When Netflix first announced that their next Marvel original series was going to be “Iron Fist”, we bet that many of you out there were probably scratching your heads wondering what the heck is an Iron Fist?
We don’t blame you. After all, this Marvel character is relatively unknown to non-comic fans. Although Iron Fist was created in the early 1970s, he is not as famous as Daredevil, Captain America, or Spider-Man. This is one of the main reasons why we’re curious to watch his origin story unfold on the small screen.
We’ve already been introduced to Luke Cage (played by Mike Colter), Jessica Jones (played by Krysten Ritter), and Matt Murdock/Daredevil (played by Charlie Cox) in their respective TV shows, but Iron Fist, otherwise known as Danny Rand, has pretty much been shrouded in mystery.
Before the 4 small-screen superheroes join forces to defend their beloved hometown of New York City in the highly-anticipated “The Defenders”, it’s only fitting to get you familiarised with this white dude with a dragon scar that became a superhuman kung fu master.
1. Danny Rand isn’t the original Iron Fist
That’s right folks, there were several individuals before Danny took on the mantle of Iron Fist. Some of them include Quan Yaozu (the first known Iron Fist), Wu Ao-Shi (the first female Iron Fist), Bei Ming-Tian, Bei Bang-Wen, Li Park, and Kwai Jun-Fan. Danny is the 66th among the long line of warriors to defend the mystical city of K’un Lun.
2. He was raised in K’un Lun
Danny Rand’s orphan story is tragic as hell. After his parents, Wendell Rand and Heather Duncan, were betrayed by their business parter Haroald Meachum during their trip to Tibet in search of K’un Lun, the couple met a tragic death.
Luckily, 9-year-old Danny was discovered by the people of K’un Lun and brought to the city. He stayed there for 10 years, leaving only after he obtained the title of Iron Fist.
According to various sources, K’un Lun is only reachable from Earth once every decade. Even though K’un Lun appears in Tibet, the city itself exists in a different dimension altogether. The city was apparently built from a UFO that crashed in this other dimension approximately a million years ago.
3. He became Iron Fist by defeating a dragon
Most superheroes we know are either born gifted (Thor) or are mutated (Deadpool). Danny, on the other hand, had to fight a freaking dragon! At the age of 19, he was given the honour of battling the immortal female dragon, Shou-Lao. Whoever defeats her will gain the power of the Iron Fist.
Rand successfully defeated Shou-Lao by “pressing his chest against the dragon’s, cutting her body off from the life energy of her heart (which was separate from her body). As well as gaining him the power of the Iron Fist, this battle branded his chest with the shape of the dragon”.
4. His superpowers
In addition to his training in advanced Earth-based martial arts and with various type of weaponry, Danny’s mystical Iron Fist allows him to harness and focus his chi to amplify his abilities, thus giving him superhuman powers. From that, he can enhance speed, stamina, agility, durability, awareness, super strength, and reflexes.
In the television series, Danny will return to New York City and begins his career as a superhero. It’ll be exciting to see how Marvel executes that “glow” on screen.
5. Finn Jones’ training regimen
Training to achieve the physique of a martial arts master isn’t easy. In speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Finn Jones shared that his intense training regimen not only focuses on the physical aspects but also on meditation and spirituality.
The “mind, body, and spirit”-style training include hours of martial-arts practice (“kung fu and wushu mixed with a bit of tai chi”), doing weights (“to bulk me up”), before proceeding to meditation and Buddhist philosophy studies.
6. Iron Fist isn’t Asian
Before Finn Jones was cast as Iron Fist, many fans advocated for Marvel to go with an Asian-American even though the character is white in the comics. On the other hand, others have also disputed the notion, saying that picking an Asian actor simply because the hero was built upon Asian racial stereotypes would be a stereotypical move.
7. The reason Finn Jones took up this role
So what exactly drew him to this role, you ask?
“I love the character. What really drew me was the character and the story. I really enjoy how he’s a superhero with a real heart but has spiritual elements as well. I think it’s going to be an exciting character to play because there’s this contraction of on one hand he’s from a very wealthy family, he’s a billionaire, on the other hand he’s been in this world of K’un-Lun for a long time where he’s learned kung fu and buddhist philosophy,” the “Game of Thrones” star previously told Entertainment Weekly.
8. Heroes for Hire: Iron Fist & Luke Cage’s relationship
Once “Iron Fist” and “The Defenders” airs on Netflix, fans will be expecting to see a lot more crossover action play out on the small screen – particularly Heroes for Hire. In the comics, Iron Fist and Luke Cage were quite the successful pair as crime-fighting heroes selling their skills as a business service. Fingers crossed, we might get to see this duo as Heroes for Hire in “Iron Fist” season 2.
9. Familiar characters will be reintroduced
A new batch of stills were recently unveiled, teasing the return of several ubiquitous Marvel/Netflix crossover regulars. Carrie-Anne Moss is reprising her role as cunning New York lawyer Jeri Hogarth. The actress had stated that her character will be “very involved” with the series as her character will play “an extremely important role in Danny’s life”.
Also heading back to our screens is Rosario Dawson as Night Nurse/Claire Temple. Claire Temple first appeared in “Daredevil” in 2015. She was also seen in the 1st season of “Jessica Jones”, treating an injured Luke Cage, and subsequently befriending him. No word yet on how she’ll meet Danny Rand but we figure he’s going to need some bandaging after his fights.
Other photos include Colleen Wing (played by fellow “Game of Thrones” actress Jessica Henwick), a Japanese martial artist seeking to avenge her father’s death with the help of Danny.
10. How Iron Fist brings The Defenders together
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Finn Jones explained that despite being the newest and youngest of the 4 superheroes, Iron Fist is the only one that “knows really what’s going on”, and therefore ends up being one of the main forces in bringing the team together.
“In ‘Iron Fist’, he’s so unwound, because he doesn’t know who he is, there’s always so much confusion, and he’s always on the brink of a total meltdown, or totally annihilating something, someone, mainly himself. There’s always this high energy frenetic tension, but in ‘Defenders’, he’s definitely more responsible. He has ground, has drive. I’d say that’s the key word for Danny in ‘The Defenders’. He drives all of the Defenders to get behind him to solve this… [Pauses as the publicist looks up] issue,” the 28-year-old British star said.
Enjoy the first official trailer here:
“Iron Fist” will be available on Netflix in its entirety on 17th March.