one-kunlun-robot-iftlw8-faceone-kunlun-robot-iftlv4-fullThe ONE  

Real Name: The One

Identity/Class: Extradimensional (K'un-Lun) robot, later able to absorb and gain power from massive quantities of chi (mystic life force);
    active from early 20th century and into the modern era (including 1900-1929, 1930-1945, 1946-1960, and the pre-modern era)

Occupation: Warrior

Group Membership: None 

Affiliations: Davos (aka Steel Serpent), Darius Scott Pilling, Terror Monks/Priests, zombie cyborg ninjas;
   
it used the residents of K'un-Lun's for power (they were its allies by some nature, although it was not their allies);
    formerly the Fooh, Yu-Ti (Tuan/Tu-An), Yu-Ti (Nu-An);
    uncertain connection to Wendell Rand;
    at the end of its existence, it was allied with Iron Fist (Daniel Rand-K'ai)

Enemies: Crane Daughters, Crane Mother, Iron Fist (Daniel Rand-K'ai), K'un-Lun's residents, Mr. Miller, Lei Kung the Thunderer, Pei, Shou-Lao, Sparrow, Zhu Rong, "representatives of the eight cities";
    unidentified Iron Fist; unspecified number of other Iron Fist-level characters that had bested Shou-Lao (including the one who later became known as the Resourceful Snake);
    formerly the Fooh

Known Relatives: The Fooh (creator);
    bonded to the corpse and/or memories of Wendell Rand, he considered Daniel Rand'Kai as his son and Heather Rand as his wife

Aliases: Shu-Hu; the Lightning
    claimed to be Wendell Rand (whose corpse he apparently incorporated);
    the lawyer Mr. Miller called him "Ghandi" in a mocking fashion;

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly Rand Tower, Manhattan, New York, USA, Earth;
    formerly the caverns below K'un-Lun city;
    formerly K'un-Lun city, K'un-Lun

First Appearance: (As Shu-Hu) Marvel Premiere I#15 (May, 1974);
    (composite One / Wendell Rand - BTS)
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#1 (June, 2014);
    (composite, seen) Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#2 (July, 2014);
    (composite, identified as "The One") Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#4 (September, 2014)

one-kunlun-robot-mp15-knife-fired.jpgPowers/Abilities: The One originally had the strength of 50 men and is preprogrammed in every fighting style known to K'un-Lun. It does not know fear or fatigue, nor does it second guess or react; it only acts. It knows what its combatants are going to do before even they do. It could also project at least one dagger from each hand with sufficient speed to stab even a supremely skilled martial artist.

    The One could be programmed to be defeated, but once it gained self-awareness, it was almost impossible to defeat.

    The One could add materials to its own body to increase in size. It could alter its appearance, taking a portion of Wendell Rand's face. It could extend tentacles, and regrow severed limbs.

    The One could drain Chi from others to increase its own power.

    In its latter incarnation, the One believed itself to be Wendell Rand; presumably it accessed his memories from his corpse somehow (see comments).


Height: Unrevealed (variable; its original form appeared to be perhaps 8' to 9' tall; its latter form could add materials to itself to increase, even achieving the size of a skyscraper when enhanced by the chi of K'un-Lun's natives)
Weight: Unrevealed (variable; its original form would likely have been several hundred pounds due to its mechanical construction; its latter form increased its mass by adding other materials)
Eyes: Glowing red; it adopted the facial appearance of Wendell Rand,
Hair: None (reddish blond false hair on mask / while posing as Wendell Rand)

History:
(Iron Fist V#5 (fb) - BTS) - K'un-Lun warrior Shu-Hu presented the Challenge of the One, a struggle new Iron Fists faced after having claimed Shou-Lao's power and having overcome the Challenge of the Many, defeating multiple skilled warriors in combat.

(Iron Fist V#5 (fb) - BTS) - After the departure of Shu-Hu in the late 19th century or early 20th century, the Yu-Ti (presumably Tuan/Tu-An) resolved to replace Shu-Hu with a robot that would not question him but simply obey.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#8 (fb) - BTS) - Fooh built the One robot on orders of the Yu-Ti3, designing it to be unbeatable. Via the One, Yu-Ti intended to have control over who became Iron Fist, eliminating those he did not wish to have the position.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#12 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking a means to protect himself from Nu-An, Fooh programmed subroutines into the One to bring the Fooh back to life by any means.

