According to Birth.Movies.Death, Marvel has been throwing a ton of spitballs (story lines) at the walls concerning everyone's third favorite (after Keith Carradine's Grasshopper and anything by Chuck Norris, of course) martial artist... and, none of those pesky spitballs will stick.
It appears the studio is worried he won't "fit in" with a punk who keeps getting his brains bashed in, who went to law school and who can hear a pin drop on a cotton ball in Dallas from his loft in Hell's Kitchen; a punk who spent his childhood trying to prove he belonged in a gang, who landed in prison (he was framed!), who volunteered to be experimented upon in prison, didn't die from those experiments then decided he was going to be a hero; and a reclamation project who has Avenger-level powers, was captured, abused, tortured, escaped, rehabilitated, tossed away her powers to open her own private gumshoe shop and now prowls the underbelly of New York City trying to help those poor fools who were so unfortunate as to be birthed into a culture that has every intention of consuming their souls.
Yeah... I would think a billionaire, orphan, super-chi-wielding blonde guy with a mystical dragon on his chest just might have a problem "fitting in" with a group like that.
The Rand Legacy
Danny Rand isn't going to "fit in" with this group - he's kind of different from them. He is a half-asian / half-Anglo billionaire businessman from New York whose father it turns out, was descended from a long line of mystical guardians of the transdimensional city of K’un-Lun – a city that would only exist in this dimensional plane for a few days every ten years!
Dan’s dad, Wendell, apparently had trouble identifying trusty friends. His brother wanted the woman (Shakirah) who wanted Wendell... but... she wanted Wendell.
So, brother bans Wendell from K’un-Lun and steals the woman (and Wendell’s daughter, Miranda, I guess) for himself. Years later, Wendell is trying to get back to K’un-Lun and his business partner, Harold Meachum, ambushes him in the mountains causing him to plunge to his death – just so Harry can steal Winnie’s wife, Heather (Danny’s mom).
However, Mom panics and grabs her son and they try to flee from Harold only to have Mom killed by a pack of wolves as she tried to give her son time to cross a long suspension bridge between mountains (which are a long, long way from Hell's Kitchen!). Harold, in a fit of self-pity, ends up freezing both his legs searching for the woman and has to have them amputated. Ultimately, he returns to the Big Apple to assume control of his and Wendell’s company.
Danny, meanwhile, is found by the citizens of K’un-Lun and brought into the city where it abruptly leaves this reality and moves on. It’ll be back in ten years, though. Danny will be an ancient nineteen when that happens.
I wonder if they gave him a diploma… ?
Training With the Dragons
Daniel Rand, for his part, proved to be a dedicated, hardworking student of the martial arts of K’un-Lun. He was apprenticed to Lei Kung by the city’s leader, Yu-Ti (who had secretly plotted to kill Wendell and Heather before Harold beat him to it… talk about your star-crossed destinies – no love for Wendell to be found anywhere!) .
Daniel trained hard. He trained long. And, he trained with a focus and dedication that eventually brought him to the point he could defeat all other challengers for the right to be the next “Iron Fist”. In a magical place. That doesn’t exist – except for every ten years. In Tibet.
Every ten years. Somewhere else, I guess, the rest of the time.
But, in order to gain the power of the Iron Fist, Danny had to defeat the enormous fire-breathing dragon, Shou-Lao – the Undying. This dragon’s job? Guarding its own heart that had magically been removed from its body and placed in a brazier. To defeat the dragon, Danny hugged it to death imprinting its dragon-shaped scar into his chest. Then, he plunged his hands into the molten heart of the beast ensconced in the brazier into which it had been placed.
This ain’t “street-level” stuff. This is some real mind-blowing stuff that guys like Matt Murdock and Lucas Cage can’t even comprehend.
Jessica Jones wouldn't believe it, even!
And, Marvel is worried Danny won’t fit it with these guys… sheesh.
OK. So, let’s build…
An Iron Fist Television Series
Episode 1: K’un-Lun Lost
Wendell Rand is happy. He lives in a magical place with a magical woman and they have a magical daughter whose smile can erase the crevasses from the most ancient mountain ranges. He trains daily anticipating he will one day become the ruler of this... magical place.
