WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Avengers #13 from Jason Aaron, Andrea Sorrentino, Eric Arciniega, Justin Ponsor and VC's Cory Petit, on sale now.
In the last few months, Marvel has been sharing deep insight into the Infinity Stones, including who seeded them out across the galaxy and for what purpose, as well as why the time has come for them to become sentient. We even found out which was the most powerful stone, clearly setting up these artifacts for yet another big role in reshaping reality and their own future post-Infinity Wars.
However, Avengers #13 decides to offer us one more trip down nostalgia lane, depicting a key moment in the Power Stone's history; the very first and quite devastating occasion it was wielded on Earth.
This flashback details the exploits of the very first Iron Fist, a 15-year-old rebel named Fan Fei the Despised. After sneaking out of the heavenly city of K'un-Lun to teach kung fu to cave men, she was thrown to the fiery pits along with her students, only to become exiled after killing the dragon Shou-Lao. The Thunderer and all other seniors in the mystical city recognized she was too powerful and decided to banish her to the cold prehistoric wilderness of Earth, all before she linked up with the original Avengers led by Odin.
Alone, this origins story paints the Iron Fist as someone relentlessly protecting mankind from all creatures, becoming a god to them along the way. However, this drew the attention of the man-apes called the Gorgillas, and what ensued was the superpowered martial artist embarking on a long journey trying to wipe the bloodthirsty clan out in order to save everyone else from their sadistic ways. This culminates in a battle against their king, except this time the alpha ape is more than prepared, as he's been imbued with the Power Stone.
Known for usually rocking a diamond club, the king has been led astray by none other than Mephisto. Fans would remember the demon tried to corrupt the primitive Ghost Rider and, after failing to do the same to Fan Fei, he decides to weaponize this alpha monkey by showing him the stone in a secret cave. The king picks it up and a significant portion of his upper body turns to near-indestructible purple diamond, giving him what he needs to exact revenge and rule the continent.
Mephisto doesn't even need to goad him anymore, as the king sets off to dispatch the Iron Fist once and for all. And it's a bloody match that pushes them both to their limits. Fan Fei, though, is caught off guard as the king's punches hurt her like never before, even more than Shou-Lao's flames. Struggling to break the ape down, she's left with no choice but to use her fully-powered fist to try to smash the king's hand, which has the stone lodged in its palm.
This leads to a typical bombastic comic book moment as both their powers cancel each other out, leading to a massive explosion and Fan Fei getting tossed over a cliff thanks to the shockwave that results. Sadly, we don't get a conclusion to their brawl as both end up going their separate ways, content on the result... for now.
But seeing as she refused re-entry into K'un-Lun, preferring to defend Earth, and the king still had the stone in hand, one has to think that there's a round two between them we're yet to see unfold. Hopefully, the Iron Fist rebounds stronger because the king proved he was bigger, faster and better, all thanks to purple little gem no bigger than the size of a small rock that give him, well, "infinite power."