Marvel Just Killed Its Kung Fu Version of Wonder Woman (Probably Forever)
One of Iron Fist’s fellow Immortal Weapons, Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter, was just killed, despite being Marvel’s martial artist Wonder Woman.
Warning: contains spoilers for Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1!
The Immortal Iron Fist is famed for being one of the greatest martial arts prodigies in all of Marvel. Guardian of the mythical city of K’un-Lun, the Iron Fist isn’t just a superhero name – it’s a title given to the latest in a long line of chosen ones who have been deemed worthy of wielding the Iron Fist’s power. But as impressive as becoming Iron Fist is, Danny Rand isn’t alone. Because Danny Rand has several rivals, including Marvel’s own martial artist version of Wonder Woman… at least until she was just killed off in his most recent issue.
For years, Marvel readers were left to assume that K’un-Lun was a one-of-a-kind location in the Marvel Universe. This all changed however when Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker and David Aja collaborated on The Immortal Iron Fist in 2008, a comic that revealed K’un-Lun was actually one of seven “Capital Cities of Heaven” scattered throughout the world, and that each one was protected by a unique champion like Iron Fist, collectively referred to as “the Immortal Weapons”. Their members include the boisterous Fat Cobra, the Mysterious Prince of Orphans, and the deadly warrior woman known as Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter. Like any good kung-fu story, the champions are destined to fight one another one day in a Mortal Kombat-style martial arts tournament, which is where Danny Rand meets his rivals for the first time in The Immortal Iron Fist #8. Each of the seven participants had a unique design and original backstory, but in the case of Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter, she bears a striking resemble to DC’s Wonder Woman.
The origin stories of most of the competitors wouldn’t be revealed until 2009’s Immortal Weapons, a 5 issue mini-series detailing the origins of most of the other Immortal Weapons. Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter and her origin story is covered in Immortal Weapons #4, where it is revealed that she is the leader of a matriarchal island called Tiger Island. As a child however, her island had been usurped by invaders, and Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter ends up rallying the warrior women to overthrow their oppressors. Being leader of a tribe of warrior women on a magical island, Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter has more in common with Wonder Woman and the Amazons than her fellow Immortal Weapons, although Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter is a much more brutal fighter than any superhero. Or at least, she was.
Unfortunately for fans of the character, Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter just perished. Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1 reveals that she was killed offscreen as part of a plot to slay earth’s dragons. Of course, comic characters die all the time, but in this case it will likely be permanent. Like the other Immortal Weapons, Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter is just a title passed on from one master to the next, and the original didn’t have enough standout moments that Marvel will feel the need – or fans provide the demand – to resurrect her.
It’s far more likely that Tiger Island will simply appoint a replacement, using an initiation challenge every bit as daunting as Iron Fist’s battle with Shou-Lao the Undying. It’s sad to see a deadly fighter with such a cool, under-explored origin killed in the sidelines of a story, though the death, and especially its finality, does indicate how high the stakes are as the Immortal Weapons regroup to protect the world’s dragons from the mysterious villain behind the scenes.