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Wrap it Up – Namor Brings Iron Fist Back to Life Through Magic and Skrulls

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This feature is a lot like my Provide Some Answers feature, which is about long-running comic book plots finally being resolved. This, though, is a more specific comic book occurrence where the plotlines of a canceled comic book are wrapped up in the pages of another comic book series. This would happen most frequently in Marvel Comics, but other companies did it, as well.

Today, in a story I addressed in the past with Abandoned an’ Forsaked, we look at how Namor brought Iron Fist back to life after his seeming murder at the end of the Power Man and Iron Fist series…

Christopher Priest took over Power Man and Iron Fist with #111, where he introduced an interesting new character known as Captain Hero, who was actually a young boy…

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Even more surprising is the revelation that the young boy has only a few months to live…

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A few issues later, Iron Fist was exposed to some serious levels of radiation and began suffering from a deadly case of radiation poisoning. He and Power Man headed to K’un-Lun to see if they could cure Iron Fist mystically in a storyline in #118-120 that also involves longtime Iron Fist enemy Master Khan.

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They manage to do so, but only by unlocking a dark force within Iron Fist…

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In the end, they save Danny’s soul and he is seemingly cured…

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However, the red suit still comes out when Danny gets angry. That is the status quo for the next few issues, which takes us to Power Man and Iron Fist #125, where Bobby takes a turn for the worse…

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Eventually Bobby is seemingly healed through the use of the Nega Bands (after Iron Fist used his mystical healing energies to keep Bobby alive until the Nega Bands solution was discovered)…

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But later that night, Luke Cage leaves…

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And while Luke is absent, Bobby wakes up in tremendous pain and is near death. He is so distraught that he ends up accidentally killing Iron Fist…

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So that was the end of the series. Power Man on the run and Iron Fist dead.

Meanwhile, Priest had introduced a new supporting character – a cop named Tyrone King. You saw him above. He was a mysterious guy.

At the end of the issue, he is blown up, but…

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Ooooh…mysterious!

So this was the status quo for a surprisingly long time, over FOUR years! A number of writers WANTED to resolve it, but it just never actually happened.

So read on to see how John Byrne, in the pages of his Namor the Sub-Mariner series, finally DID wrap it up!

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34 Comments

I had been enjoying Byrne’s Namor series until these issues came along. Suddenly I found myself reading a retcon of the ending of a completely different series that had absolutely no relation to the series it was appearing in. It was as if The Mary Tyler Moore Show had decided to devote an entire season to wrapping up loose ends from Hogan’s Heroes.

Considering that miniseries and graphic novels were most definitely things that existed in the early 90s, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why Byrne didn’t persuade Marvel to do a Return of Iron Fist miniseries or graphic novel, rather than suddenly turn Namor into a supporting player in a story that had absolutely nothing to do with him in his own comic.

Wire– Same here. The story itself is not so bad but Namor does become a secondary player in his own book. This story is kicked off with a Namor / Wolverine battle that had Namor acting oddly self effacing about his power.

IIRC, possibly from a previous discussion here, The “Tyrone King is Master Kahn” bit is built into the character: Tyrone means Lord, as in Master and Khan means King. The names are effectively interchangeable.

interesting always figured that iron fist getting killed by captain hero was a plot by khan from the start. and find out it was the super skull being used as part of it nice way for marvel to resolve stuff with iron fist and luke cage. plus the fact that khan some how was able to use the crimson bands of cytorack a doctor strange trick to boot too.

IIRC, possibly from a previous discussion here, The “Tyrone King is Master Kahn” bit is built into the character: Tyrone means Lord, as in Master and Khan means King. The names are effectively interchangeable.

Yes, that was something that Roger Stern had suggested that Byrne chose to incorporate.

It’s odd that Byrne chose to devote so many issues to wrapping up loose ends from POWER MAN & IRON FIST, as he’d previously decried the practice of resolving plot threads from canceled books in the still-running ones (like when Marv Wolfman wrapped up NOVA loose ends in the FF).

Man, that was some great art from Bright and Byrne and, of course, some convoluted storytelling from Byrne. I wonder if any of Byrne’s stuff had ANYTHING to do with what Priest had originally set in motion.

I miss the real Tyrone King.

And Gordy and S.M.I.L.E.

