Comic Legends: How Iron Fist Gave Us Venom

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and fourteenth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Just like the last couple of months, one legend today, one tomorrow and one Sunday.

Let's begin!


A new costume for Iron Fist indirectly led to the creation of Venom.


Basically True

The debut of the new "Iron Fist" trailer reminded me of this one.

Before they worked together on "X-Men," John Byrne and Chris Claremont were the creative team on "Iron Fist."

One thing that Byrne noticed on the series is that Iron Fist's costume would often get torn up...

or otherwise messed up...

or sometimes just destroyed...

Byrne thought that it didn't really seem to be in the character of Danny Rand to be sitting around, sewing up his torn costumes or patching them over, so he decided to come up with a way to avoid all of that. At the time, Claremont had been pursuing a bit of a science fiction origin for K'Un L'Un rather than straight magic (like how Fin Fang Foom isn't a dragon, he's an alien). So Byrne thought that hey, maybe Iron Fist's costume could be actually a sort of alien being, as well. It could be a sort of living creature who would heal rather than actual thread that would be sewed up.

However, "Iron Fist" soon was merged into "Power Man and Iron Fist." Byrne and Claremont launched the new combined series, but they were soon both off of the book, so Byrne never got the chance to implement his idea. Byrne, though, was very good friends with writer Roger Stern, who did a run on "Captain America" together (during the 1980s, they had a lot of little crossovers between their runs on "Avengers" and "Fantastic Four").

So years later, when Stern was on "Amazing Spider-Man," Stern had to give Spider-Man a new costume spinning out of "Secret Wars." He asked Byrne if he could use that living costume idea from "Iron Fist" and Byrne said sure. So in "Amazing Spider-Man" #252, which was plotted by Stern and scripted by incoming writer Tom DeFalco and drawn by incoming penciler Ron Frenz and finisher Brett Breeding (who was not incoming, as Joe Rubinstein inked most of Frenz's "Amazing Spider-Man" run), Spider-Man's costume is a living creature...

Since that was Stern's final issue, he didn't go anywhere else with the idea, so it was up to DeFalco to really develop it, moving it beyond just a sort of instinctual creature into an actual SYMBIOTE, which led to Spider-Man trying to get rid of it...

and when David Michelinie gave it a new host (Eddie Brock) and Todd McFarlane gave it a new mouth and tongue, it was VENOM!

Isn't it funny how interconnected all of these things are?

Check out some legends from Legends Revealed:

Check back tomorrow for part 2 of this week's legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

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