Marvel’s newest Netflix hero is a man named Danny Rand. Iron Fist looks far from intimidating as he walks the street barefoot in his homeless attire listening to Outkast on his iPod. Missing for fifteen years, the prodigal son to a billion dollar company makes his return to New York City. However, he is escorted after asking to meet Harold Meechum. He makes an entrance using his fighting skills to get past a group of guards and to the very floor he remembers. There he finds two seemingly familiar faces from his childhood, Joy and the much less likeable, Ward. It is only fair for them to question his identity believing that no traces of him were known to still exist.
Now I know next to nothing about Iron Fist other than he is a superhero born from the hype of kung fu in the 70s. The first bit of controversy came to his casting as the Asian-American community felt that Marvel could have taken a different direction rather than follow the iteration. This would make The Defenders a very diverse cast with Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil all representing different groups of people. I may be in the minority for this, but I think it paid off sticking to source material. I know that after The Great Wall, the idea of a white man being the savior to Asian themes is something we want to put behind. However, Danny seems to be the most respectful without a sense of cultural appropriation. And if we were to rewrite the story of a Asian family close to a rich white family, we would begin to question how much stereotyping would be part of the show to allow viewers to feel comfortable.
With no relatives to be found, he has few people to connect with. He attempts to befriend a struggling dojo owner named Colleen. She will make the next nerd bae list for her looks and ability to kick ass. He also meets this homeless guy in the park who unravels the mystery that Harold passed away from cancer years ago.
So here is the lowdown. I am not able to form much of an impression, but there was enough to have me continue for another four episodes before I had to stop at 4 am. The first episode is a tease and if you’re looking for a novel plot, you may have to wait and see like everyone else. There is a hint of Green Arrow and Batman Begins, but Danny is likeable for his character. That vanilla personality also sets him aside from other heroes. You may not like Iron Fist for that reason. If the enemies are a bunch of rich kids, then this show will have to find a different path.