Contains spoilers for Iron Fist #5!

While he may be Marvel’s new Iron Fist, Lin Lie is also embracing his former abilities as the Swordmaster, granting him a set of Wolverine-style claws with a fiery power that Logan himself would love to have. Despite taking on the mantle of Iron Fist, Lin Lie had been unable to truly channel the power of the dragon Shou-Lao, especially since the fragments of his shattered sword buried in his fists seemed resistant to this alternate source of mystical energy. However, the new Iron Fist has finally found some balance, and with it a shocking new level of control over his powers.

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After the Sword of Fu Xi was shattered by a demonic Kumiho, Lin Lie’s world was torn apart, and he found himself on the shores of K’un-Lun – the mystical city which nominates one warrior a generation as its Immortal Weapon, the Iron Fist, infused with the chi of Shou-Lao. In a near-unprecedented move, the dragon actually gifted its chi to Lin Lie, who became the new Iron Fist following Danny Rand surrendering his claim on the title to save the world. While Danny offered to train the new Iron Fist, Lin Lie ran, unwilling to accept this new twist in his destiny.

In Iron Fist #5 from Alyssa Wong and Michael Yg, Lin Lie finally communes with Shou-Lao, learning that the dragon’s chi and the Sword of Fu Xi aren’t as incompatible as he believed. In fact, the two forces of supernatural good are happy to work together, trusting the new Iron Fist to wield them as long as he is able to maintain his own spiritual balance. With this balance, Iron Fist is able to manifest his shattered sword as twin claws, but unlike the adamantium blades of Wolverine, these claws have a special ability. Because of the evil-dispelling nature of the sword, it appears that Iron Fist’s claws burn on contact with evil. When Iron Fist gouges the villainous Lin Feng, he notes that the claws physically burn, suggesting they possess a supernatural ability Logan’s claws don’t.

Iron Fist’s Claws Burn Evil

As Lin Lie points out, his combined powers are the result of “an ancient, evil-dispelling sword and an ancient guardian spirit,” so it makes sense they’d produce extra firepower against supernatural evil. While Wolverine has had to draw on temporary upgrades in the past in order to tackle mystic threats – for example infusing his claws with Ghost Rider’s flames – it seems that Iron Fist’s new claws are already perfectly suited to such enemies. Indeed, the upcoming cover for A.X.E.: Iron Fist #1 from Philip Tan sees Lin Lie effortlessly beheading a dragon.

It seems that Iron Fist is only at the beginning of unleashing his full powers. Before it shattered, the Sword of Fu Xi had a huge range of abilities, and was said to be capable of destroying entire worlds in the hands of a powerful enough being. While Lin Lie may not be at that point yet, it’s clear that the ability to physically burn evil is the first of many upgrades unlocked by finding a way to wield his broken blade alongside the chi of Shou-Lao. As Iron Fist continues to hone his abilities, Wolverine now has serious competition for Marvel’s best claws.

Iron Fist #5is available now from Marvel Comics.

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