Ed Brisson discusses the villain seeking to destroy the Living Weapon!

Choshin has proven himself to be a man not easily denied—not even by the IRON FIST creative team, writer Ed Brisson and artist Mike Perkins. Originally conceived to play a smaller part in the duo’s run on the series, the antagonist asserted himself until Brisson knew that he deserved to be one of Danny Rand’s central antagonists.

And on January 3, the villain’s influence expands even further in IRON FIST #76! With K’un-Lun under siege, even the combined might of Danny and Sabretooth may not be enough to stop Choshin and his invaders.

We caught up with Brisson to get the full background on the Iron Fist’s newest adversary.

Marvel.com: When you first began to imagine Choshin as the big bad for this run on IRON FIST, what qualities did you want to make sure he brought to the table?

Ed Brisson: Choshin’s not the most pleasant man, but I always wanted to ensure that he does what he legitimately believes to be right and good for the people of Liu-Shi. He’s stubborn, he’s pig-headed, and he’s more than a little too confident.

He brings Iron Fist to Liu-Shi initially, confident that the Seven Masters would easily best Danny. He felt it would be good for the people of Liu-Shi to see that, but of course, his plans go awry.

Choshin has tried to pivot after this. With Liu-Shi now exposed, they can no longer operate in shadows.

Marvel.com: How has the character evolved since you initially conceived of him?

Ed Brisson: Well, initially Choshin had a smaller role and wasn’t going to be one of the council members of Liu-Shi, but as we developed the story, we switched up the council members quite a bit.  We decided to give Choshin a more prominent role on the council and, thus, a larger role in the book. He’s someone who may not be the head honcho, but he certainly pulls more strings than readers may initially realize.

Marvel.com: When it came to Choshin, what role did series artist Mike Perkins’ art and design play in the realization of that character?

Ed Brisson: Everything. As mentioned above, Choshin started as a minor character and grew into something much more. I think that’s partially because of how Mike portrayed him in the book, but honestly, the writing and the art are so intertwined that it’s sometimes hard to remember what came first.

Marvel.com: How would you summarize Choshin’s general modus operandi and code of ethics?

Ed Brisson: Choshin doesn’t see himself as a villain. He’s a man who’s trying to help bring K’un-Lun back to what he sees as its past greatness. To him, Iron Fist—an outworlder who, to Choshin’s mind, has no real claim to the title—Sparrow, etc. all act as symptoms that will lead to K’un-Lun’s downfall.

And, while he works for Liu-Shi’s interests, he’s not working with Liu-Shi’s interests, if that makes sense. Not everyone in Liu-Shi sees things the same way he does, which is why he’s gone off with his own militia and not kept all of Liu-Shi involved. He knows that his actions are flying in the face of the rest of the council, but since he believes so strongly in what he’s doing, he feels that the ends will justify the means.

Marvel.com: For fans late to the book, how would you summarize Choshin’s overall goals?

Ed Brisson: Simply: Choshin wants Iron Fist dead and wants to assume control of K’un-Lun—to bring it back under Liu-Shi rule. Liu-Shi, of course, being comprised of K’un-Lun ex-pats.

Marvel.com: As the book has gone on, the path to Choshin’s endgame has grown increasingly complicated. What keeps him moving forward rather than retreating or reconsidering?

Ed Brisson: Choshin still has the element of surprise on his side. K’un-Lun doesn’t know he’s coming. But, if he waits too long, that’ll change. The time for him to act must be now.

Marvel.com: What can you tease about issue #76?

Ed Brisson: Choshin unleashes hell upon K’un-Lun. It’ll be a battle that neither side will soon forget.

Return to the snowy heights of K’un-Lun in IRON FIST #76, by Ed Brisson and artist Mike Perkins, on January 3!

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The deadly new Constrictor might strangle Iron Fist’s newest team-up just as it begins.

Constrictor and Sabretooth have a long history of bedeviling Iron Fist. On December 6 in IRON FIST #75, however, things have changed. Sabretooth has aligned himself with Iron Fist and the man in the Constrictor suit has changed, as Frank Payne has died and someone else has taken on his mantel. And that someone has little interest in working with Sabretooth at all.

Writer Ed Brisson teased us with the still unrevealed identity, a possible villain double cross, and what exactly Iron Fist’s quest may have cost him.

Marvel.com: What, as a writer, appealed to you about creating a new Constrictor? Creatively, what challenges does creating a new incarnation of a previously existing character carry with it?

