Iron Fist & Wolverine: The Return of K’Un Lun #1

Issue Date: 
November 2000
Story Title: 
Dark Horizon

Jay Faerber & Jamal Igle (storytellers), Rich Perotta (inker), Liquid! (colors), RS & Comicraft’s Troy Peteri (letters), Bobbie Chase (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

While Daniel Rand (sans the Iron First power), Misty Knight and Luke Cage walk through Central Park, Danny is approached by ghosts who inform him that Junzo Muto is attempting to bring K’Un Lun to this dimension. Just then, the trio is attacked by Hand ninjas. After Cage is taken out by poisonous gas, Danny discovers that Misty has been taken. Even though he realizes that he is the catalyst to rising K’Un Lun, Danny heads to Tokyo to save his love, Misty. Once in Tokyo, Danny is facing off against a number of Hand ninjas in the Tokyo sewers when he is assisted first by Wolverine and then ninjas, who have been sent by an unknown benefactor. The ninjas introduce the two to their employer, who turns out to be the Kingpin. However, even after hearing his reasoning for his assistance, they decline his offer to help further. Making their way back to Tokyo from the bay, Danny and Wolverine are surprised when the gigantic city of K’Un Lun begins to manifest itself. With it, the residents of K’Un Lun are interspersed with Tokyo residents, neither of them speaking the same language and are extremely scared and confused. Meanwhile, at the Imperial Palace, the Hall of Ancestors manifests on the grounds much to the surprise of the Japanese Royal Family.

Full Summary: 

Walking through the park, Danny Rand explains to Misty Knight and Luke Cage that he had never felt more helpless in his life. He was chained to a table and Junzo Muto, barely sixteen years old, was stealing the power of the Iron Fist. The pain was excruciating. The only thing keeping him from passing out was the sound of the old man, Hiromitsu, standing there laughing. The New Warriors managed to save him but Junzo and Hiromitsu got away with his Iron Fist powers.

Misty asks him that he saw this Junzo kid leading the Hand. Aren’t they… Cage tells her that they’re a secret Japanese order of ninja assassins, really bad dudes. Danny remarks that he couldn’t have said it better himself. Putting her head on his shoulder, Misty tells Danny that she’s sorry and asks him what he’s going to do. Danny tells her not to worry about it, he’s doing just... fine.

Just then, Danny sees a child ghost walking in front of him and is shocked to see that it looks like him. Rushing towards him, Danny tells his surprised and confused friends that they have to hurry and catch him. Up a little further, Danny sees the Hall of Ancestors. In his mind, he thinks that he’d know this place anywhere. He spent half his childhood slipping past the guards, just so he could sneak in there and look around. Even then, as a child, he knew it was a very spiritual place. But what’s a building from a mystical city doing there, in Central Park? K’Un Lun is in another dimension and only crosses over with ours in Tibet. This is impossible.

Catching up to him, Cage and Misty ask Danny if he’s okay. Pointing in front of them, Danny asks don’t they see it? It’s a structure from his homeland K’Un Lun. Cage informs him all they see is a park. Danny starts to tell them that it’s right there but then sees the ghost of his mother, Heather Duncan. After she greets him, Danny asks her why she is there, how she is there, she’s dead. Heather tells him that she was able to breach the dimensional fortitude of Feng-Tu, K’Un Lun’s land of the dead, because she needs to warn him. She knows what he did last year. She knows he arranged for K’Un Lun to manifest there, in this dimension in the year 2000.

While Misty and Cage don’t see what Danny sees, Danny tells his mom that he… She cuts him off and tells him that she knows he did what he did to try to pull Earth’s people out of the darkness and into a new age of heroes. Junzo Muto is in Tokyo and he wants to bring K’Un Lun there. She knows what he is thinking but he cannot go after him. K’Un Lun’s arrival is tied to his heartbeat. And as long as he stays away from Tokyo, Junzo cannot bring K’Un Lun there and his world will be safe.

Danny says to her wait. She said this world will be safe but what about K’Un Lun? What will happen to it? Heather informs him that it will move onto its next phase of existence. Where that will take it, no one knows. “Touching” his face, Danny’s mom tells him that this is good-bye for them. Danny exclaims no. This is all his fault. If it wasn’t for his stupid plan, K’Un Lun wouldn’t be fading away. Cage asks his fault, what is he talking about? He didn’t…

Just then, a horde of Hand ninjas appear. Danny asks Cage and Misty that they do see them – right. Cage replies ‘fraid so and tells Danny to stay back and let him an’ Misty handle ‘em. Joining in the battle, Danny states that just because he doesn’t have his Iron Fist powers anymore doesn’t mean he’s helpless. He still has all his skills.

Holding his own with relative ease, Cage asks that he thought these guys were supposed t’ be bad. They can pile on all they want but their pig-stickers still can’t pierce his steel-hard skin. Taking out some of them on her own, Misty asks the ninjas if they hear that crunching sound. That’s the sound of her bionic arm crushing their fibula.