He has a brother who he adores. And, the brother adores him – and, this brother adores this beautiful woman, Shakirah – who loves Wendell – who is... bother! ... his brother. Oh... nuts.
The two dark-haired men couldn’t be more different: Wendell is tall and lean while his brother is shorter and built like a tank. Wendell smiles easily while his brother has a perpetual scowl emanating from his scarred face. Both men are Asian in appearance.
Something is amiss. A group of citizens seeking supplies has gone missing and someone needs to go find them! The brother emphasizes that this is the responsibility of the man who will one day be the ruler of K’un-Lun. He gives Wendell a heavy coat; the finest weapons in the arsenal; a strong man to accompany him; and a leather bota bag filled with wine to keep him warm – spiked with a powerful drug that will probably make our hero want to take a break while he’s out looking for these townsfolk and take a nap.
A nap that will last long enough that the magical place that had been his home since his birth would have moved on to its next locale. For ten years.
Lots of drama: woman has lost her man; daughter has lost her papa; papa is stuck on a mountain in Tibet with his trusty muscle man; brother ascends to the position as leader of the magical place in his place. Funny about those lost citizens... they were just over in another part of town and weren’t actually lost at all!
But, now that the magical place is gone and Wendell is stranded on a mountain in the middle of nowhere... What’s a man to do?
He hikes out of the mountains and heads for the 1990s U.S. of A.
Of course, this is a forty-two minute episode and we’ve used, what… twelve?
Wendell and his trusty Schwarzeneggerian side-kick land in Los Angeles. They go immediately…
Sure… why not?
They go to Hollywood where Wendell gets a job working for a studio in the props department. He gets to pal around with some stars and proves to be a bit of a genius at creating things the stars like that makes their lives easier (after searching, I can’t find anywhere that whatever it is the Rand-Meachum Corporation does is ever specifically stated… it’s just “a multi-million dollar conglomerate”).
So, Wendell starts his own business. This may be a bit tedious, so maybe we could get this done in, say ten minutes? What’s left, now… eighteen minutes?
Ok, so on to Act III. Wendell is sitting in his office in New York City. He is … yeah… about nine years older. His company has prospered. He’s purchased several other companies and, with one of them, came his partner, Harold Meachum. Harold is a numbers savant, but he’s not very personable – he has trouble working well with others. But, numbers? He is very comfortable with those.
Wendell, on the other hand, is a marvel at dealing with people and everyone loves him.
A woman – Heather – and partner Harold walk into Wendell’s office and her eight-year-old son bounces in behind them. Wendell’s smile blazes as he sees the young man who offers, “Hi, Dad!”
“Are you all packed?” Wendell asks the boy...
The boy more resembles his Euro-blonde mother. She is the daughter of a movie star which Wendell had helped remodel his estate outside Beverly Hills.
Harold announces that he is going, too. Someone has to be sure that this lion of industry that is his partner gets back home, safely!
Heather agrees. Having someone along who can be a lookout now that [insert generic name of former big, strong friend from the ancient city] was killed in an attempted robbery that was, actually, orchestrated by Harold so that he would have an excuse to tag along with Wendell – and Heather – on their trip to oblivion from which Wendell would never return because Harold would, somehow, see to that.
The gang gets off the plane in Tibet (or, wherever it is Marvel decides to set the story). They are dressed for winter – it is December and they are up in some very high mountains.
Wendell checks to insure he has his cards – can’t get around well in foreign countries if you don’t have some caché. And, he has some caché.
Harold, as should the friend he is, is meeting with a couple of men who he has orchestrated ahead of time to be their guides and their aides – and, his hired assassins… They look friendly and young Danny takes to them, immediately – and, obliviously…
Hmmm… one of them kind of resembles… naw… Grant Ward is in that other show on network television… can’t be him!
It is winter. Oh. I said that, didn’t I…
The group drives out to the base of the mountain and unloads their trucks. They would walk the rest of the way.
One of the men asks – curiously because it’s not really been, explicitly, stated – where are they going, again? Wendell smiles broadly and says they are seeking old family that he left ten years ago. He wants to introduce his son to his heritage.