Ed Brisson: Well, I was looking for a good “in” to bring Sabretooth and Iron Fist together. In the past, Sabretooth and Iron Fist have clashed, but more often it’s been Sabretooth and Constrictor as a duo popping up in IRON FIST and, later, in POWER MAN AND IRON FIST. I felt it was a real shame that the original Constrictor, Frank Payne was dead. I mean, both he and Sabretooth had gone straight—or straight-ish—and so, theoretically, they and Iron Fist would be on the same side.

But, alas, Frank was dead.

In tossing the idea around more, I realized that him being dead doesn’t mean I can’t still use him—or rather, someone pretending to be him.

Marvel.com: As much as you can without spoiling things, what does this new Constrictor have in common and how does he differ from his predecessor who used that name?

Ed Brisson: I don’t want to give away too much, but there is a definite relationship between the new Constrictor and the old. The new is driven to “outdo” Frank Payne’s Constrictor for very personal reasons.

Iron Fist (2017) #75

Iron Fist (2017) #75

Marvel.com: What made him a good fit as not just an Iron Fist villain but an Iron Fist villain for this specific moment in time, for this specific arc?

Ed Brisson: For me, it felt like a natural way to bring Iron Fist and Sabretooth together. Iron Fist is after Constrictor because he stole from him and Sabretooth’s going to want to know who the hell is running around ruining his best friend’s legacy—not that Sabretooth has a “best friend,” but if he did, Constrictor/Frank Payne would probably be it.

Also, through Constrictor we’ll eventually get to see a more human side of Sabretooth that we’re not used to seeing.

Marvel.com: How did you and artist Mike Perkins collaborate to bring the villain to life? How did he influence you on elements like personality, history, motivation, and so on and how did you influence him on the villain’s look?

Ed Brisson: Mike has been amazing with character design throughout the series. We’re now 10 issues in and I believe he’s designed at least 10 new characters for the run so far. And they’ve all been great. However, when it came time for the new Constrictor, we decided to maintain the classic look. This guy wants people to think he’s the original Constrictor. He’s using the appearance of being the same person to advance his own criminal agenda.

That said, the body language definitely suggests that there’s a different, cockier man inside the suit. Mike is that master of those subtle cues.

Marvel.com: This book is currently a web of tenuous alliances that seem poised to fall apart at any moment. What is the status of the Iron Fist/Sabretooth partnership as well as that of Constrictor and Choshin at this time? How do cracks in those alliances spell danger for all involved not just the two most directly affected?

Ed Brisson: I think Sabretooth and Iron Fist are becoming more comfortable with one another, but that can change at any moment. Neither particularly likes the other, but I think that there will be a newfound respect for one another by the time we’re through with them.

As for Constrictor and Choshin, there’s trouble a brewing. Constrictor tried to pull a fast one on Choshin and Choshin is not a man you want to double cross.

Marvel.com: If you had to boil down for possible readers why this issue cannot be missed into a quick elevator pitch, what would you tell them?

Ed Brisson: This issue brings us to a moment we’ve been building to since IRON FIST #1. Iron Fist may have his chi back, but it’s possible he’s lost everything else in the process.

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Danny Rand teams up with the Master of Kung Fu, Shang-Chi!

In the immortal words of Carl Douglas, “Everybody was kung fu fighting … In fact, it was a little bit frightening.” These lyrics pretty much sum up the forthcoming two-issue arc in Ed Brisson, Mike Perkins and Andy Troy’s IRON FIST when Danny Rand teams up with Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu in Issue #6 (out Aug. 2).

Together, they’re taking on a deadly cult never before seen in Marvel comics in a story that Brisson promises is equal parts martial arts and horror. Read on to see our full interview with Ed as he describes what it was like to pair up two of the most iconic living weapons in the Marvel Universe.

Marvel.com: So tell us a little about this “murder cult” trying to kill Danny and how Shang-Chi is here to help?

Ed Brisson: Without getting into spoiler territory…After the events of The Trial of Seven Masters, Danny is just trying to get home. He’s learned more about himself and knows what he needs to do, where he needs to go. However, it seems some people don’t want him to make it home. Some people would rather see him dead. The “murder cult”, known as The Lineage of the One True Light is not a group we’ve seen in the Marvel U before. Mike Perkins and I had a lot of fun creating the look for The Lineage and their leader. I’m hoping that people will be sufficiently creeped out by them. Shang-Chi gets a tip-off on the hit and comes in to help Danny. The why of it all, you’re going to have to read to find out.