As he continues to battle the ninjas, Danny mentions that his mom was telling him about the Hand’s plans for K’Un Lun. He doesn’t know what these guys are after. Maybe they want them as some sort of captive audience. Knocking a bunch of ninjas away from him, Cage states that there’s a time and a place for everything. First they punch them a lot. Then they do the detective work.

At that moment, Cage drops to his knees and begins to cough. Rushing towards him, Danny tells him to hold his breath. They took out Nova the same way. They realized they couldn’t pierce his skin so they attacked him from the inside with poisonous gas. He then tells him to hold on, he’ll be okay. When he calls out for Misty, he makes the unfortunate discovery that she is nowhere to be found.

Later, as Cage is lying in a hospital bed, Danny tells him the doctor said he’s gonna be just fine. He told him that all that junk food he eats probably coated his insides so the toxins had a hard time getting through. Danny then tells Cage that there’s something he never told him. A while back, he set into motion a plan that would bring K’Un Lun to their dimension permanently. He thought it’d benefit bout of their societies. By giving K’Un Lun a stable dimension to reside in and the people of Earth would have a new Camelot to draw inspiration from. He realizes now that he was wrong. But Junzo intends to stick with the plan.

Unfortunately for him, K’Un Lun’s arrival is keyed to his heartbeat. It appears where he is. If Junzo wants to bring K’Un Lun to Tokyo, he just has to stay away from Tokyo. That’s what his mom was warning him about. But the Hand has Misty. And it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that they’ve taken her to Tokyo as bait. They know he’d have to try to rescue the woman he loves. This is all his fault so now he has to make it right. He’s going to Tokyo. He knows Cage would try to talk him out of it if he was awake so it’s just as well that he’s still asleep. As Danny turns to leave, Cage tells him to give ‘em hell.

In Tokyo, deep beneath the Imperial Palace, Junzo Muto addresses the Hand ninjas before him flanked by Hiromitsu. He tells his brothers the moment they have all been waiting for is swiftly approaching. For centuries, the Hand has operated in shadows, carrying out its objectives under the cover of the night. Well, all of that is about to change. When K’Un Lun arrives, they will conquer it and use it to launch their bid to become a world power, and then the Hand will be feared in the sunlight just as it is in the shadows. And to help ensure that K’Un Lun arrives as planned, he’s arranged for a little insurance.

At that moment, Junzo has two of his ninja followers bring Misty Knight out from behind a curtain. He addresses the crowd and tells them that now she is their guest, Rand is certain to bless them with his presence. Misty defiantly asks the person in front of her if he is Muto. She’s heard all about him, the little runt. Muto replies that he can understand why she’s upset… Kicking him in the face, Misty asks him can he? She’s gotta tell him, that means the world to her.

Enraged, Muto fires up his right hand and tells Misty that she will regret that. If she knows all about him, then he takes it she knows he now possesses the power of the Iron Fist, the power to collect his life force, his chi, and channel it into a weapon of raw power. And while she knows all about him, he still has things to learn about her. For instance, while he knows her right arm is bionic, he has to wonder if she still has feeling in her arm. As he grabs her arm, Misty screams out in pain and falls to the ground in extreme pain. When she does, Muto says that answers that and then reminds Misty that he doesn’t need her alive.

Using his powers to create stairs from the stage, Hiromitsu asks Master Junzo if he may have a word with him. He’s watched, and dare he say helped, him grow from a child into a man, and while he has the utmost faith in him… Muto tells him yes, he was always there for him. Now will he stop beating around the bush and be out with it. And please, do not call him “master.” They’ve known each other too long for that sort of thing. He’s like a father to him. Hiromitsu tells him he’ll try. He wants to caution him not to let his emotions dictate his actions. The Hand has prided itself on its cold efficiency. Displays like that, where his anger gets the better of him, may cause the others to question his leadership skills. Muto replies that’s a valid point, one he’ll be sure to keep in mind.

Forty-eight hours later, somewhere in Tokyo’s labyrinthine underground sewer system, Danny Rand, in his Iron Fist costume, faces off against a number of Hand ninjas. When he is surrounded by them, he asks them if he is trespassing or something. He knows how much they love hanging out in the sewers. As no answer comes from any of the ninjas, he engages them in battle. While he fights them, he mentions that maybe this is why Spider-Man has a better rep than him. All the guys he fights never have anything to say, kinda hard to banter with yourself. While more ninjas rush in, Danny says to them come on, is he going to have to start insulting their mothers.

When a shadowy figure takes out two of the ninjas and then joins the battle, Danny recognizes him as Wolverine. Joining the battle, Wolverine asks if there are enough of these jokers to go around. Danny tells him he bets and then asks Wolverine what brings him to this lovely locale. Wolverine tells him he has friends in Tokyo. They told him about some Hand business going down. He’s tangled with the Hand a number of times, back in New York. They’re kinda like his pet project. Him? Danny informs him that the Hand is trying to bring a mystical city called K’Un Lun to this dimension, right on top of Tokyo. They need him to complete the ritual, so they kidnapped Misty Knight to get him there.

