We return to the Chris Claremont/John Byrne run of MTU. I finally looked up the hard dates. This, their 5th issue together, is cover date November 1977. The famous Claremont/Byrne run of Uncanny X-Men begins December 1977. But their brief run together on Power Man and Iron Fist ALSO begins in December 1977, while they’re still doing MTU together, shortly after Iron Fist, which they did all 15 issues of, was cancelled and merged into Power Man. They’re on 7 more issues of MTU while doing 3 issues of PM & IF and their first 7 issues of X-Men, all at the same time. For a couple of guys who wound up hating each other, they sure stuck together at first. This is yet another of the 77 issues I got for $45. Dave Hunt inks & colors. We begin with Iron Fist training, with captions that begin “You are Iron Fist.” I think that was the gimmick of his solo title. This is picking up where the recently cancelled Iron Fist left off, wherein, IF tells us, he was ambushed by someone he couldn’t identify, but thinks he knows. Danny doesn’t feel like he has anyone he can trust who’s available, but his thoughts are interrupted by a knock at the door.
Creators picking up their unfinished business in other comics is always awkward, but really common.
Bit of a random way to get the heroes together, but sure. We cut over to Danny’s beloved Misty Knight, working undercover for the villain Bushmaster, who’s just gotten a phone call about the hit he put out on Iron Fist, which is about to be completed. Misty breaks her cover to find out when and where, and then escapes the yacht they’re on to go intercede. Meanwhile, Spider-Man catches up to Danny’s cab only to found he got let off awhile back. He lost them in an area without tall buildings. So he doubles back as…
This is a lot of Iron Fist lore for MTU.
A lot! They fight on some more, but they’re too evenly matched for one to get the advantage. Lucky for Danny, Spider-Man has finally appeared. We saw these two meet up back in MTU 31, but now Spider-Man’s found Danny Rand’s empty clothes and Iron Fist in the same place and learned something. He set sup his camera and jumps in just as Danny is in trouble.
In a big dramatic splash page, Steel Serpent steals the power of the Iron Fist from Danny Rand, who collapses to the ground. He explains to Spider-Man what just happened for some reason, and is about to finish his weakened foe when the headlights on Misty Knight’s approaching car distract him. She is instantly out and pointing a gun at him.
Claremont was never scared to let the MTU story be more about the guest than Spider-Man, but this is just an issue of Iron Fist with a Spider-man cameo. Maybe our man will be somewhat more substantial next issue. This issue features a letter by future comics pro Mike W. Barr suggesting that, now that the Iron Fist team is on MTU, they should do a Spidey/Iron Fist team-up. Good call, Mike!