Marvel.com: What kind of dynamic can we expect between these two characters? How does Danny feel about this team-up, especially one with the son of an internationally infamous criminal mastermind?

Ed Brisson: These two are supposed to be the top kung-fu masters in the Marvel U and I think that there’s a mutual respect between them, however, we wanted to play off that a little. We’ve got them competing a little, even if it’s low key and not at the forefront. There are comments here and there that let you know that they’re both aware that the other is perhaps trying to outperform the other. As to Shang-Chi’s dad being an infamous criminal mastermind, it’s not something that is addressed. Danny knows that everyone’s got their own issues. Hell, Danny’s own father tried to kill him in Iron Fist: Living Weapon, so he’s not one to start criticizing some else’s parents.

Marvel.com: Does Danny feel insecure about his own fighting abilities in the presence of the so-called “Master of Kung Fu”? 

Ed Brisson: I don’t know if Danny feels insecure around Shang-Chi, but he certainly has a tendency towards trying to impress those around him. And that need is going to be turned up to eleven when he’s around someone who carries the title of “Master of Kung Fu”. Even though they’re working together, any competing that they do through the two-issue arc is almost guaranteed to be initiated by Danny. However, their skills will be tested in ways that neither anticipates. I think readers are really going to dig it.

Marvel.com: Using that as springboard, how do their fighting styles differ with Danny being trained in the mystical K’un-Lun and Shang-Chi in mainland China? 

Ed Brisson: Historically, Danny’s focus has been almost strictly hand-to-hand combat, where Shang-Chi has training in both hand-to-hand and in using weaponry. Iron Fist can sometimes be impulsive, where Shang-Chi is more disciplined and focused.

Marvel.com: Looking at Jeff Dekal’s cover art, I get an old school ‘70s Kung Fu movie/poorly dubbed action vibe. Did films like Bruce Lee’s Enter The Dragon influence this issue/new story arc? If so, how will we see it manifested on the page? 

Ed Brisson: His covers are amazing, aren’t they? Had the pleasure of meeting Jeff at HeroesCon a couple of weeks ago and picking up an original Iron Fist drawing. That dude is crazy talented and super nice. This one is a weird one, to be honest. The first arc was heavily influenced by my love of kung fu flicks, but this second arc is less so. This one is more of a kung fu/horror mash-up. It’s a very moody and atmospheric action piece with some pretty high stakes for our heroes. Mike Perkins and Andy Troy have done an incredible job of creating an unsettling vibe for the book. It’s a little off-kilter for what most might expect from an IRON FIST book, but I think that people are going to be pleasantly surprised.

Marvel.com: Are there any other characters in the IRON FIST mythos that are in the wings or ones you’d like to write for in future issues?

Ed Brisson: There are a couple who’re set to appear in an upcoming arc, but I don’t want to spoil anything. But, honestly, there are very few characters from Iron Fist’s past that I don’t want to bring into the series. I feel he’s got a rich gallery of villains — everyone from Razorfist to Davos — and a compelling list of supporters and friends — from Luke Cage to Colleen Wing to The Immortal Weapons. This list is as long as my arm. There are some deep cut baddies that I’ve been pitching for upcoming arcs that we’ll hopefully get to see. More immediately, though, people may have noticed Sabretooth on the cover of the first issue in the LEGACY arc. Sabretooth made his first appearance in IRON FIST #14 and the two have clashed several times since and it looks like they’re both still holding a grudge.

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Danny Rand’s island adventure comes to a brutal end!

While July 4 usually marks the height of fireworks in the United States, IRON FIST #5 will have plenty more ready for you the next day.

Danny Rand, tired but resilient, will complete his violent journey to the top of the Liu-Shi fighting tournament and finally come face to face with the shadowy final opponent who has been watching him from afar all this time. While we wouldn’t dare spoil the results, we can promise the clash will be explosive.

Writer Ed Brisson gladly took a break from cleaning all the blood off of his clothes to talk to us about the end of the Immortal Weapon’s latest martial arts contest.

Marvel.com: At the start of IRON FIST, Danny found himself losing his chi. As he pulls into this final fight, he has been awarded the chi of his fallen opponents. How has that affected his abilities? His state of mind?

