The First Iron Fist Revealed In Avengers #13

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
We learn the origins of the Iron Fist of 1,000,000 BC, Fan Fei. She was the first Iron Fist, punished by K’un-Lun for teaching kung fu to the fledgling human race. She and her students were to be fed to the dragon, Shou-Lao. Instead, Fan Fei killed Shou-Lao and was exiled from K’un-Lun. She wandered the Earth afterwards, learning about the powers she gained from killing the dragon and protecting human race from the monsters that lurked the Earth so long ago.

Avengers #13 cover by Steve Epting
Avengers #13 cover by Steve Epting

Avengers #13 continues to expand on the backstory of Avengers 1,000,000 BC. For my money, I’m not actually as interested in this ancient Avengers team compared to the ongoing plots in the present-day stories. That said, Jason Aaron and Andrea Sorrentino do a hell of a job in making the first Iron Fist a compelling character.
She is both rebellious and ponderous. She wants to protect humanity, but she is aware that there is no real reason to do so when its enemies are just trying to survive this savage world too.
It also plays into what we already knew about K’un-Lun. In Iron Fist comics, the sacred city often plays this psuedo-adversarial role despite being innately “good” and “holy.” Danny Rand became his true self when he rejected the opportunity to be the immortal protector of the city. The same can be said for Orson Randall and other Iron Fists we know about. K’un-Lun is to be respected but not always obeyed.
Avengers #13 art by Andrea Sorrentino, Justin Ponsor, Erick Arciniega, and letterer VC's Cory Petit
Avengers #13 art by Andrea Sorrentino, Justin Ponsor, Erick Arciniega, and letterer VC’s Cory Petit

Andrea Sorrentino is easily among the most interesting comic artists currently working in the biz, and this issue shows a versatility in his style. It’s a little more restrained and conventional, but the earmarks of Sorrentino’s work are still there. It looks damn good on the whole and is complimented well by the cold and balanced colors of Justin Ponsor and Erick Arciniega.
Avengers #13 is a damn good origin story for Iron Fist 1,000,000 BC as well as the idea of an Iron Fist altogether. Fan Fei is an interesting character, and her quest absorbs the reader with ease. This comic earns a recommendation. Check it out.
Avengers #13 comes to us from writer Jason Aaron, artist Andrea Sorrentino, color artists Justin Ponsor and Erick Arciniega, letterer VC’s Cory Petit, cover artist Steve Epting, and variant cover artists Mike McKone with Jesus Aburtov and Patch Zircher with Jason Keith.

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