Marvel/Netflix Team-Up Part 4: Who Is Iron Fist?

     January 4, 2014


Take one part Bruce Lee, add a dash of Indiana Jones, and sprinkle in the super heroics of the Marvel Universe, and you have yourself, Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist.  Originally, the second half of the duo, “Heroes for Hire” along with Luke Cage, Iron Fist takes center stage when it comes to representing the “martial arts” side of the Marvel Universe.  As part of the announced Marvel/Netflix deal, Iron Fist closes out the quartet of characters who will be getting their own shows in 2015.  Join Collider as we walk you through this martial arts master who is sure to show us a side of the Marvel Universe we have yet to see play out on the small screen.  Hit the jump!

Iron Origin

iron-fistFor me personally, Iron Fist finally arriving on the small screen is one of the most anticipated arrivals from the Marvel/Netflix deal.  His origins stem back to a mystical city called “K’un Lun” – which even I’m not sure how to pronounce after all this time – whose currency runs on mysticism and kung fu.  Brought there as a child by his father, Rand, like many other heroes of his ilk, loses his parents due to malicious ends and vows to study the ways of martial arts to avenge them.  From here, he studies beneath the masters of the city and in order to receive his “iron fist”, which he essentially charges up to make it “hard as iron”, he must plunge it into the egg of a dragon.  That’s right, Danny gains his abilities through plunging his fist into the egg of a giant dragon. If that’s not a hook for you, I don’t know what is!

One of the best Iron Fist stories, titled the “Immortal Iron Fist”, was a series produced by creators Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker, which walked the readers not only through Danny’s origins, but also his greatest adventure as he fought the forces of Hydra who were attempting to infiltrate K’un Lun.  This story would act as the perfect place to begin the series on Netflix as it gives a general overview of the character, as well as ramping up all the aspects of what makes Iron Fist work and connecting to the greater Marvel Universe.  There is a combination of adventurism and hardcore martial arts as Danny must enter into a tournament to not only save the city where his powers were born, but also discover the political corruption both inside and out of its walls.  Think Game of Thrones meets Enter the Dragon with a Marvel twist, and you have Iron Fist.

Supporting Dojo

iron-fist-marvelLet’s get the more obvious supporting cast out of the way in terms of allies for Iron Fist.  There are the usual suspects in that Danny has strong connections to both Luke Cage, as his partner in Heroes for Hire, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil, and I expect that they may well be making appearances in one another’s shows before the announced crossover series, The Defenders unites them all.  However, there’s also Misty Knight, who is Danny’s on again, off again girlfriend who also patrols the streets as a vigilante for hire.  These characters are all great in their own right, but they’re not what I’m most excited to see in the Iron Fist show.  I can’t wait to see the Immortal Weapons.

The Immortal Weapons are the fellow participants in the martial arts tournament that Iron Fist participated in, which was mentioned earlier. Each represents a different city, as Danny had represented K’un Lun, and have their own distinct personalities, powers, and styles of martial arts. They include Prince of Orphans, Bride of Nine Spiders, Dog Brother #1, and my personal favorite, Fat Cobra.  Eventually, the weapons arrive on earth following the tournament and could create for a great “fish out of water” story, similar to Marvel’s Thor, where Danny has to introduce these colossal kung fu titans to the real world.  While Iron Fist started out as a more earth-bound character with strong roots in the martial arts scene, it eventually became a sprawling epic on par with some of Marvel’s greatest works and it would behoove Marvel studios to stick with the layout that Brubaker and Fraction put together during their run.

Iron Out Some Problems

iron-fist-marvel-netflixWith Iron Fist, there’s a big opportunity to do a lot of what Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been struggling with and that’s showing a side of the Marvel Universe that hasn’t been seen.  Iron Fist can give us the opportunity to not only view the seedy underbelly of the New York streets, but also swing to the mystical overtones of cities with dragons and opponents such as the Steel Serpent, another follower of K’un Lun who uses his abilities for personal gain.  Marvel needs to use this show, more so than the other three green lit by Netflix, to show off the fantastic.  Iron Fist can act as a gateway or trial if you will, to show off a lot of the supernatural aspects of the universe, while also throwing in a protagonist who is proficient in the martial arts.

Recently, I have finally gotten onto the bandwagon that is CW’s Arrow and Oliver Queen is very similar to Danny Rand in a lot of ways, as both mostly rely on their physical prowess and are heirs to vast fortunes from their families.  However, the show is also fill to bursting with nods and winks to comic book fans that I feel the Marvel/Netflix shows should take note of, and certainly Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well.  The bottom line, above all of these things, is that Arrow, despite a few problems here and there with melodrama, is a really solid show and does a great job of balancing out flashbacks with current day events, while exploring characters that are strong and well rounded.  Taking a similar approach with Danny Rand while also adding in much more fantastical elements would be the best way to create a sure fire hit for the final of the Marvel/Netflix shows.



