Summary

  • Marvel needs to upgrade Iron Fist’s fight scenes to be engaging and fast-paced like Shang-Chi and Echo.
  • Danny Rand should not be the central character; teaming up with other heroes like Daredevil or Spider-Man would help.
  • Iron Fist needs a more robust backstory and character development to make him a compelling MCU character.

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Finn Jones recently teased his potential MCU return as Danny Rand, but Marvel will need to make some serious upgrades from Iron Fist if they want the character to work. Jones’ return to the role is a little bit of a surprise, given that the original seasons of Iron Fist were very poorly received. Of course, the MCU has also proven itself capable of making characters better over time. For example, Jane Foster was made from a generic love interest into a three-dimensional character in Thor: Love and Thunder.

A similar improvement isn’t out of the question for Finn Jones’ Iron Fist, but Marvel will need to meaningfully address some major flaws with the character to pull it off. Not every issue with Iron Fist came from Finn Jones himself, so some issues would be solved by simply putting the character in a better project. Marvel will have an uphill battle trying to get audiences to give the character a second chance, so it will be important that they effectively address all of these issues.

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10 MCU Movies & TV Shows Perfect For Iron Fist’s Return

Iron Fist actor Finn Jones has recently teased his return to the MCU, and there are several upcoming and potential projects that could bring him back.

10 Marvel Needs To Fix The Pace Of Iron Fist’s Fights

As a character who uses martial arts to fight, Iron Fist should have some of the most engaging fight sequences of any MCU hero. Unfortunately, the original show struggled to have interesting choreography. Fights were often unnaturally slow, never allowing the audience to feel invested in what was going on. Very rarely were viewers given a chance to forget that they were watching actors simply going through the motions.

How The MCU Can Fix This Issue

The MCU has already proven it can make some very engaging fight sequences using martial arts. Shang-Chi is probably the best example of this, especially with its bus fight scene early in the movie. Echo also did a good job presenting fast-paced fights that weren’t overly reliant on VFX and superpowers. Similar choreography and techniques should be used for Iron Fist’s fight scenes if he makes his return to the MCU.

9 Iron Fist Should Not Be The Central Character

Danny Rand being the central character of Iron Fist presented several issues. The first was that he is a major superhero cliché. He’s yet another billionaire orphan but without the same strong identity of someone like Batman or Iron Man that would set him apart from the crowd. This wasn’t helped by some of the more interesting parts of Danny’s comic book backstory never being shown in the show.

How The MCU Can Fix This Issue

Finn Jones’ Iron Fist tease already gave Marvel the perfect solution to this issue: team Iron Fist up with another character. Jones teased his return by sharing a comic book that featured a team-up between Iron Fist and Luke Cage. If Luke Cage isn’t coming back, then Danny Rand could easily team up with other street-level heroes like Daredevil or Spider-Man. There were also some rumors that Iron Fist could appear in Shang-Chi 2, which could be a good fit. Shang-Chi has such a strong emotional core as a character that Iron Fist wouldn’t need to do much heavy lifting.

8 Marvel Needs To Flesh Out Danny Rand

Even if Marvel decides to team Danny Rand up with another hero, they should still make him a more robust character. A BBC article summed up a huge issue with Iron Fist’s portrayal with a quote from an Iron Fist fan asking, “how you can make two seasons of a TV show about a character whose origin involves ripping the heart out of a dragon and not actually show him ripping the heart out of a dragon?” Not only was Iron Fist’s exciting backstory glossed over, but he was never given much personality to supplement this lack of history.

How The MCU Can Fix This Issue

The MCU could help flesh out Danny Rand by showing more of his backstory. This tactic worked very nicely for Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, though Rocket was already a much more developed character before that. Alternatively, Marvel can just focus on making sure Danny has an important role to play. Even if he feels like a more shallow character, this could be supplemented by having some narrative significance.

7 Iron Fist Should Be Confronted With His Flaws In-Universe

Part of the poor reception to Iron Fist and its titular character had to do with the circumstances surrounding the show. Many viewers believed that Danny Rand should have been played by an Asian-American actor. This complaint seemed even more valid when in a scene from the first season where Danny attempts to explain kung-fu to Colleen Wing in her own dojo. This seemed to validate concerns that Danny would fall into the dated and problematic “white savior” role.

How The MCU Can Fix This Issue

Marvel doesn’t need to change any of these aspects of Danny’s character if they don’t want to, they just need to have him get called out by a character in-universe. Maybe Colleen or Shang-Chi call Danny out for being patronizing and force him to re-examine the way he treats people. This would create a clear path for him to grow as a character while also addressing some of the meta-textual issues with the original show.

6 Danny Rand’s Dialogue Needs A Serious Upgrade

Aside from being somewhat patronizing, Danny was also pretty boring. A lot of his dialogue was either exposition or some sort of proverb or maxim that he was simply regurgitating from his lessons at K’un-Lun. This only served to flatten the character further and gave audiences very little to latch onto emotionally. Improving Iron Fist’s dialogue would go a long way toward making him a more likable character.