IIRC, Kris Keating was also in those PM&IF issues, and Keating was actually the Foreigner, or one of his goons.

Er… being from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, I’d read that it was an anglicisation of ‘Tir Eoghain’ – ‘land of Eoghain’ (Owen, or near enough)

What’s interesting, is despite the retcon, Priest brought back Danny’s red suit in his Black Panther run.

I haven’t actually read this issues, but Master Khan’s plan seems awfully convoluted. What was the point of turning Super-Skrull into that kid and letting him stay in that form for months? If it was just to caught Danny off-guard, well, couldn’t the Super-Skrull just disguise himself as Luke or Misty or someone else Danny trusts, then have him meet Danny when the real Luke/Misty/whoever isn’t around, and then attack him while he isn’t prepared? The result would’ve been the same. Or was there another reason for him to masquerade as the kid?

I’m not even sure why Byrne needed to involve Super-Skrull to begin with. He didn’t have any earlier history with Iron Fist (though apparently it’s retconned in this issues that he did?), and the explanation for why Danny is still alive has nothing to do with him. So couldn’t “Captain Hero” have been just who he was supposed to be, a kid with superpowers? The whole Super-Skrull reveal is just needlessly complex.

John –

“It’s odd that Byrne chose to devote so many issues to wrapping up loose ends from POWER MAN & IRON FIST, as he’d previously decried the practice of resolving plot threads from canceled books in the still-running ones”

There are two Byrnes. The one that worked in the 1980s was so modernizing that he was sort of the poster boy for carrying Marvel and DC out of the past and into the 1980s. But the older he got the more fixated he became in returning characters to their roots, “original intent”, filling in the blanks of old Spider-Man and X-Men stories, etc. Maybe Byrne himself was replaced by a Skrull.

Rene, Byrne was big on “original intent” even back in the 1980s. He was always claiming to be honoring the original intent of the creators, even when it was obvious he wasn’t.

So as Priest’s Tyrone King was clearly more than he appeared to be, what did Priest have in mind?

I love it in comics when someone says “Blast!”

Man, Byrne just had to drive home that Misty unknowingly had sex with Master Khan, didn’t he? And just a few years after he made Big Barda make porn with Superman, too.

So as Priest’s Tyrone King was clearly more than he appeared to be, what did Priest have in mind?

Not a Vampire.

Fraser –

“Rene, Byrne was big on “original intent” even back in the 1980s. He was always claiming to be honoring the original intent of the creators, even when it was obvious he wasn’t.”

Well, Byrne must be the one guy that I prefered when he was an hypocrite. :) When he actually started to put his money where his mouth was and started to revert characters left and right and basically write continuity fill-ins, he became a lot less interesting.

Though I do have a soft spot for “Generations”.

@Brian Cronin, Actually, King wasn’t a vampire (even your own column linked suggests). They wanted signs to point to vampire, but he was something else that he has unfortunately forgotten.

@Tuomas, in addition to the needless convolutedness of the Super-Skrull plot (I assume Byrne picked SS because he needed a shapeshifter with powers and because SS had cancer like Captain Hero did), Master Khan’s Tyrone King plot seems needlessly convoluted and doesn’t really fit the pieces.

Among other things, King was a 12 year vet (I suppose Khan’s magic filled in the blanks of his past like the Red Skull’s cosmic cube manipulations of Sam Wilson’s “Snap” persona presumably? Because… magic?). It also doesn’t really mesh with King’s attitude about certain blatantly racially motivated goings-on in the title (his feelings towards Cage’s murder rap as well as an earlier issue where the two sort of bond over a similar matter). I want to say there are some thought balloons King has that don’t fit the picture as well, though it’s been a while since I last read those issues.

D’oh! I seriously meant to write “Not a Vampire,” as obviously, that’s what it says in the link. Thanks, I edited that in there. Silly mistake.

I’m am now infinitely dumber due to having read that…

Namor, the Sub-Mariner #17 was cover-dated Aug 1991. Thus it predates Avengers West Coast #89 (Dec 1992), where Jim McCann retconned Mockingbird was abducted. I guess Danny Rand turns out to be the Skrulls’ first experiment for Secret Invasion, and Kl’rt turns out to be their first imposter using their new technique (instead of H’rpra).
Thanks!