(Iron Fist V#3 (fb)) - A young K'un-Lun native, having passed the challenge of Shou-Lao with relative ease and becoming cocky faced the Challenge of the One. As confidence was no replacement for skill, this man was defeated by the One. To make an example of him, the council (presumably Yu-Ti and the Yama Kings) spared his life, but the One ripped off his arms.

(Iron Fist V#3 (fb) - BTS) - Relocating to the island of Liu-Shi, this dismembered warrior retrained himself as a master warrior known as the Resourceful Snake.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#9 (fb)) <As "remembered" by the One; spurious; see comments> - Wendell Rand survived the fall but was paralyzed by a broken neck and could only stare up at the skies and wait for someone to come rescue him. He wondered if his proximity to "the immortality of K'un-Lun" caused him to have fallen somewhere between life and death and where he would not (or refused to) cross over. Even as he felt his body crystallize, his eyes never closed. He imagined "that fool" Nu-An laughing in front of his Great Crystal, watching, knowing that he had kept Wendell from threatening his rule over K'un-Lun and from protecting Daniel. The rage of those endless days kept him warm, and he knew that some day someone would come for him.

one-kunlun-robot-vs-pre-rand-if.jpg(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#5 (fb)) - Standing in the middle of the arena amidst the fallen Many, an Iron Fist proclaimed his victory and demanded to meet the Challenge of the One.iron_fist-one-slain-thrown.jpg

    With his chi fully summoned, the Iron Fist charged the One, who sidestepped his strike, caught his wrist, and smashed the Iron Fist in the back with a devastating blow.

    The One then kicked the Iron Fist back and then apparently leapt to meet him as he landed.

    As the crowd jeered the Iron Fist, the One hurled him into the stands, where he landed between Sparrow and the young Daniel Rand.

    The One leapt up after the Iron Fist, and the spectators fled. Though Daniel was reluctant to leave, fearing that the One would kill the Iron Fist, Sparrow pulled him away, advising Daniel, "it was his challenge...his fate."

    The Iron Fist summoned his chi, but the One delivered a fatal blow, and the glowing fist faded and collapsed.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#5 (fb) - BTS) - From this, Daniel realized that claiming the Iron Fist wasn't a prize rewarding a life of hardship, but only the beginning; and if you didn't clench your hand tightly enough, the iron could be taken at any time.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#5 (fb) - BTS) - Presumably at Yu-Ti (Nu-An)'s orders (or those of one of his subordinates), the One was restrained by a number of chains held by multiple warriors. Before being taken away, the One stared into the eyes of the young Daniel, and both seemed to know that they would one day face each other.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#8 (fb) - BTS) - The One was programmed to fail against Daniel Rand when he became Iron Fist.one-kunlun-robot-mp15-bow

(Marvel Premiere I#15 / Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#7 (fb) - BTS) - Having earned the title of Iron Fist by Shou-Lao and having won the Challenge of the Many, Daniel Rand faced the Challenge of the One.

    Rand dodged the One's first blow and struck a solid body blow to no effect, and his next strike to the One's chin was similarly ineffective, after which he narrowly dodged the One's blow. A flying kick by Rand bent the One back slightly, but it instantly swatted Iron Fist back.

    The One leapt forward and struck with a kick that Iron Fist dodged, but it then struck him in the face with its darting fist, after which it struck him in the face twice more. Rand allowed himself to be knocked against a far wall and ricochet away to gain a moment's respite, but the swiftly moving One caught him with another powerful kick.one-kunlun-robot-mp15-entry

    As the stunned Iron Fist struggled to maintain consciousness, he questioned who his opponent was to toss him about so easily, but the One silently responded by launching a dagger from out its palm and into Rand's shoulder.

    Appreciating that his foe was not human and then dodging a second dagger-strike, Rand -- inspired by a vision of his mother -- pulled the dagger from his shoulder and furiously struck back with a series of kicks and smashes that finally caused the metal beneath the One's hood to start to give, to bend and twist.

    As the One slowed and began to totter, Rand decapitated the One using his Iron Fist power; he then removed its mask to reveal it to be a robot.one-kunlun-robot-iftlw7-robotface

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#9 (fb) - BTS) - Yu-Ti (Nu-An) had the Fooh executed for "impersonating an immortal of flesh with lifeless metal and brutal science."

    The decapitated One robot was apparently cast into the abyss in which Wendell Rand had fallen.

(Iron Fist V#3 (fb) - BTS) - After the One was exposed as a robot serving the Yu-Ti, many suspected that Daniel Rand-K'ai only won because the challenge was fixed.