Ed Brisson: At first, I think it came as a bit of relief to him. He’s finally able to tap back into his power; however, as we learn through the series, it’s fleeting. The chi he absorbs is not the same and doesn’t last, so, in a lot of ways, he’s back to square one. He’s still trying to find out why he has trouble connecting with his chi. Until he knows why, he has no idea how to fix it.

He came to Liu-Shi looking for answers and while he may find some, he’s discovered new questions that he’ll need to answer.

Marvel.com: The final opponent has made an effort to keep him or herself largely in the shadows. Without spoiling anything, what can you tell us about this mysterious foe?

Ed Brisson: Oh man…I want to, but that’s one of those things that I think is better left for the reader to discover. Let’s just say that this fight is a fight that’s been in the making since the 70s.

Marvel.com: How did Mike Perkins’ art help you realize the tone and look of the final boss? How did his depiction of the character inform your writing of him and of the fight?

Ed Brisson: Going in, we had a very clear idea of who the final boss was; there’s an existing history to him that we’re building upon. Design wise, Mike came up with an incredible look for him. Something classic that doesn’t look dated. I can’t get too deep into it without risk of spoiling things, but will say that Mike nailed the design. Which is no surprise, Mike has designed some incredible characters for this series.

Iron Fist #5 cover by Jeff Dekal

In terms of Mike’s fights and choreography—after seeing the very first fight scene in issue #2, I stopped scripting fight scenes for Mike. When we get to a fight page, I’ll usually give a bare-bones run down of what happens and leave the rest to Mike. Normally, I don’t write that way, but have found that with Mike, the best thing to do is get out of his way and let him work his magic. That’s how you end up with some pages that have 22 panels of the most killer fighting you’ve ever seen in a comic.

Marvel.com: It has been clear since issue #2 that the houses of the island have no intention of playing fair with Iron Fist. Now that he stands one antagonist away from total victory, how dangerous are the schools to him even though he’s defeated their champions?

Ed Brisson: Although the island operates under one governing council, each house/school has a very distinct personality and will react to the loss in their own way. Some of the houses will accept the loss gracefully. Others, not as much. And some…well, some will not accept loss at any cost.

The long term of this is that we’re going to see Danny making pathways with new allies, while also adding a whole slew of enemies to his already bursting fight dance card.

Even though Danny may soon be done with the Liu-Shi, that doesn’t mean that Liu-Shi is done with him.

Marvel.com: In considering this last issue of your first arc on the title, what would you tell fans who think they might want to pick it up but aren’t sure? What makes this issue an important get for fans of Iron Fist?

Ed Brisson: Anyone who’s a fan of kung fu flicks should pick up the series. We’re leaning hard into that old Shaw Bros feel and I think that a lot of people have been pretty happy with it. We’re really doing our best to honor Iron Fist’s roots by telling a tale that feels classic, but also contemporary all at once.

Marvel.com: In looking beyond #5, can you tease any elements or stories that may await Danny if he can survive this last fight?

Ed Brisson: In issues #6 and #7, Danny is just trying to get back home. There’ll be some unfinished business and the tournament will have some lasting repercussions that Danny is going to have to deal with for the foreseeable future. But, in the meantime, he’s trying to get back home and…well, some folks are trying to stop him from doing even that. We’ll meet some new baddies, which I’m pretty excited about. But, I think readers will be happy to see Shang-Chi, Marvel’s other Kung Fu Master, popping up to help Danny fight against this new threat.

Catch the thrilling conclusion to the first arc of IRON FIST by Ed Brisson and Mike Perkins with July 5’s issue #5!

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Danny Rand finds himself trapped between two deadly opponents!

Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist, struggled against The Eel of the Blessed Waters on the beaches of Liu-Shi but nonetheless proved successful this week in IRON FIST #2. In issue #3, due in stores on May 3, the Immortal Weapon takes on both The Rat of 12 Plagues and The Resourceful Snake and the results may not be as pretty for the erstwhile hero.

Writer Ed Brisson took a break from watching the Vegas odds on the Labor in Liu-Shi to help us handicap the upcoming bouts.

Marvel.com: As we see briefly at the end of IRON FIST #2, The Rat of 12 Plagues is a creepy looking opponent. Can you take us through how you and series artist Mike Perkins collaborated on his look? Where did the inspiration for the character come from for you in the first place?

Ed Brisson: I always wanted The Rat of 12 Plagues to be, as his name would indicate, a terrifying opponent. Initially, I’d had an idea of the type of place The Rat would live and the personality spun out of that. I’d originally had him as someone who’d lived like a rat, in sewers, but as I went to script, it made more sense that he’d lived his life out in a ghost village. A child who was the sole survivor of a massacre, who had to find a way to survive amongst the dead.

