Being born on Earth and raised in the harsh, other dimensional city of K'un-Lun led to Danny Rand becoming an Iron Fist, one of the Marvel Universe's premier martial arts masters and a defender of both his birthplace and adopted land. A man with feet in two different worlds, sadly neither of them feel like home. What would happen, though, if the circumstances that created Danny played out in reverse and a young child with the powers and skills of the Iron Fist suddenly found herself stranded in modern day New York? How would she adapt? And how comfortable would Danny be in playing the role of Thunderer, the traditional instructor of Iron Fists, for her?
Those questions and more are being answered right now in Immortal Iron Fists, a series starring Danny Rand and Pei, a young girl monk from K'un-Lun. The comiXology-exclusive digital series marks the return of writer Kaare Andrews, who introduced Pei back in 2014's Iron Fist: The Living Weapon, to the world of the title characters and teams him with artist Afu Chan.
CBR spoke with Andrews about collaborating with Chan, what brought him back to the world of the Iron Fists, the real mythological foes Danny and Pei will face as the series unfolds, and the unique way in which the series has been marketed.
CBR: I understand what brought you back to Iron Fist was the chance to write Pei, the young girl monk from K'un-Lun introduced during your run on Iron Fist: The Living Weapon.What was it about Pei in particular that made you want to come back? Which aspects of her story were you still interested in telling?
Kaare Andrews: I've always been very interested in adding to the Marvel Universe. It's a lot of fun to write the characters I grew up with, but I also want to contribute to the universe. And when I'm long gone and away maybe one or two of those creations can continue to live on through other hands and voices. I think that's part of the fun in working on superhero comics.
These characters outlast their initial creators and transcend media. They're just bigger than any one person. So it's a lot of fun to find ways to add to this pantheon of heroes.
When I created Pei, this little kung fu monk girl, I was interested in the role reversal; the opposite of what Danny experienced as a little American kid being raised in mystical Asia. I thought, “Wouldn't it be fun to have the complete opposite? To have a mystical kung fu monk girl raised in modern day New York?”
That was a story that I hadn't necessarily seen in Marvel Comics, but one also tied directly to Danny's experience since it was the polar opposite. Also, it enhanced Danny's journey because it gave him a reason to become more than just himself.
I always viewed him as a lovable but selfish character. [Laughs] He has a group of friends, but he doesn't necessarily have larger responsibilities. There's a certain point where a martial artist transitions from student to master, and passes along their training to the next generation. So I thought having Danny play the role of the Thunderer to the next generation of Iron Fists would be a fun way to reinvest in his core and his origin.
When they asked if I wanted to do more with Pei I was kind of finished with Iron Fist. I had my turn at bat, but I felt like Pei was so new that I barely got a chance to investigate her and say what I wanted to say with her. So I really wanted to be the person to give her that initial foundation that could later be built on. I loved the character and wanted to spend some more time with her before I said goodbye.
Going back to what you said about Danny, it seems like he has good intentions, but he doesn't understand that he's not just a teacher. He's also a father figure to Pei.