Thursday 3 March 2016

10 Things You Need To Know About Iron Fist

Marvel has finally announced who will play the lead in their upcoming TV series, Iron Fist. Finn Jones is the man set to play the titular hero, he is an English actor most well known for starring as Loras Tyrell in Game of Thrones.

The series will form part of the Netflix arm of the Marvel universe, which so far includes Daredevil, Jessica Jones and will soon see Luke Cage and The Punisher series, too. Iron Fist is the odd one out of these as the character is a mystical martial arts based hero, which might seem at odds with the more realistic, gritty tone of the Netflix shows so far. Still, Iron Fist is set to be included in the upcoming The Defenders series which will unite all these characters.

Here are 10 facts that you need to know about Danny Rand and his alter ego Iron Fist before he gets his very own show on Netflix.

1) He Isn’t Actually Asian
When news broke that Finn Jones was playing this martial arts themed superhero, there was an outcry on social media that the character had been whitewashed. The character isn’t Asian in the comics. As with pretty much all of Marvel’s heroes, Danny Rand is American. He was raised in the US until, as we know, his parents died whereupon he was brought up in K’un Lun. Only after becoming Iron Fist did he return to the US where he is based for the rest of his crime-fighting career. They could have recast the role as an Asian-American, but a lot of people are agreed that the character would then probably be guilty of cultural stereotyping.

2) He Got His Powers By Defeating A Dragon
The comics’ Danny Rand got his powers by punching a dragon. You can’t get much more mystical than that. At the age of nineteen, Danny was deemed ready for the Iron Fist role and his final test was to fight an immortal dragon called Shou-Lao. If he beat her, he would be granted the power of the Iron Fist. Needless to say, he did. The battle also gave him the trademark dragon tattoo on his chest.

3) He Has Mystical Powers
Danny Rand is primarily a master martial artist as trained by the immortal Lei-Kung. However, he does have another, more super-powered, skillset. Being the Iron Fist brings Rand the power to focus his chi to enhance his combat abilities, like speed, stamina, strength, senses, agility, durability and reflexes. Controlling his chi also allows him to recover from just about any injury. Basically, he’s near impossible to defeat.

4) He Is Not The Only Iron Fist
Similar to someone like Black Panther, who will also soon enter the MCU, Iron Fist is a title passed down through the generations. As such, Danny Rand is far from the first. He is the sixty-sixth the latest in a long line of warriors chosen to be the sworn protector of the mystical city of K’un Lun. Other Iron Fists include the original Quan Yaozu, the first female Iron Fist Wu-Ao-Shi and Orson Randall, who was active during World War Two.

5) He Grew Up In An Inter-Dimensional City
After his parents died when he was nine years old, Danny was taken in to the magical city of K’un Lun and raised to be the next Iron Fist. K’un Lun itself appears to be in Tibet but is actually situated on an entirely different plane of reality. It is only accessible from Earth every ten years, from an interdimensional nexus found in Tibet.

6) He Is A Real Team Player
In the comics, the Defenders is generally a group for heroes who don’t play well in a team and who usually have their own agendas, sort of like the Avengers’ rowdier, younger brother. Iron Fist, however, has been part of many superhero teams over the years. He was part of the original Heroes For Hire before he created his own much larger organization of the same name. Later on, he was one of the New Avengers and Secret Avengers, as well as being on Captain America’s side in the Civil War conflict.

7) He And Luke Cage Are Partners
Iron Fist and Power Man are long-time partners and best friends in the comics. In an effort to combine the popularity of the then current Blaxploitation and Kung Fu crazes, Marvel merged Rand and Cage into one title, thereby creating one of their most perennial superhero friendships. Together, the pair formed the Heroes For Hire agency. Because of this, it has to be assumed that Mike Colter will turn up at some point in Iron Fist.

8) He’s Also Been Daredevil
In the comics, Danny Rand once tried to help his friend Matt Murdock out of a spot of bother by taking up the Daredevil mantle. When police imprisoned Murdock after apparently finding out that he was Daredevil, Rand dressed in the man      without fear’s costume in a bid to convince the police that they were mistaken. It worked, but when Murdock got out, he assumed someone was trying to steal his thunder and so he attacked Rand.  Once Murdock realized who it was, though, he got Iron Fist to keep up the pretence a little longer so that he could investigate a certain someone’s murder.

9) He And Misty Knight Were Lovers
Misty Knight is actually more connected to Iron Fist in the comics. While she has been romantically-involved with Cage, she was in a far longer relationship with Danny Rand. Misty Knight is a hero in her own right too, though. A former NYPD cop, she lost her arm in the line of duty. Luckily, Tony Stark was on hand to build her a new super-strong bionic one. With that, she left the force to become a superpowered private eye with her pal Colleen Wing.

10) He Is Rich
Danny Rand didn’t become a hero thanks to his excess of wealth rather, he had already been Iron Fist for a while before he inherited his father’s multi-million dollar investments corporation. At first, he uses his newfound wealth to fund the Defenders, but later revamps the company into a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the poor. His fellow Defenders also sign up for the organization; Luke Cage offers his services as a hero, Jessica Jones as a detective and Matt Murdock as a lawyer.

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