Iron Fist #8, 1976, Marvel Comics, Cover by John Byrne & Dan Adkins.
The POP Retro Cover Of The Week continues its celebration and examination of iconic comic covers from the 1970s through the 2000s, this week returning to the Seventies, a decade when squeaky spinner racks were full of comics costing 15-20 cents at the beginning of the decade, when John Byrne had finally gotten his foot in the door at Marvel, and was making a name for himself with a character riding the crest of the Seventies kung fu/martial arts craze, Iron Fist.
After starting in the pages of Marvel Premiere, a title that served as a testing ground for new characters, Iron Fist was successful enough to be given his own title, bringing hot new artist John Byrne along with him.
Byrne did not get to illustrate many covers during his Iron Fist run, but the first one he did get to do was instantly iconic, a purely “image” piece that had nothing to do with the interior story. Against a blazing red background, Iron Fist throws his glowing left hand in a wide arc across the cover and out towards the reader, ending in a life-sized, in-your-face fist.
Dan Adkins provided the silky-smooth inks, with the exception of a very obviously retouched-by-Romita right hand.
Iron Fist would remain in print through the mid-Eighties, then occasionally revived over the next few decades, before getting his own recent Netflix series, which lasted two seasons. Not bad for a character who owed his existence to a kung fu fad.
Next week: A cover from the Bronze ‘80s!