team. Annoying to have never read it until now.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 29, 2015 1:14 PM
They might have kept it out because the X-men made such a poor showing against an unpowered kung-fu guy. The Fist basically kicks their butts for pages and pages until numbers tell. Pretty embarassing the way Wolverine boasts about himself in the 3rd person after the way that Fist handed him his head (and would have killed him if not for Nightcrawler)
Posted by: kveto | March 29, 2015 3:20 PM
This last issue is mainly a comedy of errors, and it's a great deal of fun for the reader. Although Wolverine's claws and Storm's lightning bolts pose a serious threat to Iron Fist's life, the serious stuff here -- Misty going undercover and The Steel Serpent ambushing IF for the second time -- is in the subplots. Otherwise, the tone is set by Wolverine: "Bub, I'm gonna enjoy this fracas." What else can you say when Storm gets drawn into the melee by being hit in the face with a bowl of potato salad? The end is a string of jokes: Fist's bug eyes as Wolverine's claws pierce his mask, Fist's "secret" ID getting blown yet again, Danny being the owner of the building and thus saving Jean from eviction, Jean volunteering Wolverine to clean up his mess (wonderful final panel), even the bearded blond creators poking fun at themselves.
This was/is one of my fave single issues from the 70s. Makes you sad the series was canceled, but at least it went out on a high note. Like Starlin's canceled Warlock at the same time, the plot line was wrapped up elsewhere.
I wouldn't call Fist "unpowered" (kveto), because his chi energy gives him the Iron Fist, along with various convenient misc. abilities such as absorbing radiation, healing himself, even mind-melding (shades of Spock). It's only the Iron Fist that allows him to temporarily impede Colossus. To me, Fist's strong showing in the short run here seems fully credible.
Posted by: Instantiation | October 17, 2015 12:56 PM
you know what I meant. splitting-hairs, and all that.
Posted by: kveto | October 17, 2015 1:09 PM
Phoenix and Wolverine's faces (maybe a few others, too), were redrawn by Dave Cockrum throughout the issue, which is odd since this was meant to pass the baton to John Byrne for taking over X-MEN.
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | October 17, 2015 3:27 PM
Cockrum, btw, also appears with the other "bearded blonds" at the top of the last page, so that makes more sense knowing what you've mentioned, Vincent. (And Nightcrawler is asking the colorist Bonnie Wilford, who was married for a while to Claremont, for a dance.) I've always noticed how Phoenix's entrance, in particular, is unmistakably in Cockrum's style but wasn't sure whether Byrne was just mimicking it there or what, so thanks for the info.
kveto, certainly not trying to annoy you, my friend, just trying to be accurate. As a thought experiment, substitute Shang-Chi for Fist here. He'd have done at least as well against Wolverine and Nightcrawler, but he would have had no way to send Colossus flying into the next room. So the fight probably would have ended about three pages sooner. Thickness-wise, three pages might be a hair, but width- and pleasure-wise (esp. in this case, with the potato salad), it's more. ;-)
Posted by: Instantiation | October 17, 2015 9:22 PM
Would have liked to see Logan wear this costume more. This issue is pretty much the only time when it's treat as an actual design change (as Cockrum intended) rather than a makeshift costume.
Posted by: Scott | December 16, 2015 11:46 AM
The Fang costume has a better color scheme than Wolverine's blue and gold costume, but the fin mask is almost as distinctive a visual as Wolverine's hair cut. I can see why John Byrne went back to the blue and gold and ultimately why he combined the best of both suits into Wolverine's brown costume, which has always been the character's best costume in my opinion.
I believe there was a Comic Book Legends Revealed from awhile ago confirming that Cockrum redrew Wolverine's face in this issue. It also looks to me like Cockrum drew not only the faces, but the entire figures for Phoenix and Cyclops in the scan above.
Posted by: Red Comet | December 16, 2015 1:24 PM
Perhaps this issue was Claremont’s way of attempting to transform Iron Fist readers in to X-Men readers. With Iron Fist on the way out, its readers would have a spare thirty or thirty-five cents in their pockets each month, and this may have been his attempt to keep that coin incoming on his books.
The notes about Cockrum redrawing Byrne’s art made me laugh. While Byrne is high on my list of preferred comic artists, he is certainly not my favorite and I rank Cockrum above him. Prior to reading these comments, I had thought that this issue was Byrne’s best work drawing the X-Men, which just cements my feelings on the two artists.
As for the Fang costume, I am glad it died with this issue and applaud Byrne’s creation of the brown Wolvie costume.
Posted by: Jesse | December 16, 2015 3:45 PM
I prefer the Byrne brown costume but I would not have minded at all if Wolverine had wore the Fang costume until then.
Although I've had a soft spot for it since Wolverine BRIEFLY wore it in #109 which was my first classic X-Men issue.
Posted by: AF | February 5, 2016 12:20 PM
The last four or so issues of this title really show how Claremont fully transitioned the book from a kung-fu title to a more straightforward superhero book with Misunderstanding Fights, costumed supervillains, and a richer rogues' gallery. Sure Davos is still around, but he's being supplemented by very different types of antagonists and plots, like Bushmaster's international crime syndicate and Misty's infiltration plot. It's a title that could have outlives the martial arts fad as a solo book.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | December 30, 2017 9:33 AM
GCD and CBR both confirm that Dave Cockrum did indeed pencil the X-Men faces for this final issue of Iron Fist, as discussed above. Cockrum also penciled and inked the cover. I too was unaware of this comic's place in X-Men history before today, so thanks!
Posted by: Holt | March 8, 2018 4:52 PM
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