WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Iron Fist #79 by Ed Brisson and Damian Couceiro, in stores now.
Mephisto has brought Hell to Earth, and now Las Vegas is nothing but a destination drenched in flames, a place where damned souls roam at the mercy of cruel demons.
A tie-in to the events of Doctor Strange: Damnation, Iron Fist #78 sees Danny Rand take a break from his fight alongside the rest of the Midnight Sons to find himself in the devil’s Hotel Inferno. Here, he found his deceased mentor and dear friend Orson Randall fighting in a ring to reclaim his soul.
But Orson isn’t the only person from Danny Rand’s past who has made a return. Danny’s long lost half-sister Miranda Rand, who once went by the alter ego Death Sting, has also made a comeback.
Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, Miranda Rand was the daughter of Danny’s father Wendell Rand, although the siblings didn’t share the same mother. She made her first appearance in 1975’s Iron Fist #2, and like her half-brother, she was also highly trained in martial arts. As a matter of fact, she had been taught how to fight in secret by Lord Conal D’hu-Tsien in K’un-Lun, the very place where Danny received his training. However, Miranda paid the ultimate price to save her brother when they fought against the H’ylthri, mystical plant-like monsters and enemies of K’un-Lun.
Miranda later returned, briefly, in Iron Fist vol. 3. There, resurrected by the H’ylthri, she took on a supervillain persona. Given the name Death Sting, she was sent on a mission on behalf of the plant creatures that controlled her. However, with Iron Fist present, Miranda turned her back on them and helped her brother defeat her evil captors, a confrontation that left her dead. An epilogue in Iron Fist #3 would have had readers believe that Miranda might have survived the ordeal, but the narration stated that this was more than likely only a fantasy to give Danny some comfort.
In last month’s Iron Fist #78, we learned that Miranda truly did die that day. When Danny was given visions of Hell to torment him, he briefly saw his sister, who blamed him for his failures and for her two deaths. While this was merely a vision, Iron Fist #79 reveals that Miranda has been trapped in Hell ever since her death. What’s more, she’s more than willing to fight anyone to earn her soul back and return to the world of the living — even if her opponent is Orson Randall, who is also trying to win his soul back to escape the torments of Hell.
Now, Danny is helpless in a place he cannot defeat. Two people he loves are fighting to escape Mephisto’s realm, and only one of them can win. That is, unless the Iron Fist agrees to a fight of his own. At every turn, it only appears as if more and more people agree to strike a deal with the devil. But if there is one thing that Damnation has taught us it’s that, ultimately, the house always wins. And that can’t bode well for Danny Rand.
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