Harold has no idea where they are going. Neither does Heather, for that matter. Danny? He’s just hanging with Dad. Wherever Dad goes is plenty good enough for him.
The party moves onward and upward. Snow is swirling about and it is getting a bit windy.
After a bit, the two men approach Wendell near a ledge as he explores ahead. They are going to toss him over. Their job is about to be completed and they’re happy to be heading back down the mountain and out of this cold. The other man is paying them ... well!
What they don’t realize is Wendell is a very talented, highly-trained practitioner of the Arts Martial from his days in K’un-Lun. These guys are good – and, they actually manage to get in some pretty good licks – but, they are losing the battle.
Suddenly, the boy slams into one of them. He is going to protect his dad! Dad, not expecting that his son would so audaciously launch himself into a fracas with grown men is caught off-guard and one of the men lands a good kick knocking him over the ledge. Wendell manages, though, to grab onto some stones jutting out and is about to pull himself up when a bullet strikes a nearby stone from yet another direction: Harold!
Wendell catches a glimpse of his new attacker and awareness dawns. He reaches for the next stone up as Harold takes aim with another shot, but, before he can fire, the stone Wendell has grabbed pulls out of the mountain wall and the man plunges to his death.
Heather, having heard the shot runs up to see her son kicking and scratching at one of the men, Harold firing a gun at the side of the cliff and Wendell… where is Wendell?!
Episode 2: Return to K’un-Lun
Harold realizes Heather is on the scene – she was supposed to be pulling out supplies and organizing the meal.
But, there she is.
And, one of the men has just slammed a meat-hook fist into her young son.
Harold shoots the man. Then, he shoots the other man. He is in a tizzy of a fluster of a boatload of frustration.
“They jumped him!”, Harold screams at her. “They threw him over the side of the cliff!”
Danny is lying on the ground … unconscious.
She runs to her son. The two gather the boy and head back to the camp site.
Harold is exasperated: He hadn’t expected the boy to show up, but he did; he hadn’t expected Wendell to be able to hold his own against his highly-trained henchmen, but he did; he hadn’t expected to have to shoot – ANYone! – but, he’d had to shoot both of his own men to cover his story; and, he certainly hadn’t expected Heather to come running up before he could coordinate the change in story with his hirelings, but there she was. Everything was going to hell… and, the storm was picking up.
Heather is ranting about those men Harold had hired. He tries to assure her they were acting on their own and that he had spent a small fortune insuring their credentials! He insists that Wendell had done – something – said something – that led the men to want to ransom him… or take that map he was carrying… or… something! He continues to rage at his misfortune.
And, the storm continues to grow. They would have to find cover. He picks up the boy and carefully lifts him over his shoulder. They trudge off.
Harold isn’t the smoothest cream in the cupboard. He continues to offer condolences; continues to heap blame on Wendell for inciting the men; continues to berate the weather; but, when he comes back around to how he is going to take care of Heather and Danny for a third (or fourth or fifth) time, she begins to realizes her husband’s partner... is insane.
Danny is beginning to stir, though.
Harold checks the boy then sets him gingerly on his feet. The boy looks about. Then, he remembers what happened and his eyes grow big and his mouth falls agape.
“Mom! He shot Dad!”
Heather already knows this.
“He’d never do that”, she offers as she insinuates her body between the man and her son. “Hand me that blanket, Danny” she instructs. The boy isn’t happy. He looks down next to his feet and sees the blanket. This doesn’t make sense.
Then, she gives him a gentle push and says, “Run, Danny…” The boy’s mouth drops again, but only for a second. He’s a smart lad. He turns and runs as Harold draws his pistol. Heather grabs up the blanket and follows her son hoping to be able to stay in their assailant’s way so that the man can’t get a bead on her beloved child. They disappear into the dusk hearing the blustering of the frustrated man as he lurches along behind.
It is daylight... and the winds have died down. The snow continues to fall, but it is light and wispy. A bank of snow begins to crumble and a gloved hand pushes out of it followed by the hood of a parka. The rest of the person emerges to the waist then reaches back in and pulls out another person – a smaller person… her son.