How The MCU Can Fix This Issue

Good dialogue has done wonders for MCU characters in the past. Be it Iron Man’s quick snarky comments or Captain America’s sincere speeches, Marvel has proven they can effectively use dialogue to flesh out a character. Iron Fist needs to be given similarly iconic lines, even if they stick to his somewhat cheesy nature from the original series. Marvel could decide to exaggerate Danny’s penchant for using proverbs, making it a joke that the show and audience are in on. Having other characters tease him for it could also be a good way to lampshade his past characterization issues.

5 Iron Fist Needs A Compelling Villain To Face

Neither season of Iron Fist pitted Danny Rand against a very compelling villain. This is partially due to the show bungling Davos, aka Steel Serpent, but it is also an issue it inherited from the comics. Iron Fist doesn’t have a very deep rogues gallery the way other heroes do. Some of the most interesting enemies he fights, like Sabertooth or Bushmaster, are primarily villains for other Marvel heroes. This gave Netflix a pretty big problem when creating the original two seasons of Iron Fist.

How The MCU Can Fix This Issue

Luckily, the MCU’s interconnected nature would allow Iron Fist to square off against more interesting villains, without having to rely on ones from his own comics. Teaming up Iron Fist with Luke Cage or Shang-Chi would allow him to fight some of their villains. Alternatively, Iron Fist could fight someone like Sabertooth, which would help set up other parts of the MCU, in this case, the X-Men.

4 Iron Fist’s Powers Should Look More Interesting

Although not the biggest issue with the Netflix Iron Fist series, the show did have a pretty lackluster way of showing Danny Rand’s abilities. Typically, the show just depicted his chi channeling by having his fist glow yellow. While this isn’t inaccurate to how it is depicted in the comics, it does miss out on some of the very visually creative ways that artists have made it look. This was likely do to the show having to operate on a thinner budget than most big MCU projects.

How The MCU Can Fix This Issue

Now that Iron Fist will be part of the MCU proper, his powers can be given the visual tune-up that they deserve. One simple way to do this would be to make Iron Fist’s chi look more like mystical fire surrounding his fists. This is one of the most common ways it is depicted in the comics and looks more interesting than just glowing hands. The MCU shouldn’t be afraid to go big either, allowing Danny’s chi to form massive waves of flames or take the shape of a dragon when unleashing a very powerful attack.

3 Iron Fist Needs An Actual Costume

Iron Fist has a pretty distinct appearance in Marvel Comics. Often, he wears a yellow and green robe with an exaggerated collar and a yellow mask. Other times, his costume is simplified to a green bodysuit and the same yellow mask. Although Iron Fist made allusions to both of these looks, the show never gave Danny a proper costume to wear. This, coupled with his understated powers, made Iron Fist feel like much less of a superhero.

How The MCU Can Fix This Issue

The MCU has translated some seriously difficult costumes into very well-made live-action suits. Marvel would be more than capable of giving Iron Fist a costume that looks more like his original one from the comics. Even if they decide to alter it, they can at least give him a dedicated costume to wear, as opposed to him mostly wearing street clothes and occasionally a mask.

2 Iron Fist Might Not Need His Own Show

Maybe one of the biggest issues with Iron Fist is that it never really justified its own existence. It didn’t feel like the character needed 13 episodes to be established before including him in The Defenders. The Iron Fist solo series tended to drag at times and felt more like an obligation that Netflix felt they had to fulfill to include the character in other projects.

How The MCU Can Fix This Issue

The MCU has a decent number of characters that haven’t been given a solo project, and that isn’t always a problem. Some heroes are just better as supporting characters or as part of a group. Just because Iron Fist is returning, doesn’t mean his solo show is. Marvel could make better use of the character by including him in a team like the Defenders or Heroes for Hire, or else just having Iron Fist as a side character in something like Shang-Chi 2.

1 Iron Fist Star Finn Jones Needs Time For Martial Arts Lessons

When discussing some of the issues with the original Iron Fist series, Finn Jones noted that the production felt rushed so that his character could be set up for The Defenders. This likely means Jones didn’t have as much time to prepare for the role as he probably needed. One very important aspect that seemed to have been missed was proper training for fight scenes, which would have allowed Jones to pull off more convincing fight choreography like Charlie Cox’s from Daredevil.

How The MCU Can Fix This Issue

With only an unconfirmed tease of Iron Fist’s return at this point, it would stand to reason that there might be some time before Finn Jones pops back up in the role. Hopefully, this means that Marvel can give Jones the proper amount of time to train and rehearse fight choreography for his return as Danny Rand. This would allow the MCU to create more engaging fight scenes than Iron Fist, something that would drastically improve the character.

Iron Fist TV Show Poster

Iron Fist

Cast
Ludovic Coutaud , Donté Grey , Alberto Bonilla , Craig Geraghty , Finn Jones , Murray Bartlett , José Báez , Jessica Henwick , Paugh Shadow , Lewis Tan , Myles Humphus

Release Date
March 17, 2017

Seasons
2

Showrunner
Scott Buck

Key Release Dates

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