First Appearance: Marvel Premiere #15 (May 1974)
Created by: Roy Thomas and Gil Kane
Strengths and Abilities: Master Martial Artist.
Iron Fists’ real name is Danny Rand, he was born in New York City to an affluent family, businessman father Wendell Rand and socialite mother, Heather Duncan. He became an orphan during an expedition his father organized in efforts to find K’un-Lun in the Himalayas. During this difficult trek, his traitorous business partner, Harold Meachum, killed Wendell. Heather died soon after in efforts to protect her son from a pack of wolves.
Iron Fist, like many Marvel characters, was not born into his powers, but rather acquired them through special training. 9 year old Danny was led to the mystical city of K'un-Lun where he swore to seek revenge for the death of his parents. He trained with martial artist, Lei Kung the Thunderer. Lei Kung put him through intense training, teaching him to plunge his fists through materials such as sand, rock and gravel. Danny’s commitment and dedication led him to becoming Lei Kung’s most promising student and a master of martial arts, skilled in various types of weaponry.
Danny Rand is not the first Iron Fist, but actually comes from a lineage of sixty-five other Iron Fists who preceded him. Danny Rand's immediate predecessor is Orson Randall, who fought in World War I (Orson later turned to opium and alcohol post World War I trauma). Danny’s father was inspired by Randall to find the mystical land of K’un-Lun. Some of the other known Iron Fists include Quan Yaozu, Wu Ao-Shi (the first female Iron Fist), Bei Ming-Tian, Bei Bang-Wen and Li Park.
K’un-Lun is one of the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven and exists in a completely different dimension which can only be found every ten years. The other cities include K’un Zi, Peng Lai Island, Tiger Island, Under City, Kingdom of Spiders and Z’Gambo Under City.
At the age of nineteen, Danny took on the challenge to fight the formidable dragon Shou-Lao the Undying. Rand was able to conquer the dragon by plunging his fists into its molten heart and clinging onto its chest, in return, burning the dragon symbol onto his own body. Iron Fist was born.