'Iron Fist' adapted this Marvel character in the most sexist way possible

Iron Fist's main character, Danny Rand, is played in the show by British actor Finn Jones, known for his role as Loras Tyrell on the Sky Atlantic show. Perhaps one of the more scathing comments I've read is "Each of the six episodes made available to critics proves a taxing affair where you're asked to invest in characters so thinly constructed they could be cardboard cutouts cleverly lit to resemble human beings".

Iron Fist premiers Friday, March 17th on Netflix. She's a ruthless, global heroin runner at first glance, and her appearances in Daredevil have repeatedly seeded hints that she has a more supernatural connection.

As a Marvel/Netflix completist, I'm willing to check back in with Iron Fist for additional episodes to see if the streets teach him some lessons and can make him the real deal. In this case, using martial arts.

His origin story is familiar, but with a twist. (Hmm, who did we recently see looking at flyers for Colleen's studio?) Danny enthusiastically bounds up to her after she gives money, because she thinks he's homeless, and starts speaking Mandarin to her because he just assumes she knows how to speak Mandarin. His father's death was at the hands of a business partner, against whom the son vows revenge. Rand becomes an orphan at a young age and has a sense of alienation in him. But, in the past couple of weeks, Iron Fist has found itself floundering in the light of one socially charged controversy.

You have to suspend reality a bit here. This is especially true of Iron Fist. "It wasn't a radioactive spider or gamma radiation". We spend three episodes watching Danny unsuccessfully trying to convince people that he is Danny Rand returned from the dead, and the strongest running thread in the first half of the series has nothing to do with anything remotely superhero-y-it's all just corporate machinations.

When he focuses his powers, he can punch his way through nearly anything.

While Iron Fist's male opponents launch straight into battle, the Bride begins by flirting with him. Then "Marvel's Luke Cage", an ex-con with awesome strength and unbreakable skin. He's also part of the Defenders, which you'll get to see on Netflix this year and which includes the likes of Fist, Cage, Jessica Jones and Daredevil.

Iron Fist can't justify any of this problematic stuff with a cracking plot or engaging characters. The two couldn't be more different, one black and one white, one rich and one poor. The best fight scenes aren't just visually inventive feasts demonstrating the limits of the human body - they inform our understanding of characters like the heroes of John Wick: Chapter Two, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Enter the Dragon.

Now, Marvel's senior vice president Gary Ignatin has responded to the backlash, saying Jones was "the best actor to play Danny Rand". It is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. There's no sign of it so far, and the series' producers have hinted it may not show up at all - which could be one more thing for viewers to complain about. He seeks out Colleen at her dojo, presenting her with what he hopes will be an irresistible offer: a check for $50,000 if Colleen will sign something attesting to the fact that Danny had threatened her - or, at the very least, made her feel uncomfortable.

  • Ernesto Newman