‘Iron Fist’ Out On Netflix: Why Marvel Has Failed Its Lost Superhero [Opinion]

Daredevil was the first in the long list of adaptations that Marvel created with Netflix. This Friday Iron Fist takes its turn. It is the last presentation of the quartet that will make up The Defenders, joining Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. For those who believe that both Netflix and Marvel have followed the same path with Iron Fist as with the previous three shows, they are probably right. However, don’t get too excited, because the new show is reportedly not too good until the fifth episode.

Iron Fist is a series very different from the previous shows, to the point that during its first chapters, the superhero theme is reduced to mere references. It is the story of a young man who seeks his place in a society, which he does not seem to remember.

Danny Rand returns to civilization 15 years after suffering through an airplane accident with his parents, in which they were considered dead. But he did not die. He was welcomed by some monks in K’un-Lun, a place between Heaven and Earth, where he was trained in martial arts to become the Iron Fist, a warrior whose has the ability to transform his fist into an authentic weapon capable of breaking through — or just breaking — anything. The story is much more detailed in the series, as compared to how it is in the comics.

This is the initial premise of Iron Fist. A missing young man who returns years later and wants to recover what he owns, no matter what it costs. But leaving aside business, Rand has a secret that although at first does not hide, many do not conceive it: he is the Iron Fist, a warrior created with the goal of defeating La Mano, a criminal organization that was introduced in Daredevil.

This aspect will become more important in the series as the chapters advance and introduce the audience to new characters, like Colleen Wing, or one of the classic villains of the comics.

The essence of comics is maintained and the adaptation, although with variations, is quite faithful. Iron Fist was created by Marvel in 1974, when martial arts movies were in full swing. A hero whose fists were pure iron, with stories that went from solo adventures, to a team-up for several years with Power Man (Luke Cage).

The difference of style in Iron Fist compared to the other three Netflix Marvel series is a commendable effort from Netflix. Although there are some pretty mediocre special effects for a series of this level. For the moment, the 13 episodes (the first season) lead to the evolution of the fourth member of The Defenders, a series will be released after this one.

There are a number of elements in Iron Fist that transform it into a generic series, one that seems too many similarities with The CW’s Arrow.

The first problem is that the focus of Iron Fist stagnates too easily because it lacks enough new elements to explore its martial arts films roots of the 1970s. Of course that is what influenced the character in the comics, but on the contrary, in this live-action version, it is mush too tiring to keep pace with the series.

It does not help the fact that Finn Jones, the actor who bears the responsibility of carrying the series, is undoubtedly has less charisma of all the Marvel superheroes put forth by Netflix. Not only that, his absolute lack of technique, or simply the bad choreography, strips the mystique and martial arts that make Iron Fist something unique, which also happens to make it a series of regurgitated ideas that make the character less charming.


[Featured image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]