The last member of The Defenders is about to make his debut on Netflix when Marvel’s Iron Fist series premieres on March 17th. But while Finn Jones & co. bring the mythology of Danny Rand’s alter ego to life on the small screen, fans shouldn’t expect to see the signature green-and-yellow suit of Iron Fist any time soon.
The reasons for the decision have to do with Danny Rand’s arc in his introductory season; he’s far from a Hero for Hire at this point. So while Jessica Jones featured a nod to her superhero costume but wisely kept her private eye/street clothes aesthetic and Luke Cage took a pot shot at the vintage (and oh so 70s) deep-v tee and tiara, we should maybe expect Iron Fist to (eventually) don his costume in a manner similar to the way Matt Murdock introduced it at the tail end of the first season of Daredevil.
Here’s what showrunner Scott Buck had to say in an interview with GamesRadar’s SFX Magazine:
“There was no good reason we could imagine to put Danny Rand in a costume. Because Danny Rand is still discovering who he is as a hero and where he is going to be, so he’s not yet ready to put on a mask or a costume.”
Here’s one good reason: It’s a comic book adaptation, and people expect to see their comic book heroes in their comic book costumes. Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl all found ways to get their title heroes into their iconic costumes, but it seems that Iron Fist has to earn his way there. That decision fits the origin story Buck is trying to tell in the Netflix series:
“[A]t the same time he is someone who is rather well known as a billionaire, so he can’t necessarily go out in public and do the things he does without being recognised. It does become an issue for the character.”
Iron Fist’s costume isn’t all that over the top, but since Marvel’s commitment to keep their Heroes of Hell’s Kitchen grounded, they’re avoiding anything that doesn’t fit that mold:
“We’re trying to keep things extremely grounded and real and tell our stories through characters. So the mystical aspect is something we like to hint at, the idea that there is something bigger and larger out there, but we don’t delve into it all that deeply.”
In an earlier interview during a Netflix press event, Jones pretty much said the same thing regarding his character and earning the iconic costume:
JONES: Also, just to make a point, Danny Rand isn’t a superhero. Not yet, anyway. I think Danny Rand has a long way to go before he can earn the right to call himself the Iron Fist. He has a lot of things to really learn about himself and overcome … He’s still a kid. He doesn’t know what to do with it, he’s got this huge responsibility, he’s got so many inner issues and inner torment that he has to deal with first before he can actually be responsible, and it’s very interesting to take that angle on it. It’s a really interesting angle that Scott Buck has created.
Like I said earlier, I think Danny has a long way to go before he earns the title of being a superhero. What we see in the first season is Danny isn’t a superhero yet. He hasn’t earned the right to attain that title. He has a lot of individual things that he has to deal with before he can claim that identity. So in terms of costume, the first couple of episodes you see Danny kind of awkwardly fitting into suits, like he’s not used to this. It doesn’t feel right. But then he’s in regular clothes. It still doesn’t feel right. He’s trying to find his identity through clothes, and I think eventually throughout the series he kind of claims some kind of identity through his clothes, but really, I know what you’re trying to say here, but we’ve got a couple more seasons to go before we get to that point.
I’m guessing that Marvel hopes that the moment Rand puts on his suit and fights in it for the first time will be a powerful scene for fans of the comic book character, but it’s hard telling just how long we’ll have to wait to see it. Feel free to share your thoughts on this costume-less Iron Fist in the comments below!