Mike’s the one who really made the character come to life though. I gave him only brief notes on each of the seven and Mike just went to town. The look for Rat of 12 Plagues is 100% Perkins.

Marvel.com: For Danny, what makes The Rat a uniquely dangerous opponent?

Ed Brisson: He’s so deadly because he’s both a Kung Fu master and a living plague. With one touch of his claws, he can infect an opponent with sickness like they’ve never experienced before. Other than his sifu, none have encountered The Rat of 12 Plagues and lived to talk about it.

Marvel.com: What is one feature of Rat that you find particularly exciting or interesting as a writer?

Ed Brisson: He’s a survivor. He may be nasty and disease ridden, but he was left to fend for himself at a young age and managed to overcome the elements, famine and even disease. Not only did he survive disease, he conquered it and learned to use it as a weapon for his own survival. He absorbs the essence of others to feed himself, which makes him necessarily evil. And that sort of evil is a lot of fun to explore.

Iron Fist #3 cover by Jeff Dekal

Marvel.com: If Iron Fist can defeat Rat of 12 Plagues, next on the fight docket is The Resourceful Snake. As a character, what makes Snake stand out for you creatively?

Ed Brisson: The Resourceful Snake has a past that’s not entirely dissimilar to Danny’s. I can’t divulge too much here, for fear of spoiling, but these two would have a lot to talk about if they weren’t on a mission to beat each other’s heads in. The Resourceful Snake has a lot to prove and, as we’ll find out, Danny provides him with a bit of a second chance to right a past wrong.

Marvel.com: The cover of IRON FIST #3 appears to showcase The Resourceful Snake and reveals him to be a double amputee. Where in the creative process and how did he come together for you? What role did Perkins have in aiding you in the Resourceful Snake’s creation?

Ed Brisson: Again, this one is a little tough to get into without spoiling. The Resourceful Snake is missing both arms. That initially started off as a bit of a nod to the One-Armed Swordsman films. We just took it one arm further, I guess. The Resourceful Snake is a powerful combatant with a long history as a skilled combatant.

We do learn how he lost his arms and that, not surprisingly, will play a role in why he’s eager to fight Iron Fist.

When we were putting together, the notes I gave Mike on The Resourceful Snake were not much more than: He’s a fighter who lost both arms in combat, but that has not stopped him. He’s adapted [and] refined his style and can now beat any four-limbed opponent he faces. In my description, I believe he was angry, but Mike came back with a more jovial looking character and I think that works much better, so I made sure to write him as such when the time came.

Marvel.com: As Danny Rand continues on his quest to win the whole tournament and hopefully reset his own chi, how is his understanding of the stakes evolving, if at all, in issue #3? Does he have an inkling that something more complex is going on than he was initially led to believe?

Ed Brisson: Absolutely. There’s something going on beneath the surface here. Danny quickly becomes ensnared in a conspiracy and learns that the odds are stacked against him winning. And, even if he does win, there’s no guarantee that he’s ever getting off this island.

The next round kicks off in IRON FIST #3 by Ed Brisson and Mike Perkins on May 3!

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Pick up fresh takes on the Immortal Weapon from awesome artists!

This March, fists and feet will fly as Danny Rand is going solo and exploding back on to the scene in the highly-anticipated IRON FIST #1! Writer Ed Brisson and artist Mike Perkins are bringing epic kung-fu action to a new ongoing series – as the titular hero faces a gauntlet of mystical foes!

To celebrate the release of the upcoming new series, Marvel has partnered with valued retail partners across the globe to produce custom IRON FIST #1 variant covers from blockbuster artists! Participating retailers have the opportunity to showcase Marvel’s hard-hitting new series with covers exclusive to their stores!

  • Bill Sienkiewicz – Golden Apple WonderCon 2017
  • Gabriele Dell’Otto – Frankie’s Comics
  • Scott Campbell Venomized/Anti-Venomized – Midtown Comics
  • John Tyler Christopher – Fried Pie Variants
  • Mike McKone – Fan Expo Dallas
  • Ryan Stegman – The Hall of Comics/CBCS

Want to know more? Fans are encouraged to check with their local comic book retailers for more information and availability for these can’t-miss variant covers. Danny Rand’s trial of mythic proportions is about to begin. Feel the fury of the Iron Fist on March 22, when IRON FIST #1 comes to comic shops everywhere!