The boy stands by as his mother reaches back into the pile of snow and pulls out the blanket under which they’d camped during the night. They’d managed to keep a small alcove underneath in which they’d slept.
There’s a growl… both humans look around and spot... a wolf. Then, another.
This time, there is no hesitation. The boy runs! The woman runs! The wolf pauses just long enough at the mound to sniff as a second one races past. The first leaps to follow.
There’s a bridge. One of those rope and plank ones that hangs over the giant ravine they’re running along. The boy makes the bridge.
Mom makes the bridge.
But, they won’t make it across.
“Keep running, Danny!” Mom shouts. “Don’t look back! Keep running or we’re gonna die up here!”
The boy keeps on running. His breath is catching in his chest. His legs are churning. His heart is racing. Mom is right behind.
Finally. Finally, he reaches the other end of the bridge and looks back.
His mother isn’t there.
She is still in the middle of the bridge – using the blanket as a shield against … a half dozen of the beasts. More.
He starts back onto the bridge when one of the great wolves launches itself over the blanket and into the woman's face striking her and knocking her down to the planks that make up the bridge. It has her arm and is ripping at it with its teeth!
She tries to pull away but slips between the ropes and plunges, along with the wolf, off the bridge!
Danny stops, dumbfounded. No.
He watches in horror as his mother floats delicately downward, plummeting into the abyss...
The wispy snow continues to fall. His heart… stopped. His head… swirling in the confusion of a nine-year-old boy who is standing on a bridge… alone. With a pack of wolves sniffing around on the bridge looking for their prey.
The shock of the impact of the seizure of his young body from behind by … someone! Something?
Something whizzes past… then another… and, another… shouts!
He is held in a vice-like grip and lurching away from the wolves with each step jarring as the man who has him bounds up the bridge toward the far side of the crevasse. The other three men are heading down the bridge to confront the wolves, spears exposed.
After a bit, the jarring stops and the man drops the boy. “在这里等着!” He holds his hands palm down toward the boy as if to let him know this is where he needs to be – for now.
The man leaves.
The boy pulls his knees to his chest. Disbelief is roiling around in his young mind. He doesn’t even know what he is thinking. Was that my mom falling off that bridge? Was she floating? How can I go save her?
Who was that man? Those men?
Where am I?
The man finally returns. He picks the boy up as the other men run up, waving spears behind them as if guarding against … the wolves! Looking past the other man, the boy now realizes there are a dozen or more wolves and they are coming up their side of the bridge – hungry – wanting the meat off their bones…
The man lurches away as the other men back away from the wolves in the same direction… they will give the man and the boy the time they need to get away.
They trudge along for a while. The other men finally catch up and join them. “狼并不喜欢我们长矛......” one of them says.
Danny doesn’t understand their language. They continue to talk among themselves leaving the boy wondering… what now?
They continue to trudge until they finally arrive at their destination – a city.
A beautiful city.
They cross through the gates and into the streets of the city passing citizens, buildings, yards on both sides of their path. Finally, they arrive at … a … palace? It’s a really nice place with gardens … wait! It’s green!
The boy sits up in his savior’s arms and looks around. Disbelief. This can’t be real.
He’s dreaming. He’s about to be awoken by his mom for school and they’ll run down and bid his dad a good day at the office before he goes.
Where’s the snow?
The man totes the boy up to the doors and they open.
Up the corridor they walk... into a … very nice room. There is a man there.
“I… uh…” the boy stammers.
“Who are you?” the boy finally is able to ask.
“You speak the language of the Americas of the north”, the man offers. “Are you an Englishman? Or, an American?”
Episodes 3 through 10: Training for the Iron Fist.
I’m sure the showrunners can populate these episodes themselves.
During these episodes, Danny has worked with his mentor, interacted with the court, learned the language of the people, learned the art of personal combat and has defeated the Great Dragon. And, he has gained an implacable enemy in the son of his mentor.
At the end of the tenth episode, Danny decides the tension between he and his mentor's son is getting out of hand. The “time of transition” is coming and K’un-Lun will, once again, manifest on earth as it does every ten years.
Danny wants to go home.
