Netflix and Marvel have finally launched Iron Fist, a TV series focused on the martial arts superhero Danny Rand. While Marvel Comics diehards are surely pumped to sit down and binge the new show based on the “Fourth Defender,” most people are probably wondering who the heck Iron Fist is and why they should care about a 13-episode season devoted to a white billionaire who likes to punch people. Unfortunately, we don’t have an answer for the latter question, as you’ll just have to make up your own mind about whether Danny Rand’s adventures are to your tastes, but we can give a bit of insight into the character and his long crime-fighting history in Marvel Comics. Consider this an Iron Fist primer before sitting down to watch the TV show!
Iron Fist Was A Response To The Kung Fu Film Craze
Much like how fellow Defender Luke Cage was inspired by the blaxploitation era from the early 1970s, Iron Fist was birthed out of the kung fu film craze. However, the inspiration for Iron Fist arose out of much more than just the Bruce Lee era. According to a piece written by co-creator Roy Thomas in Iron Fist’s debut comic Marvel Premiere #15, Iron Fist’s origin and creation was a product of the 1940s Bill Everett character Amazing Man, an orphan raised by monks in Tibet for the first 25 years of his life. The Amazing Man parallels can be seen in Iron Fist’s very first story, “Fury of Iron Fist!”, which saw an adult Danny Rand reflect on he first came to train in K’un-Lun, a mystical city full of legendary masters of the martial arts that only manifests itself physically once every 10 years.