(Iron Fist V#4 (fb) - BTS) - More people from K'un-Lun left due to this apparent betrayal, and they relocated to Liu-Shi, building on those who had traveled there decades earlier.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#12 (fb) - BTS) - Apparently acting on its programming to resurrect the Fooh, the One apparently merged with portions of the corpse of Wendell Rand, gaining his memories in the process (see comments).

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#6 (fb) - BTS) - The One arranged an alliance with Davos (formerly the Steel Serpent), granting him a cybernetic arm to replace the part of Davos' arm severed by Tiger's Beautiful Daughter. 

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#2 (fb)) - The One flew on the platform of one of at least ten helicopters as they approached the city of K'un-Lun. After the helicopters landed, a number of K'un-Lun guardsmen approached, and the unidentified One assured the city's immortals that they were safe and that despite the pomp and circumstances, he was not there to harm them; asking them not to force his hand, he requested to speak to their Yu-Ti (Lei Kung).

    Lei Kung instructed the guardsmen to stand down as he needed no protection. When Lei Kung threatened the One to turn back, the One mocked their "forever" existence, stating that perhaps that was why so little had changed since last they had spoken so long ago. As the One called Lei Kung "Old Friend" and removed his mask, Lei Kung was visibly shocked. 

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#2 (fb) - BTS) - The One and his forces decapitated Lei Kung and the dragon Shou-Lao, slaughtered many residents, and set the city of K'un-Lun afire. 

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#1 (fb) - BTS) - Presumably seeking both Pei -- who had escaped to Earth to deliver a message to Iron Fist -- and Iron Fist himself, the One dispatched a pair of Apache helicopters full of undead cyborg ninjas.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#1 - BTS) - In the middle of the night, the One's undead cyborg ninjas descended on nylon ropes from a pair of Apache helicopters in Manhattan in proximity to the Rand building. Iron Fist destroyed both the helicopters, the explosions of which destroyed the still airborne undead cyborg ninjas. Within his apartment, Iron Fist defeated the last of these cyborgs, though his Iron Fist power failed when he tried to summon it.

one-kunlun-robot-iftlw3
(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#3) - The One confronted Iron Fist -- who had returned to K'un-Lun to investigate his power disruption -- after he had crashed in the snow following his shattering of the Tree of Immortality and being driven out of the city by Prince of Orphans. Pulling back his cloak, the One showed Daniel his face, the apparent flesh of Wendell Rand, and called him "my son."

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#4) - The One accused Iron Fist of having turned his back on Lei Kung, leaving him to an icy grave, just like he had done with his father. Iron Fist angrily attacked, but -- as the One noted that the chi of K'un-Lun, the life force of Shou Lao, and the Tree of Immortality had been destroyed -- Rand's right hand shattered against the One's chest.

    Iron Fist denounced the One as having his father's face but not being him, but when he attacked again, the One grabbed and shattered Iron Fist's other hand, noting that Lei Kung had given Daniel his (the One's and/or Wendell Rand's) fists and that he wanted them back.

one-kunlun-robot-iftlw-manyface(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#5) - Feigning mock enjoyment of the reunion with his son, the One battered Iron Fist, breaking his ribs, shoulder, and orbital bone.

    Iron Fist finally recognized the One as the robot he had beaten before, but when he argued that he had killed Shu-Hu, the One's undead ninja cyborgs added that he had killed them all.

    As the One offered for Danny to join him (apparently being merged with his form) to conquer both Earth and K'un-Lun, Sparrow suddenly arrived on a sled, causing an avalanche that buried the One and its ninjas; Sparrow grabbed Iron Fist's arm and pulled him to safety (see comments).

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#6) - After Davos captured Pei, the One met with Davos atop a building in Manhattan, advising him that the true power lied in the letting go, but that true power was only useful if it could be properly applied.

    The One then elaborated their plan, to use the runt of Shou-Lao to fuel the transformation of the Rand Gateway from Earth to K'un-Lun into a gateway to the afterlife.

   The One further noted that he planned to reunite the Rand family and together rule Heaven and Earth, and to rule from New K'un-Lun: A transformed Manhattan, built from the ruins of the Rand building.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#7 (fb) - BTS) - The One's agents made rapid progress in reconstructing the Rand Building.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#7 (fb) - BTS) - Much of K'un-Lun's population was placed in stasis tubes in Rand Tower, where their life force (chi) was channeled through the young Shou-Lao and into the One.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#11 (fb) - BTS) - The One used this chi to transform Rand Tower into a nightmarish new K'un-Lun.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#7) - Within the Rand Building, the One met with the rulers of the other six heavenly realms (as well as a pair of lawyers (Mr. Miller and another) and Darius Scott Pilling of the New York City Buildings Department), introducing himself as the new Yu-Ti of K'un-Lun.