He is now nineteen and he is the Iron Fist – the greatest martial warrior in all the known realms.
But, he wants to go home.
He wants to find the man that killed his father and left he and his mother to die in the snow on a mountain in a far place with no one who could find them. Wolf bait.
And, he wants that man to die.
Episode 11: The Search for Vengeance
Danny seeks out and finds his quary… He has no resources, though. No one knows who he is.
There he is, standing outside his father’s building in Manhattan. But… what? Does he just go in and “do the deed”?
He goes up. The receptionist announces that “Mr. Meachum seldom comes into the office” and refuses to give his whereabouts.
Going back to the streets, Danny seeks out someone who can find a man… in a city… with millions of people in it.
He stops in a coffee shop. They have small TV screens on tables scattered throughout. A young guy – about Danny’s age – is talking about something called the “Internet” on a … radio-thing … thing - he's holding it against his ear.
Danny recalls something his dad used to have - a wireless telephone...
After he finishes his conversation on the radio-thingy, Danny strikes up a conversation. He has some money he brought with him from K’un-Lun that he has exchanged for American dollars so he has a cup of coffee.
The man babbles on about how anything can be found on this… this… Internet … thing.
“Find me someone who can help me find my dad’s old partner”… Easy enough. How about “KnightWing Restorations”? Couple of women, Colleen Wing and Misty Knight run the place. Says Colleen was a cop for a while. They’re over in Hell’s Kitchen… lots of positive "comments". Good ratings.
Colleen and Misty are, of course, enthralled by their new client’s stories of a magical city, an evil man, a dead mom and dad… The story doesn’t come easy, of course… this client isn’t very forthcoming. But, they are investigators – good ones – so getting people to open up is what they do.
They finally help Danny find his enemy – his target – his father’s murderer and his mother’s assailant. But, the man is legless from being lost in the mountains in Tibet in the snow, remorseful and resigned to his fate – he will die at the hands of the son of the woman he lost in the mountains of… wherever that was. And, it was what he deserved.
But, Danny can’t harm this pathetic creature. He turns to leave.
In the window, a shadow. A sound of a blade entering a body. Death.
Outside the room, Danny is completely unaware of what just transpired.
Episode 12: Luke Cage
Danny returns to his new friends at KnightWing to see if they have some work – or something… anything – that he can do. He doesn’t have any place or anyone to which he can apply himself.
There’s a guy there – a friend of theirs, apparently – who is upset. Someone is bothering his girlfriend and he insists that Misty or Colleen has to be able to find something on him! Kilgrave is a name that pours into the conversation from the man.
This is a big man. And, he’s angry.
And, he’s threatening Colleen. If it were Misty, Danny knows she could handle just about anything. She has a bionic arm and a guy like this would be a walk in the park for her.
Colleen? Maybe… she’s tough, but this guy is really upset. And, he's big.
Danny puts his hand on the man’s shoulder and the man’s arm flashes out swatting Danny… THROUGH THE WALL AND OUT INTO THE STREET!!! Rubble is everywhere…
Danny’s ribs are screaming at him to make… this… hurt… … … ugh… … stop…!
The man erupts through the hole in the wall… he strides up to Danny – this … Hercules … Thor-guy… and reaches down... to offer a hand up.
“I’m sorry, man… damn! I forget myself, sometimes…”
Danny can heal himself… he’s done that innumerable times before… but, he’s never… ever… been hit like that at any time by anyone or any thing… anywhere!
“Who ARE you…” Danny asks.
Then, the police cars careen to a stop surrounding the men. They are here to arrest Daniel Rand… for the murder of Harold Meachum!
Danny didn’t kill Harold. He acquiesces quietly to the police and is taken into custody.
Colleen asks if she can do anything.
“Just find out what is going on… if you can…” Danny offers.
Back inside, Colleen updates Luke on where the man came from and what he was doing back in New York.
Luke, Misty, Colleen and a neighborhood lawyer, Foggy Nelson, are finally able to get Danny out of jail. They search for clues as to what happened to Harold.
The rest is canon.
See? Easy enough. He doesn't have to fit in... he won't... fit in... he's Iron Fist, after all!