Marvel Team-Up #63-64
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #63, Marvel Team-Up #64
It turns out he is the son of Lei Kung the Thunderer, and he competed against Danny's father for the title of Iron Fist but failed. He even attempted to face the dragon Shou-Lao the Undying, which explains his partial chest branding, but failed to defeat it.
Iron Fist is defeated in his first match against the Serpent, and he loses, with the Serpent stealing his power and Misty rescuing him from being killed. In the next issue, which is nominally a team-up between Spider-Man and the Daughters of the Dragon, Iron Fist defeats the Serpent in the rematch as the Serpent literally burns himself out trying to use the power of the Iron Fist.
Lei Kung and Yu-Ti observe all of this from K'un-Lun.
Not sure exactly why this would be, but there's some fairly clunky dialogue and plotting in these issues. First of all, Misty blows her assignment as an undercover agent in the Bushmaster's organization in order to go and rescue Danny, thanks to her overhearing a very expository phone call between the Bushmaster and his agent. ("You say this hero will be taken care of tonight? Excellent! And there's no possibility of anything going wrong? I see...").
Considering the effort, danger, and humiliation (it is implied that she has been sleeping with the Bushmaster) she had to go through, it seems very out of character for her to blow her cover like that. Misty is a pretty level headed character; you'd think she'd just say "Danny can handle himself". This is setting aside the fact that the Bushmaster had absolutely nothing to do with the Serpent's attack; the only reason he's having that conversation is so that Misty can be brought into the plot.
Second, this entirely an Iron Fist story. Spider-Man contributes actually nothing, and Misty and Colleen, supposedly the co-stars of the second issue, don't really get to do anything. Everyone gets a few obligatory hits in, of course; it's just that they're completely irrelevant to the plot, especially once they realize it's an "Iron Fist has to do this for himself" sort of a thing.
Spider-Man referring to Iron Fist "fighting that reject from Enter The Dragon", even though Iron Fist and the Steel Serpent are essentially wearing the exact same outfit, was another "Whuhuh?" moment for me.
Despite its contrivances, it's still a decent story, and John Byrne's art is always nice.
A back-up story by Sholly Fisch, James Fry, and Mark McKenna from the reprint in Marvel Tales #198 has Spider-Man getting into a fight with a mind-controlled Thing while the FF are on their way to fight the Puppet Master. The idea is that the Puppet Master wanted to get rid of the Thing for a while, so he sent him after someone he knew the Thing couldn't catch. It's cute.
From a continuity perspective, it's a timeless story that can fit anywhere, including right here.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: Issue #64 is reprinted in Marvel Tales #198
Inbound References (3): show
August Personage In Jade, Bushmaster, Colleen Wing, Iron Fist, Lei Kung the Thunderer, Misty Knight, Spider-Man, Steel Serpent
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