Iron Fist is one of the immortal fighters and is charged with protecting the celestial city of K’un-Lun. Iron Fist is also a person called Daniel “Danny” Rand. His father, the successful businessman Wendell Rand, was obsessed with returning to the city which he was to inherit and from which he was expelled (due to his womanising behaviour). To do this, he travelled to the Himalayas with his wife Heather, his 9 year old son Danny and his associate Harold Meachum to look for the mythical city which is only accessible once every so many years. They ended up having an accident and Harold, instead of helping them, caused Wendell to have a fall which would kill him and abandoned Heather and Danny. Chased by a wolf pack, Heather got caught behind and died to give Danny time to cross a rickety bridge which, despite everything took him to the mountain city of K’un-Lun.
Here he was welcomed and trained in martial arts and he very quickly excelled in comparison to the others in his class. He was rigorously trained by the master Leí-Kung, and at the age of 19 he was offered the opportunity to confront the serpent Shou-Lao, who had never been beaten. His tattoo is of this serpent and is one of his characteristic features and after killing it, he put his fists into the creature’s heart and this gave him the power of the Iron Fist.
Although it was his responsibility to look after the entrance to K’un-Lun for the rest of his life, overpowered by hatred he decided to go back to New York and seek his vengeance. When he was about to kill Harold Meachum, because of his previous acts, he decided to show mercy and leave him alive – only for him to then be killed by a ninja sent by Khan. Without a clear direction after having failed at his two critical missions, Danny begins a new life, which seems strange to him, in the Big Apple.
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His obsession with getting revenge for the death of his parents was so important to Danny that he feels lost and disorientated when he is not able to kill Harold. Who am I if I cannot take the life of the person who has hurt me most in the whole world? These doubts went on to form part of Iron Fist’s personality, as he ended up feeling guilty for the deaths of innocent people and, therefore, put violence to one side for the fear of creating more violence in turn. Anyway, he is not happy with himself and even enjoys punishing himself for being able to enjoy his life and being pleasant with those around him.
Friends and Enemies
Although he doesn’t like asking for help and often works alone, he has also been known to work in a team if the situation calls for it. Thus, the range of people he has collaborated with – mainly because of the character’s poor commercial success – includes Spider-Man, Namor and Wolverine. He has a very strong and intense friendship with Luke Cage and it is Danny who finances the creation of the company “Heroes for Hire”, with him, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing.
Obviously, a multi-millionaire with an iron fist and great Kung-Fu skills will have various enemies, some of whom have sworn to kill him. On the one hand, he is the sworn enemy of the criminal organisation: The Hand, just like master Khan. On the other, he has also come up against more mundane enemies such as Norman Osborn and Kingpin. At the end of the day, his sworn archnemisis is Davos, Steel Serpent, an apprentice like him who was not powerful enough to overcome Shou-Lao and who is jealous of him – this envy even led him to work for Hydra in an attempt to destroy the celestial cities in which he grew up.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Iron Fist is the last of the Defenders to come to Netflix. Who knows if this is why this series has found the least success. Played by Finn Jones – Game of Thrones – Danny Rand comes back to New York to look for answers regarding the deaths of his parents. With the help of Jessica Henwick who plays Collen Wing he confronts Madame Gao’s The Hand on the streets and in the dojos of New York. The real villain of the series however is Harold Meachum – David Wenhman, Faramir in the Lord of the Rings –, a type of Dorian Gray who has a stranglehold on his family and those around him.
On the other hand, and although we do not see a lot of K’un-Lun in the series, the appearance of Davos – and his symbol on the packets of heroine since the first season of Daredevil – leads us to believe that Steel Serpent will be a reality on our screens in the near future. Having said that, the series is more than worthy and at the end of the day, it is not an easy task to adapt Iron Fist’s mystical side to the screen. We will see how far the character will go when he is united with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Daredevil in The Defenders.
In his normal life, Daniel Rand is the pinnacle of the human condition, having trained and prepared himself to be the definitive martial arts master. Nothing more and nothing less. This means that, physically he would not be a superhero as could be the case of Captain America or Luke Cage and his levels of strength and dexterity are about the same as those of Daredevil for example. However, on a mystic level, he is one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe. He can channel his chi through his fists which converts them into iron which is capable of stopping a train. In the same way, he can also use his inner strength to cure himself or others. Finally, he can walk across the astral planes reserved for magicians like Dr. Strange and, on more than one occasion, he has duelled with them.
Danny Rand is a perfect example of someone who is not in touch with his times. In fact, he was not educated in our world, and his strict moral values make many situations, injustices, and even day to day customs, very difficult for him to understand. Furthermore, we need to remember that he has inherited one of the biggest corporations in the world – Rand Industries. He wants to be the change that he wants to see in the world, but the challenges that he faces are significant and numerous. Fortunately, his money, or his fist, can deal with most of the obstacles he has to face.
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