For more IRON FIST, read an exclusive interview with Ed Brisson complete with character designs and more!

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Artist Mike Perkins talks designing a world and antagonists for Danny Rand!

Iron Fist can be beautiful, nearly balletic in his movements.

Iron Fist can be brutal, nearly barbaric in his fights.

Both statements capture truths about Danny Rand and yet they seem so far apart. To realize this dichotomous world takes a talented artist and in the new IRON FIST series coming March 22, Mike Perkins proved the right person for the job.

Perkins kindly explored with us the challenge of capturing a man of grace and aggression and the joy of creating antagonists to oppose him.

Marvel.com: From an artistic standpoint, what did you think were the elements absolutely necessary to portray the character and world of Iron Fist effectively?

Mike Perkins: It was extremely important to show the realism and…brutality for want of a better word of the fight scenes. Especially in the first issue when Danny is battling his way around the underground fighting dens looking for a challenge. As a team we decided to get in close on the action—to make it more immediate and visceral.

Marvel.com: As an artist, of course, you want to do more than just copy those who have come before you. For you, what aspects are you playing up that others have not or what new elements are you seeking to bring into the book?

Mike Perkins: I think it’s probably that gritty realism. You’re dealing with a character who has pummeled his way through the elegant line work of Gil Kane, Larry Hama, and John Byrne. More recently David Aja, Kaare Andrews, and Sanford Greene have brought a stylized sense of realism to the look of Iron Fist. Now I get the chance to bring him back down to earth without forgetting that mystical element that sets him apart.

Marvel.com: IRON FIST also gives you the unique opportunity to design seven new antagonists for Danny: The Eel, The Rat, The Rabbit, The Snake, The Wolf, The Bull, and The Bear. What can you tell readers about the process of creating these characters? What can you tell us about the designs you settled on?

Mike Perkins: Designing these characters was a pure joy.

It’s always fun to bring something new to the page and, because of the Gauntlet fighters animal totem theme, it was interesting and intriguing to bring some of those attributes to the fore. I had to think of the movement of the individual characters; that’s important to me. Every character should hold themselves in a different manner, move around the scene with a personal posture that reflects the animal they’re representing.

Wait until you experience The Rat. I think he’s going to be a favorite of the readership and his initial appearance gets to play with two great flavors: martial arts and horror.

Marvel.com: How has the collaborative process with writer Ed Brisson been? How does his approach to writing mesh with your artistic process?

Mike Perkins: I’m aware of Ed’s previous work and he writes the kind of books I like to read. There’s a lot of meat to his characters and perhaps that’s why I was chosen for this IRON FIST series as the character work and gritty realism seem to be a forte of mine.

Marvel.com: Were there any elements or characters you found to be unexpectedly challenging or that you ended up liking a lot more than you thought you would when you started the project?

Mike Perkins: Any new character is challenging but Ed did such a great job of depicting them in his descriptions that the imaginative flourishes I added only enhanced what was already there. When I initially wrapped up the Gauntlet fighters character studies I was so excited by them that I just wanted to jump straight on to the book and get going. I knew I would end up liking all of them a lot more when Ed started solidifying their character traits.

IRON FIST #1 from Ed Brisson and Mike Perkins kicks off on March 22!

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Get your exclusive first look at Danny Rand’s new foes, plus writer Ed Brisson shares details!

Danny Rand finds himself in a real good news-bad new kind of situation beginning March 22. The good news? He’s the star of a brand-new IRON FIST ongoing series. The bad? K’un-Lun lays in ruins, his powers appear unreliable at best, and he has been mystically abducted to a strange and mystical island.

Writer Ed Brisson took a short break from derailing the life of Iron Fist to hint at what awaits Rand in the new book. Plus, get an exclusive sneak peek at the fresh foes that will be plaguing Danny courtesy of series artist Mike Perkins!

Marvel.com: In considering the years of Iron Fist stories, what do you consider to be the essential elements of Danny Rand?

Ed Brisson: I think the major thing about Danny is that he’s almost always an outsider. He was the orphan taken into K’un-Lun, where he spent his formative years. When he left K’un-Lun, he returned to a city—New York—that was completely foreign to him, even though it was his home. He’s always got a foot in each world, which I think makes it difficult for him to fully fit in in either.