    The ruler of the realm of the Bride of Nine Spiders asked what happened to the old Yu-Ti, then continued, noting that her intelligence reported that the One had acquired Shou-Lao's egg, but while he claimed to control the chi of K'un-Lun, she did not feel its presence.

    When lawyer Mr. Miller interrupted, insultingly instructing the One that he had no authority in New York, the One apologized for the inconvenience and instructed Davos to show him out; Davos then sent mechanized tendrils into Miller's mouth and hurled him out through a window to fall to his death.

    One of the leaders (apparently the ruler of the realm of the Crane Mother; see comments) denounced the One's methods as cheap and embarrassing, mocked his title as "Yu-Ti," and told him his number two (Davos) was a reject from their lands. She concluded that he/it offered them nothing, and so they wanted nothing to do with him.

    As the Terror Priests raised their swords behind the representatives, the One, his back turned, smiled, informing them that Mr. Pilling would be the only one of them leaving alive.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#7 (fb) - BTS) - Pilling fell under the One's influence. one-kunlun-robot-iftlw9-full.jpg

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#9) - The One awaited Daniel at the top of Rand Tower, where he continued to claim to be his father, Wendell, claiming to have survived the fall.

    Daniel eventually assaulted the One, using a pair of staves to avoid re-breaking his healing hands. Daniel instead broke off the One's hands, but the One used K'un-Lun's chi to smash Daniel into the basement.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#9 - BTS) - On the guidance of the Fooh's spirit/ghost, Daniel painfully tapped into the accumulated chi of K'un-Lun.

one-kunlun-robot-iftlw10-impaleif(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#10) - The One arrived at the Rand Tower's basement, telling Daniel how he could easily have stopped him during The Challenge of the One but was programmed not to; noting that Daniel had not earned the Iron Fist, the One informed him that he was simply taking it back.

    The One then grew new hands while it claimed to have been wronged by the magic of K'un-Lun and to be wanting what had been promised to it: power, kingdom, and position. When it noted that it possessed the same chi of K'un-Lun that Daniel did and that Daniel's Iron Fist could not stop him, Daniel noted that his chi was backed by all of his friends and family.

    Iron Fist shattered the One's face, but then the One bound Daniel in its tentacles and apparently  reached through his chest and accessed Daniel's heart's power (it's hard to tell what was going on).

    Taunting Daniel that he had accessed the heart of the newborn dragon (Gork, a reincarnation of Shou-Lao)'s power, which the One could not have done on its own, the One then had the Terror Priests reverse the flow of chi. The One then used that to power the Randall Gate, opening a portal between the living and the dead.

    However, while the One wished to be "reunited" with Heather Rand, it instead unleashed and was confronted by the fiery god Zhu-Rong.

one-kunlun-robot-iftlw11-giant (
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#11) - Lifted upward by its mechanical cables, the One confronted Zhu-Rong, ordering the god out of its way and instructing it to kneel before him, but Zhu-Rong struck down the One, leaving it shattered on the ground.

    As Zhu-Rong announced its plans to punish Earth's mortals for having disrespected the boundaries of the living and the dead, Daniel crawled his way to the One, telling his "father" he was ready.

    While Zhu-Rong continued that one among them had refused to complete his journey, Daniel questioned the One on the health/fate of the people in the tower and the One's connection to them, and the One wrapped its tentacles around Daniel, embracing him as his son.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#11 (fb) - BTS) - Via the One's connection to Rand Tower and to the chi of the K'un-Lun residents within it, Daniel animated the entire Rand Tower into an immense humanoid form.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#11) - As Zhu-Rong lashed out, incinerating the police confronting it, Daniel and the One assaulted assaulted Zhu-Rong via the animated building.

    However, when Davos, desperate to convince the others to flee with him, slew the young Gork, Daniel lost the power to control the building.

    Zhu-Rong then tore the One/Rand Tower apart, and the people of K'un-Lun spilled out like blood.

    As Daniel communicated with the One/whatever vestige of Wendell Rand existed within it, "Wendell" praised Daniel's strength and asked him to show him how to be a man again by taking the last of the One's chi.

    Daniel then used his Iron Fist to make Zhu-Rong explode like a star going super-nova; the energies released transformed Pei into a new Iron Fist.

(Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#12 - BTS) - Daniel Rand used his chi to heal within the corpse of Zhu-Rong.

