Chris Claremont may be most famous for his run on Uncanny X-Men from 1975-1991 wherein he reinvigorated the team of mutants into what became the pop culture phenomenon we know today. But what a lot of people don’t know is what we also have him to thank for one of the best comic book duos since Batman and Robin, Power Man and Iron Fist. And with Luke Cage making his mainstream presence felt now thanks to the Marvel Netflix series as well as Iron Fist making his own Netflix tv debut next month, it was time to shed some light on to just how this team got started in the comics to begin with.
Luke Cage first started out in his own series back in 1972, created by John Romita Sr. and Archie Goodwin, a new kind of superhero, with a different kind of story for a new era. It was largely inspired by the popular Blaxpoitation films of the 70s such as Shaft, or Superfly, and was the first ever black superhero with his own lead title in comic book history.
Danny Rand a.k.a. Iron Fist first premiered in, appropriately enough, Marvel Premiere, which was a showcase title for new characters to possibly give them their own books if proving popular enough. His behind the scenes origin story was also very much a product of it’s time, with the Kung Fu craze sweeping the country. After a few issue run in the book the character got his own title in November of 1975, written by Chris Claremont with art by John Byrne.
By 1977, Iron Fist was cancelled, and Power Man was on it’s last legs as well. The decision was made to combine the two books into a team to keep both characters going. But, to wrap up some lingering plotlines from the solo Iron Fist book Claremont used another of his books that he was writing, Marvel Team Up, to have Spider-Man team up with Iron Fist and the Daughters Of the Dragon (Iron Fist allies Misty Knight and Colleen Wing), to finish those up and to establish the Danny Rand/Misty Knight relationship as well, which I imagine had to have carried some level of controversy at the time, (being an interracial couple)before fully setting the team into motion with a story arc in Power Man 48-50. This story, at it’s conclusion of the story had Luke’s criminal record from his past expunged with the truth of his framing initially by Diamondback, resolving that part of his character that had been with him since the beginning of his creation, and setting the team forward to the future with the renaming of the book Power Man and Iron Fist.
Any other bits of comic book trivia you want answered or want to know the backstory of? Let me know in the comments, here, or on the official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/reelgeeksguide/ Or on Twitter @reel_geek And, just to let you know, if you’re in the Virginia Beach, Virginia area this May, you can meet Chris Claremont at the Tidewater Comicon. Til next time friends, be sure to Keep It Reel Geeky.