It was not until I saw Iron Fist returning that I started collecting Namor. Finishing continuity is always pleasing to me, as I also enjoyed the Nova tie-up in the FF. Actually, the FF tied up a lot of continuity on a regular basis, what with Warlock and others.
Now, I was disappointed in Tyrone King and the resurrection of Iron Fist story just got weirder and weirder, but as a young Marvelite I was just happy to see Danny Rand and Luke Cage together as buddies again. What I remember most though, were the Jim Lee issues of Namor. His inking style was dynamic.

Wait– So Master Khan rescued the Super Skrull from the Van Allen belt and had him disguise himself as this kid?

So then how did the Skrull end up back in the Van Allen belt to be rescued by S’Byll’s agent and then meet up with the Silver Surfer at the beginning of the Evolutionary War? The Super Skrull flew back to the Skrull Empire after that to restore their shape-shifting abilities, and then died in a later Surfer issue.

All of that occurred between the death of Iron Fist and the Namor story.

I guess this was all part of Byrne’s master plan to ignore or undo everything Englehart ever wrote.

I guess this was all part of Byrne’s master plan to ignore or undo everything Englehart ever wrote

That is 100% accurate.

Always wondered what was Byrne’s beef with Englehart. Perhaps it’s just because Englehart came after Byrne in FF, and took the team in other directions? And got into a lot of trouble over it, because he was sort of sacked from the book. Though it must be noted that Englehart was gracious enough to not undo the major modification Byrne introduced (the Alicia/Johnny romance). That was, perhaps, the only saving grace of Englehart’s abysmal run.

Re: Byrne and “original intent”- Byrne got Priest’s permission before turning Tyrone King into Master Khan.
The really weird thing about the convoluted explanation is that Byrne talked to both Priest and Roger Stern before doing bringing Danny back. Priest’s idea was that Captain Hero absorbed Danny’s life force. Stern’s idea was that Tyrone King was Master Khan and he used his magic to fake Danny’s death. Both very straightforward. But instead of just using one or the other, Byrne came up with his convoluted plot.

@Mary- Byrne’s explanation was that Master Khan betrayed him and sent him back to the Van Allen Belt.
As for the Skull’s return after his death in Silver Surfer, we got arguably contradictory explanations in Hulk 375 and Fantastic Four Annual 24, neither of which was by Byrne.

@Warren B.

> Er… being from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland,
> I’d read that it was an anglicisation of ‘Tir Eoghain’ –
> ‘land of Eoghain’ (Owen, or near enough)

It’s both! There’s both a Greek and a Gaelic derivation. The Greek produces Lord.

Priest and Bright neglected to inform inker Jerry Acerno, who kept drawing shadows for Tyrone Kong/Master Khan. Was he ever told MK’s secret?

Warren B.- There are plenty of examples of names that are apparently the same but come from different sources. The last name “Lee” is often Chinese, but there’s an identical English family name. My own last name comes from an obscure ethnicity in the Caucasus, most of whom currently live in Turkey, but there’s an English name pronounced the same way.

Rene- Judging from their work and things said in interviews, Englehart and Byrne strike me as two people who just fundamentally wouldn’t get along (too different in the wrong ways, too similar in the wrong ways). And I say this as someone who’s greatly enjoyed both of their work.

Micheal- I think Byrne just really wanted to work the Super-Skrull into the story, because of the way his powers could simulate Danny’s Iron Fist.

The Super Skrull being Captain Hero was probably some weird retcon because Bryne probably thought it looked bad that some little kid snuffed out Danny before he passed on himself.

This seemed to work out well for Danny but this was NAMOR’s book. Did Master Khan’s scheme somehow cross-over with whatever Namor was doing at the time?

Priest and Bright neglected to inform inker Jerry Acerno, who kept drawing shadows for Tyrone Kong/Master Khan. Was he ever told MK’s secret?

I believe Priest claimed that he WAS told, but he just kept ignoring it.

Too bad. He wasn’t bad, as inkers go.

“Actually, the FF tied up a lot of continuity on a regular basis, what with Warlock and others.”
Did I miss something? I wasn’t reading Fantastic Four at the time but thought Starlin’s Warlock got wrapped up in the Avengers and Two-In-One annuals? (And way before that in Hulk 175ish.)
m

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