  • AJ

    THIS is the show I’m most excited for out of the Marvel/Netflix team-up! Iron Fist is da man! And I’d love to see the Daughters of the Dragon (Misty Knight & Colleen Wing) thrown up against Danny too!

    If Netflix does continue Fist beyond one season, I’d love to see the Immortal Weapons featured in their own season and then lead into a separate season for the Immortal Tournament. Too much epicness for just one season…

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  • Cog

    Netflix and HBO do it right.

  • Leo Spaceman

    I am fully devoted to watching these shows on Netflix when they come out, but these long break downs of the characters have only brought down my enthusiasm to see the characters. I know that there is a legacy to uphold and proper cannon should be followed, but I am more interested in seeing things develop on screen than just being told everything there I have to know about the character. And I admit, even though I only watched about half of the pilot of Agents of SHIELD, I don’t have a ton of faith in Marvel TV anymore. And I was a lot more excited when I thought The Punisher was going to be one of the Netflix shows. Once I realized I was wrong, my interest dropped considerably because The Punisher is the only one I really knew and his premise is the most enticing.

    • Leo Spaceman

      I am still one hundred percent hoping that the shows are hugely popular and awesome and kick complete ass.

  • Masshuu il Malacandra

    So another “dirty white boy” from New Yuk becomes a superhero martial artist magic-like over night. If there is one thing I HATE about MARVEL it’s all New York whiteboy club. You would think heros would come from other places in the world. Oh you have your token black with the Falcon and a white Russian female assassin. No Asian heroes, no middle eastern heroes, hell not even any western European heroes. Prejudice and racist much? Can’t even get the Marvel “SABRA” comics in the U.S.A. What the hell is up with that?

    • bernardg

      Hmmm. Luke Cage is big badass black dude from New York. He is quite well known. Not to mention, Black Panther, the king of Wakanda (probably one of the most advanced nation in the world that located in Africa continent). He is very famous (he has his own comic alongside his on/off stint with Avengers). Plus you have Storm, another prominent character from X-Men (often elected as their co-leader). Now they have a muslim middle eastern girl wearing the mantle of Miss Marvel.
      Oh, one more thing. The first successful Marvel movie was Blade, a black dude who hates vampire.
      My question is, do you do your homework on Marvel universe hard enough?

      • Movingforward1

        Don’t be so closed minded, Bernardo. Those are all black heroes you mentioned….where are the asian or Latino ones? Token black is always there. So many more races than black and white!

      • bernardg

        I think you are using words “closed minded” & “token” without even knowing what it is means. What if i tell you. Many of those characters are all but token. As they are all have prominent roles. Even some of them have their own comic book (Like Black Panther, Luke Cage, etc). Plus, you forgot, the newest Spiderman in Marvel-U is latino & gay. Spiderman’s sidekick (Arana, now Spider-Girl) is latina. Armor from X-Men is Japanese. Psylocke is half Brits/Japanese. They also have Sunfire/Famine from Japan. Wasp in Ultimate Universe is Asian American. Dust & new Miss Marvel are from Middle East (they’re still Asian, for geographically challenged). Should i go on? The list will be endless. Or you can just google it (before put on comments).
        I want to debunk the previous comments that saying Marvel lacks variety. If anything, they have more varieties than DC since the 60s. Even they have gay superhero long before it was a trend.
        Or if you want to talk about their movie universe. Lest you forget. This is still relatively a new territory for them. But, (again you clearly didn’t read my previous comment). The first successful Marvel movie is Blade (black character that killed vampires for fun). The leader of Shield that overseeing Avengers operation is black guy. In X-Men, they have Storm (In this case, i blame the overall movie direction for the lack of her presence. Compared to her comic counterpart). Plus one badass Asian chick (Lady Deathstrike) in X-2. Last but not least. In last Wolverine movie. The majority of setting was in Japan. Again, the movie universe still a new territory for Marvel. So, unlike their comic universe that have been around for decades. They’re taking it slowly.

      • flargie

        Miles Morales isn’t gay. He’s black and Latino, but not gay.

      • bernardg

        Yup, my bad!

      • bernardg

        Yup, my bad!

      • Sir Realism

        shang-chi master of kung fu
        mandarin from iron man

        silver samurai
        sunfire from x-men/avengers
        jubilee from x-men
        tarantula from spider-man

  • jordonvuz355

    My Uncle Gabriel got a stunning blue Dodge
    Charger SRT8 from only workin part time on a home pc… hop over to here B­i­g­2­9­.­ℂ­o­m

    • Jaries

      Your Uncle Gabriel is a web cam hooker that put an iron fist up his butt at $4 a view to earn that car.

  • Danny Rand

    Actually, he has to defeat Shou Lou the Undying, and then he plunges his fist into the Dragon’s heart, not the eggs.


    really excited for this. i have to say though, Thor was not a “great” fish out of water story, far from it actually.

  • Fire Whale

    AND Immortal “Iron Fist co-creator” David Aja…c’mon man, referencing a comic book story and COMPLETELY ignoring the mind-blowing art and its creator is pretty ridiculous.

  • JJ