    The Fooh was apparently resurrected through Zhu-Rong as well.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, Gil Kane, and Dick Giordano.

    The One's decapitated form was thrown into the canyons 10 years after Wendell Rand's apparent death. The Fooh would have been executed shortly after the One was publicly exposed as a robot. While the One was ultimately revealed to have done everything in this series in order to resurrect the Fooh, the One only became active again suddenly 8-10 years later (Marvel Time)?
    We've seen Wendell's corpse (it was just a skeleton in the 1996 Iron Fist mini-series by James Felder) between the time of the One's decapitation and the One's revival where it claimed to have merged with his still living form. We've also seen Wendell's spirit in Feng-Tu several times, but I'm aware that we often see spirits in the afterlife in comics when a character turns out to have never been dead. There are a number of explanations for this sort of thing...
    So...Wendell having still been alive and to have actually bonded with the One is clearly horseshit. There's no way around it. The One just believed itself to be Wendell Rand and somehow accessed his memories...maybe the mystic nature of K'un-Lun allowed it to access his spirit. Even if it bonded to Wendell's skeleton or tissue, it wouldn't normally gain access to his memories from that...but again, magic, is the best explanation.

    I really hated this series when it came out. It crapped ALL OVER the character of Wendell Rand as established in the great Immortal Iron Fist, AND it marginalized the powerful Shou-Lao into this easy contest that many won, only to lose to this robot AND, it took Davos, who had finally accepted his own flaws and had begun to do penance for them, and turned him back into the one-dimensional villain he was before that series AND it slew Lei-Kung...
    In re-reading and reviewing ad nauseum to profile the characters, I have gotten to appreciate it a lot more, and there certainly was some consideration of Brubaker's series and the events therein, but I still don't love any of the major ideas established in this series.

    If Nu-An controlled who could be Iron Fist, he certainly wouldn't have let the son of his rival, Wendell Rand, become one.

    The leader of the "eight cities" who denounced the One's face looked like the queen of the spiders-queen, and she was standing in the same position the spider-queen had been, but I would have thought this would refer to the Crane Mother, as Davos had traveled to that realm and allied with them, draining life force from the Crane Mother's daughters for his own power.

    Regardless, I'd imagine that any of the leaders of the "eight cities" slain or imprisoned by the One either were liberated or resurrected following the One's destruction.

    In Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#5, it appears that the Fooh rescued Iron Fist. However, it was subsequently revealed that the Fooh had perished a decade ago, and that the Fooh was just a ghost). Sparrow wasn't shown as being on the sled in #5 because Rand was seeing the Fooh, but it was actually Sparrow.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The One
was designed to mimic:


images: (without ads)
Marvel Premiere I#15, pg. 10, panel 4 (The One's entrance);
          panel 6 (bowing with Daniel Rand);
       pg. 17, panel 1-2 (firing knives from hands);
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#3, last panel (revealing Wendell Rand face);
    #4, pg. 18, panel 2 (full, confronting Daniel);
    #5, story pg. 11, panel 5 (color; smashed to ground by the One);
       pg. 12, panel 3 (One chasing Iron Fist into crowd);
       pg. 13, panel 5 (The One in chains, staring down young Danny Rand);
       pg. (multiple faced form);
    #6, last page, panel 2 (in profile, greeting Davos in front of the Terror Priests)? - notscanned
    #7, pg. 15, panel 1 (retelling of MP#15) - notscanned
       pg. 17, panel 6 (robot face);
    #8, pg. 19, panel 4 (One; face)
    #9, pg. 14, panel 1 (towering over Iron Fist)
    #10, pg. 14 (shoving hand through Iron Fist's chest)
    #11, pg. 1, panel 3 (chair) - notscanned
       pg. 11, panel 1 (combined with Rand building)


Appearances:
Marvel Premiere#15 (May, 1974) - Roy Thomas (writer, editor), Gil Kane (artist), Dick Giordano (inker)
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#1-6 (June-November, 2014) - Kaare Kyle Andrews (writer and artist), Jake Thomas (editor)
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#7 (January, 2015) - Kaare Kyle Andrews (writer and artist), Jake Thomas (editor)
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon#8-12 (March-July, 2015) - Kaare Kyle Andrews (writer and artist), Jake Thomas (editor)
Iron Fist V#3-5 (July-September, 2017) - Ed Brisson (writer), Mike Perkins (artist), Kathleen Wisneski (assistant editors), Jake Thomas (editor)


First posted: 03/30/2019
Last updated: 03/30/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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