Who is the Iron Fist?
Written by: August Aguilar, Follow me on Twitter (@AugustAA92) & YouTube
The last Defender made his live action debut on Netflix recently and it is with great sadness to say that it does not hold up to the other Marvel superheroes in the dark corners of New York City.
Danny Rand, known as the Iron Fist, is played by Finn Jones (Game of Thrones). While his good looks and innocent charm my distract you in the beginning and make you believe in this title character, don’t get your hopes up too high for an amazing character arch along with an intense story.
I have always known who Iron Fist was, but I have never been too familiar with the character. For the majority of Marvel and the new Netflix series fans, I’m sure that unfamiliarity of Iron Fist was a gamble from the beginning. They had one shot to show this character and make us believe what kind of hero he can be. Iron Fist is an extreme martial artist; raised and trained by Monks in K’un-Lun, he capable of enduring great physical pain as well as use intense combat techniques. Not only this, he is given the power of the “Iron Fist”, which yes, gives him a fist that is indestructible. His mission and sole purpose is to defend K’un-Lun and destroy The Hand. Unfortunately, Danny Rand has a hard time figuring out if he truly is the Iron Fist or not throughout this first season.
The show beings with Danny coming home after being gone for 15 years. The world thinks he is dead, and his billion dollar company Rand Enterprise is ran by his childhood best friends, the Meachums. Ward and Joy Meachum are two stuck-up corporate bosses who can’t grasp the idea that Danny is really Danny, and not some crazy homeless guy. It takes a few episodes for everyone to be on the same page and for the world to realize that Danny is alive and has returned.
However, the shake up of Danny returning not only stops business with Rand, but it also reveals the dark and illegal activities going on within the company. When Harold Meachum (the father who too, is supposed to be dead) tells Danny that The Hand is a part of Rand, it is now his mission to stop The Hand at all costs. This is where everything seems to lose focus for the rest of the season.
Danny is the Iron Fist. He demonstrates his abilities and talks about his training in each episode. What Danny is not though, a rational human being. He is too emotional and literally gullible with every circumstance. He can be told anything and believe it; and if someone shows that they don’t like him, he gets upset or even angry. Granted he was raised by monks and has the innocence of a child, but for being a hero he should learn to control his emotions. One of the other major flaws of his character is being doubtful of being the Iron Fist. There are many, many times that he tries to summon the power of the Iron Fist and falls flat, giving him a great disadvantage.
So these are traits of the character and makes a good story though, right? Well it would be if we were watching the story of the Iron Fist. I would say 60% of the show we are focused on Ward and Joy dealing with the Rand company and all of the fallout with Danny coming home. Not only this, but Ward has secretly been keeping his father’s presence hidden from the world and dealing with MAJOR daddy issues. Not to say that Ward isn’t entertaining, but it does take away from the point of the show.
Throughout the second half of the season the show starts to show hope more context within each episode. But I found myself disappointed when these moments fell short because Danny couldn’t get it up or was too emotional about the Meachums. One of his ally’s, Colleen Wing, is probably the one true badass of the show. She has extreme skills and knows how to put up a good fight. There were often times I thought she should be the Iron Fist herself.
Finally the most disappointing thing for me was the lack of fighting. There were lots of fighting throughout the show, but it looked like it was completely choreographed and without any effort. It looked slow and fake from every angle, unlike Daredevil or even Luke Cage. Whoever filmed these stunts should have realized from the first take that someone was going to say Finn Jones looks awkward as hell trying to do a lotus kick to the face.
Given the circumstances, I can’t hate on Iron Fist for what it’s trying to be and what it already is. First of all it’s a Marvel show, and I’m grateful to be able to see such a character come to life. Secondly, the story is interesting and it has it’s moments of awe and satisfying finishes; just overall the tone and details of the show doesn’t quite sit up to standards compared to it’s other Defender allies. After recently re watching Daredevil, the first five minutes of that show seemed better than the first season of Iron Fist.
So how will Danny fit along with the other Defenders in the upcoming cross over mini-series? Well we know The Hand will be a BIG part of it, and we know that Danny now can summon the Iron Fist. Will he be the same adolescent mindset? Hopefully not. I’m interested to see how he fits along the likes of the other Defenders. If Luke Cage and Iron Fist can just get a Heroes For Hire show that would be great.
Final Score: 6/10
What did you think of Iron Fist? How would you compare it to the other Netflix shows? Let us know in the comments below!