EXCLUSIVE: Iron Fist teams up with an old foe for Marvel Legacy

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Jul 13, 2017

Trying to bridge the past to the future is always a delicate process, which is why Marvel's stated goal for Marvel Legacy of embracing and celebrating its heritage is such a daunting task.

One way it appears the company is doing it is by staging some classic reunions. It's already been announced that Uncanny Avengers #28 will bring back one of Marvel's all-time great bromances, Wonder Man and the Beast. Iceman is also reuniting with his '70s super-crew, the Champions, starting with issue #6 of Iceman.

But for our money, the most surprising team-up is between two characters who first met 40 years ago ... and who weren't exactly what you called "pals." Way back in Iron Fist #14, Sabretooth made his debut on the Dave Cockrum-drawn cover, trying to gut our hero. (What, too young to remember picking this issue up at the 7-Eleven? Here's the cover!)

Flash forward four decades and Legacy is bringing these two back together under much different circumstances. In the newly re-numbered Iron Fist #73 (remember, it's about embracing the past!), titled "Old Wounds and Bad Blood," Danny Rand has to convince Sabretooth to help save him K'un-Lun. Sure, the former mutant baddie has recently gone good ... but that doesn't necessarily mean he's ready to help out his old enemy. And why does Iron Fist need Sabretooth's help, exactly?

These are questions writer Ed Brisson promises will be explored as a new era in Iron Fist's life begins. In an exclusive interview with SYFY WIRE, Brisson shared a few details on what Danny is facing as Legacy gets underway, including an inevitable showdown with the people of Liu-Shi. He also talked about the strong bond he and artist Mike Perkins have with the character.

And we've got another debut for you. Here's the cover to Iron Fist #73, which is due out in October.

Give us the elevator pitch for what your Iron Fist series will be and how it plays within the stated goals of Marvel Legacy.

Ed Brisson: Iron Fist is desperate to get back to K'un-Lun. As learned in The Trial of the Seven Masters (Iron Fist #1-5), Danny needs to get back to K’un-Lun in order to properly realign his chi.

However, there are those who don't want him to succeed and will pull out all the stops to make sure he fails. In order to have a hope of getting back home, Iron Fist must both seek help of those from his past and fight those from his past -- including at least one former enemy who’s supposed to be dead.

Issue #73 pits Iron Fist against Sabretooth, who made his comics debut wayyy back in issue #14 of the original Iron Fist series. Safe to assume that was a very conscious choice, since part of what Legacy seems to be about is reconnecting with the rich history of Marvel?

100%. We wanted to give readers something that tied back into Iron Fist’s past -- something that I'm always keen on -- while updating it with where both characters are at present day.

Anyone following the X-books will know that Sabretooth has gone from heel to babyface, but he’s not THAT good. He may be fighting on the side of the right, but he’s still got a vicious streak, and we’re going to get a good look at that.

Something that ties into an answer below: We're going to be exploring what Sabretooth's life is like with him currently caught between his past and his present. His own legacy as a "baddie" and how he sees that through the filter of who he is now is going to play heavily into this series.

Danny kind of needs his help, but why the hell would Sabretooth join him?

That’s a great question. Danny DOES need Sabretooth's help. But, even though Sabretooth may be a "good guy," he’s still got no love for Iron Fist.

You and Mike Perkins have been working on Iron Fist for a while. Obviously, the character's profile has grown with the Netflix series. But what is it about the character that makes him so interesting to write?

To start, Iron Fist is one of my favorite characters of all time. If you'd asked me, when I started working at Marvel, which characters I most wanted to write, Iron Fist would definitely have been near the top of that list.

For me, I think Danny is an interesting character because he's torn between two worlds -- K'un-Lun and his life in New York -- which are incredibly disparate from one another. And though he's got a foot in each, he doesn't fully belong in either. In K'un-Lun, he's an outworlder and is often reminded of it. Even after he proves himself worthy of the mantle of Iron Fist, there are those who refuse to accept it. In New York, he's a billionaire playboy who has it all but still feels that he needs to impress. His quipping during fights, goofing around with Luke, it's all a very thin mask to cover his insecurities. And in there is some interesting meat for character development.

Any other heroes or notable villains that you’re planning to bring back?

We've got a nice list of heroes and villains making an appearance in this arc, but I don't want to spoil anything. I will say that, unfortunately for Danny, the list consists mostly of villains. Many, many villains.

Anything else you can tell us about what to expect for Danny as Legacy gets underway?

Legacy will continue what we've been building since the first issue. Danny's still fighting for legitimacy while looking to save K'un-Lun. The people of Liu-Shi are not through with him or K'un-Lun yet. We're building to a no-holds-barred, all-or-nothing battle that is shaping up to be one of the biggest in Iron Fist's life.