– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: “I hate Danny Rand in Iron Fist.”

Yes, I know, it’s a pretty common opinion to have online. In a world where we have a morally conflicted Daredevil, and alcoholic and damaged Jessica Jones, and a reluctant Luke Cage, one would expect that Iron Fist’s Danny Rand would have a real distinguishing trait. Sadly, the only real distinguishing traits were negative ones.

Danny Rand was naive, a little dumb, and had the tendency to tell everyone under the sun that he meets that he’s Danny Rand. Even worse, he had a hard time channeling his chi, so he could only actually summon the Iron Fist when the plot warranted it. He pretty much has all the aspects of a very annoying TV character. While I could defend various aspects of the character, in terms of the story giving him room to grow, it’s easy to see why he is the least favorite Defender.

Someone else who thought to defend him was none other than Season 1 showrunner Scott Buck. Speaking with IGN during the TV Critics Association press tour, Buck said:

“But do you really want four dark, brooding Defenders?…We created him to fit into that world and be a counterpoint to some of the others. Perhaps people were not aware that there were reasons for creating a character with that sort of specific [personality].”

He certainly has a point (though I don’t appreciate someone who thinks it’s his audiences that has a problem, and not his own work). The last thing we want is for each of the Defenders coming at things from the same point of view. As it stands, Danny Rand does serve as something of counterbalance to the rest of the Defenders, but at the same time, that doesn’t necessarily make the first season any easier to watch for fans. As a writer, you have to find a balance between a character that is young and naive, with room to grow, and a character that’s hard to watch.

While I found Iron Fist to be a pretty watchable show, I can very much understand others and their distaste for the character. What do you think of Buck’s comments? is this a good enough excuse? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.