You often see him trying to overcompensate for these feelings with his humor, which is something that I love about him. He’s always looking to be a people pleaser. It doesn’t always serve him, but he doesn’t give up.

Marvel.com: Looking beyond those essentials, however, every writer wants to make a character their own by exploring unique aspects of the character. For you with Iron Fist, where did you find those parts that you thought you could use to really make an impact?

Ed Brisson: For this first arc, I really wanted to focus in on Danny’s own sense of identity. What happens when the one thing he was sure of about himself is being stripped away? How far will he go and what potentially dangerous situations will he put himself into just for a sliver of hope that it’ll allow him to hang on to the one thing that defines him?

Marvel.com: At the start of the IRON FIST #1, where do we find Danny Rand, both in physical space and in terms of mentality?

Ed Brisson: When we join Danny, he’s struggling to access his Chi. He’s unable to call forth the thing that makes him Iron Fist. He’s losing his sense of who he is and struggling to hold onto this thing that has defined him for most of his life. Who is he if not Iron Fist?

Because he’s separated from K’un-Lun, he can’t return to seek the answers he needs so he’s focusing on his Kung-Fu, the one thing he still has, and is trying to push himself, hoping that a spark will ignite. That somehow he’ll reconnect.

The problem with being the best, though, is that there is no one out there that’s able to properly push him. And that comes with its own set of problems.

Marvel.com: One thing that is different we learn early on is that K’un-Lun has been devastated. How much of an influence does that change in the mystical city’s status have in Iron Fist’s life?

Ed Brisson: We saw the destruction of K’un-Lun in Kaare Andrews’ run on IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON. In this series, we’re taking the baton and running with it.

K’un-Lun’s current status is a larger part of why Danny’s struggling to connect. The city provides him with his powers and with the city now down…well, so are Danny’s powers.

Marvel.com: Is the “how” and “why” of K’un-Lun’s destruction an important element of the story?

Ed Brisson: It’s not the central theme to the story, but the how and why certainly do play into where Danny’s journey leads him—or rather, why he’s being lead on it.

What does it mean to be the champion of a city that lays in ruins because you were not there to protect it? That’s something that Danny’s going to have to struggle with. Something that’s going to be thrown in his face several times.

Marvel.com: Shortly after learning his patron city’s fate, Rand finds himself in another unusual locale: Liu-Shi. What has drawn Danny to this place?

Ed Brisson: Liu-Shi presents itself as an island—or series of islands—where Kung-Fu is king. They’ve dedicated themselves to the perfection of it, drawing on other, more mystical influences.

Like Danny, they’re looking for a chance to prove themselves. And, who better to prove themselves against than Kung-Fu Master and current reigning Champion of K’un-Lun.

Of course, there’s more to Liu-Shi than meets the eye and a large part of this first arc will be peeling back the layers to what the island really is and what it is that they’re really after.

Marvel.com: In brief, what can you tell us about the seven champions that also are on Liu-Shi? What, if any, relationship do they have to Iron Fist?

Ed Brisson: The Seven Masters of Liu-Shi are: The Eel of Blessed Waters, The Rat of Twelve Plagues, The Resourceful Snake, The Rabbit of Holy Flame, The Long-Armed Bull, The Mountain Slaying Bear and The Divine Wolf. Each is the champion of each of the seven schools of Kung-Fu on the island. There’s a specific reason why there are seven, but readers will have to check out the series to find out why.

Over the series, it’ll become clear that some of the seven have very real beefs with Danny and/or K’un-Lun. That the timing of them appearing in Danny’s life at this moment is not coincidental.

These characters were a lot of fun to create and Mike Perkins did an amazing job in designing them. I think that readers are going to get a kick out of the new characters. Big nods to 70’s Kung-Fu flicks are in store!

Marvel.com: Speaking of the artist, how does Mike Perkins’ art style complement your aims with this title? How does his work enable your vision for the story to be realized?

Ed Brisson: Mike is an incredible artist whose art feels grounded, while still feeling larger than life, if that makes any sense at all. Everything has a purpose. His character acting and storytelling skills are beyond compare. He also brings a lot of strong design skills to the table, but is also open to input.

I’ve found that talking with him about stuff has been really easy, which is great. You don’t often get to have that type of dialog when working on a bigger book. We’re both on the same page and have been excited about what the other is doing. That’s something that I think you’ll be able to see on the page.

IRON FIST #1 from Ed Brisson and Mike Perkins kicks off the action on March 22!

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