Thus far, Marvel and Netflix have done a great job at making sure their superheroes feel different from one another in terms of their personalities. Daredevil is a heavy-minded guilt-ridden Catholic, Jessica Jones is an alcoholic smartass with a dark past, and Luke Cage is the epitome of the reluctant hero. However, among the four Defenders, there is one that stood out — and not necessarily in a good way: Iron Fist.
I enjoyed the first season of the show well enough. It may have been the most entertaining to me on a surface level, but it was easy to see that the pillars holding up the plot weren’t nearly as strong as those for the other shows. Plot contrivances were alive and well, and what’s worse, the actual character of Iron Fist (a.k.a. Danny Rand) was easily (to me, at least) the weakest of the group. He was a bit dull, and ultimately, hard to pin down. There were no real defining traits he had that one could point to. Throw him in a situation, and it’s hard to predict how he’d act because his characterization was so bland.
However, he wasn’t just dull. More than any of the others, he seemed less like a true hero, and more like a whiny, dumb kid. Well, that’s not necessarily by accident.
While at this year’s Denver Comic Con last weekend, actor Finn Jones, who plays Danny Rand in the show, discussed the key differences between him and the other characters. He went on to call Danny “extremely hot-headed,” as well as “a mess of a character.” Now, to be clear, he meant that the character himself is a mess in his personality — not that the show did a terrible job of writing him. He also went on to say that they are in the process of “growing him into a superhero.”
It’s in that line there that I believe I’ve found my true issues with him. In the Iron Fist series, we never got to see him become the Iron Fist. Plus, even when he was the Iron Fist, he had a lot of traits that you wouldn’t expect out of someone who had earned that title. It kind of made me, as a viewer, question the credibility of that title, as well as the masters at K’un-Lun, who supposedly gave him that title. What did they see in Danny, and why is he having such a hard time ascending to his role as the Iron Fist?
I’m hoping to get some real answers about that in the future (and in The Defenders), and it at least sounds like the producers of the show, as well as the actor, understand that Danny’s character leaves a lot to be desired right now.