Iron Monk (Wolverine enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Iron Monk


The Iron Monk is a Wolverine baddie. He appeared but once, in late 1996.

However, the Hand is frequently used as opposition in Marvel Universe RPGs. So a super-strong, invulnerable agent of theirs sure sounded handy to have on tap.

Powers and Abilities

The Iron Monk is a talented and highly trained martial artist. He also has superhuman strength and durability. He seems to be in the “Class 10” strength range, and can easily destroy obstacles such as steel bars with his bare hands.


He cannot be meaningfully hurt by physical attacks — unless struck with a weapon that wasn’t made by a mortal. Presumably, being punched or kicked by a person who isn’t a mortal would also work. Our game stats further assume that extraordinarily powerful attacks, capable of wounding Kryptonian-class  superhumans, might overcome the Iron Monk’s invulnerability.

Given this limitation, it seems likely that the Iron Monk’s powers are mystical in origin.

His usual weapon is his prayer beads – made of solid steel. He uses it like a flail, always keeping it in motion.


The Iron Monk is an enforcer of the demon-led ninja organisation The Hand. He is disguised as a Buddhist priest or monk. The Monk will routinely abuse the status that this confers him in many Asian countries.


In 1996, Wolverine (James Howlett) was investigating a Hand conspiracy among the Japanese underworld. He let himself be captured to force his opponents to expose themselves. The Hand sent the Iron Monk to the prison to finish Wolverine off. The hairy Canadian found himself unable to harm the assassin.

However, the diminutive Yohei, an enforcer of the Yashida clan, snuck into the prison. He brought Wolverine the honour sword of the Yashida. The mutant ran through the Iron Monk with the katana, which had been forged by a demon.

The Iron Monk was never seen again.


See illustration.

The Iron Monk takes out a guard with his prayer beads


The Iron Monk usually acts like an old-fashioned priest. Yet given his taste for violence it seems very unlikely that he’s any sort of sincere Buddhist. He also seemed racist against mutants.

In combat he is hugely confident and brags about his invulnerability. At one point he will inevitably announce that he “cannot be harmed by mortal hands or blades”, thus exposing his vulnerability.


“A master of the Hand has no need of mere keys.” (rips a prison door off its hinges with one hand)

“Neither bludgeons nor bullets may lay me low, genefilth !”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Iron Monk

Dex: 06 Str: 09 Bod: 05 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Hand agent
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 014 HP: 025

Skin armor: 15

Bonuses and Limitations:
Skin armor only works against mortals and weapons created by mortals (-1).

Martial artist*: 06, Thief (Stealth): 05, Weaponry (Melee): 07

Credentials (The Hand, Low), Expertise (Buddhist theology), Language (Japanese), Misc.: as a traditional priest, the Iron Monk will usually be respected by people raised in a Buddhist culture.

None demonstrated.


Prayer beads [BODY 11, EV 04 (10 w/STR)].

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Wolverine vol. 2 #108.

Helper(s): Darci