Continuing to battle the ninjas, Wolverine says he knows Misty and then asks Danny why he’s on this mission alone. Why isn’t Cage watching his back? Danny tells him that the Hand put him out of commission and that he didn’t have time to round up anyone else. Wolverine tells him don’t look now but he has himself some back-up, bub. After Danny thanks him, four ninjas dressed in red enter the fray. At first, Danny and Wolverine expect to have to battle the new arrivals but instead, the ninjas assist the heroes in taking out the Hand ninjas.

When Danny thanks the red ninjas for the assist, Wolverine says not that they needed it and then asks them who they are. The ninjas answer that they work for someone who wishes to aid them in their quest. They invite them to come and speak with him. Danny quietly asks Wolverine what he thinks. Wolverine tells him that it’s prob’ly a trap but this is his “quest.” He’s just playin’ back-up, remember. Danny tells the red ninjas all right, but they don’t have a lot of time. Wolverine remarks that he hopes this works out because he hates saying “I told you so.”

Later, aboard a yacht in Tokyo Bay, Danny Rand and Wolverine enter a room and discover Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of crime. Fisk thanks them for accepting his invitation. Upon seeing Fisk, Logan says “ferget it.” No way does he want any “help” from this fat sonuva… Stopping him from leaving, Danny says to Logan that he may be a criminal but maybe he knows something they don’t. If he wanted to hurt them, why would he have his men save them? Logan asks Danny that he doesn’t know fatso there very well, does he?

Danny then says to Fisk they’re there, what does he want with them? Fisk answers that he’s in the midst of rebuilding his empire after suffering a number of setbacks to his various business ventures. Tokyo has always been very good to him, but now he hears rumblings about the Hand and something called “K’Un Lun.” His research into K’Un Lun led him to him. The bottom line is that K’Un Lun’s arrival will have disastrous effects on Tokyo. He needs Tokyo. And in order to preserve it, he’ll supply them with whatever they require to take Junzo Muto out of business. As they leave, Danny tells Fisk that he can assure him that Junzo will be taken out of business. But the only way he can “help” is to stay out of their way.

Meanwhile, in the caverns beneath the Imperial Palace, Muto rushes in to see Hiromitsu and excitedly tells him that they have received word from some of the men that Rand is in Tokyo. Later, Muto addresses the members of the Hand in front of him that since Rand initiated K’Un Lun’s arrival, they need him there. The moment Rand steps foot on Tokyo’s soil, K’Un Lun will begin to manifest in this dimension. And they will have an entire mystical city to use as their impenetrable fortress as they launch their campaign to take over the world. With that, Muto slams his fist into the fire cauldron sitting on stage.

Meanwhile, in Tokyo Bay, Danny and Logan pull their speedboat up to the dock. As they exit it, Logan tells Danny that he told him so. Danny responds yes he did and he’s been “telling him so” ever since they left the yacht. He admits it, he was right. It was a waste of time. When Logan asks what now, Danny tells him he’s not sure. He guesses they keep routing known Hand whereabouts until they can capture one of the ninjas and hope he’ll tell them where to find Misty. The faster they find her and get out of Tokyo, the less chance of Junzo actually bringing K’Un Lun there.

Logan remarks that earlier, he said this was his fault. How does he figure? Danny tells him that if he hadn’t ever contacted K’Un Lun’s Dragon Kings and arranged for the entire city to be transported there they wouldn’t be in this mess. Logan says that doesn’t make it his fault. He was trying to do what he thought was right. He made a mistake, sure. But stop blaming himself. That’s not gonna help them get the job done. Danny says that coming to Tokyo, he…

Just then, a huge wall appears out of nowhere in front of them, knocking Logan into the water. Upon seeing the wall, Logan asks Fist what he did. Danny exclaims no! It’s happening; he’s too late. It’s K’Un Lun, the cities are merging. Danny then notices that people from K’Un Lun are beginning to materialize out of thin air. They must be terrified. Danny knows that the K’Un Lun people don’t speak Japanese. They can’t even understand what’s happening to them. And the wall is just the beginning! As Tokyo continues to transform into K’Un Lun, the city is going to turn into a giant pressure cooker. Surrounding a large portion of Tokyo is an enormous stone circle. Meanwhile, at the Imperial Palace, the royal family is faced with the appearance of something rather strange on the palace grounds – the Hall of Ancestors!

Characters Involved: 

Iron Fist (Daniel Rand)

Power Man (Luke Cage)

Misty Knight

Junzo Muto


Wolverine (Logan)

Kingpin (Wilson Fisk)

Various unnamed associates of the Kingpin

Various unnamed Hand ninjas

Various unnamed members of the Japanese Royal Family

Various unnamed inhabitants of K’Un Lun

Various unnamed inhabitants of Tokyo

Ghosts of a young Daniel Rand and Heather Duncan, Danny’s mother

In flashbacks:

Junzo Muto


Iron Fist (Daniel Rand)

Story Notes: 

Daniel Rand had his Iron Fist taken from him by Junzo Muto back in New Warriors (2nd series) #8.

Daniel Rand, as Iron Fist, set into motion a plan that would bring K’Un Lun to their dimension permanently back in Heroes for Hire #8.

Issue Information: 
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