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The Untold Truth Of Marvel's Razor Fist

Comic book villain aesthetics are cool and all, but they do nothing for most people when it comes to functionality. Wearing an Infinity Gauntlet does nothing for your penmanship. Doctor Doom's mask will just make you sound like you're talking into an empty soup can, and a functioning pair of Stilt-Man trousers will only get you two things in this life: a gig at the county fair and a broken collarbone. Three things, if you count the second broken collarbone.

And arguably nobody in the world of super-villainy has it worse than Razor Fist, the Marvel villain making his big-screen debut later this year in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Razor Fist doesn't have any powers, you see. He's generally depicted as a gifted martial artist with all the physical acumen of an accomplished athlete. That's all well and good, but just about everyone in the Marvel universe is rocking zero percent body fat and pecs you could crack a beer on. It's not the Olympic-level muscle tone or dedication to the mastery of hand-to-hand combat that makes Razor Fist such a powerhouse character. It's the way that, in a world of super science and unbreakable cybernetic limbs, he chose to replace his arms with swords, basically limiting his career opportunities to "supervillain" and "uninsurable hibachi chef."

Razor Fist lives up to his name

Not to be confused with Razorback (a boar-themed truck driver), Taser Face (from Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2), or Blazer Mist (a character who controls atmospheric moisture with his jacket that we just made up), Razor Fist is actually the moniker attached to three different characters. The first, William Young, debuted in 1975's Master of Kung Fu #29 and cut an imposing figure with his hooded wrestling singlet and his dual blades, surgically implanted at the elbow by his employer, Carlton Velcro. Sadly, the candle that boasts half its arms burns twice as fast, and Young lasted a scant three issues before meeting his grisly end. He accidentally walked into the line of fire when some of Velcro's hired guns started shooting at Shang-Chi. For a guy with swords for hands, he was... all thumbs. Cue James Bond musical sting.

It apparently took six years for Velcro to get around to replacing someone's arms with big knives again. In 1981, two new Razor Fists entered the game — William and Douglas Scott, brothers who had each lost an arm in a car accident. Wouldn't you know it, Carlton Velcro just so happened to be offloading some sword arms, and attached one to each brother before — double whoops — accidentally shooting one of them, too. With Douglas dead, William took on the mantle of Razor Fist. He even lost his second arm and, apparently gobsmacked by the sheer versatility of having an 18-inch metal blade instead of fingers, decided to double down on the theme.

Since then, the last of the Razor Fists has popped his head up from time to time, usually working as hired muscle for C-listers like The Hood and White Dragon. It can only be hoped that he will one day find some measure of peace, falling in love with Winona Ryder and making ice sculptures on a mountain or something.