In recent weeks, rumours about Marvel having a problem integrating Iron Fist into their Netflix world. They didn’t know how Iron Fist would fit into their world and with Luke Cage, Daredevil and Jessica Jones and how they would form The Defenders. Many suggested solutions. One person in particular on this very site suggested that the episodes follow a certain structure for the show to make sense in the Netflix universe. While I do love that article and the suggested structure, I have a much simpler approach with how to deal with this “problem”...
Don’t do anything. Seriously though, just keep it as it is, having loose ties to the other shows. Here’s why:
He’s Practically The Same As The People He’s With
That’s right. He’s not THAT different. Danny Rand is intelligent, just like Jessica Jones, Matt Murdoch and Luke Cage. He’s a rich owner of a business. Matt Murdoch is probably going be fairly rich by the time this rolls around, given the fact that he’s a lawyer. Also, he technically owns that firm alongside Foggy. Jessica Jones is a private investigator. She makes her own business. Luke Cage has been seen to have a business mind in the comics. He made Heroes for Hire and formed the Mighty Avengers, paying all his employees and having a base of operations. He’ll probably form the Defenders as well, with Danny giving the money towards that initiative.
Daredevil is a man who has heightened senses, peak physical strength and speed and amazing acrobatic ability. He can sense anything happening in Hell’s Kitchen. Luke Cage has unbreakable skin, a healing factor and superhuman strength. Jessica Jones has flight, superhuman durability and strength and it appears that she’ll be getting her ability to resist telepathy, given her a “past” with Killgrave. Iron Fist has martial arts skills that place him slightly above the skill level of Daredevil.
In the comics, Iron Fist has stood in for Daredevil without anyone noticing a difference. Plus, it’s not like he’d lower his skill level to be the new Daredevil. He’s also just past the peak of physicality, putting him just past Daredevil and putting him at about Captain America level or possibly lower. He also has some mystic abilities which distinguish him from the rest of the group. He has healing powers and mind fusion abilities (both of which probably won’t come into his character in the show, given their dues ex machine-like abilities and the fact that they’re more advanced than what a starting out Iron Fist should be able to do well, or at all). His real power comes from his namesake, the Iron Fist. The Iron Fist allows him to focus his chi into his fist and thus he has superpowered energy-infused punches. This is just one thing really that distinguishes him from his group, just as outlandish as Jessica Jones’ abilities, or even Luke Cage’s abilities.
Now, the alleged reason for him not being able to be integrated in the Netflix universe is his mystic and more eastern background, but this is hardly a problem. Teams in the Marvel universe have been shown to work perfectly with an outsider, even with people who are so much further outside the world than Iron Fist will be. Thor in the Avengers works perfectly, and he comes from a society completely unlike present day Earth (making him so much further flung than Iron Fist). So does Hulk, who believes he can’t be around people. So does Captain America, a man out of his time. So does Iron Man, a volatile billionaire who “isn’t a team player”. The Guardians are made up of outsiders. There’s the human leader, out of his natural element. There’s the adopted daughter of a villain, who’s grown to become incredibly distant with most beings. There’s the hulking alien who doesn’t understand how his teammates conversations work. There’s the talking raccoon who was the result of some brutal experiments. Also, there’s a talking tree. The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy are the only two teams seen so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Why change up the formula now? The outsider works. Unlike what DC films is looking to shape up as (not a jab at DC), Marvel likes to change their tone, going from political thriller to comedy space epic to darker action drama to straight up comedy-heist. This change in tone is hardly that large a gap, plus keeping the same tone through FOUR SHOWS is just boring and repetitive.
It’s Like That In The Comics
Iron Fist has teamed up with his soon-to-be fellow Defenders many times in the comics. He’s teamed up with people way more different. Even the original Defenders are way more different. That team consisted of Hulk (a raging monster who can’t stand people), Silver Surfer (a do-gooder space man who doesn’t understand humanity, but wants to), Doctor Strange (a sorcerer with an eastern vibe about him, basically a drastically more unique Iron Fist. Also, he’s getting a film probably before Iron Fist comes out, or at least around the same time) and Namor (a mutant from a completely different society).
It’s Already Been Set Up How He’ll Appear
If they’re really having problems integrating Iron Fist into this world, that doesn’t make any sense, given what we’ve seen in the Daredevil series. There have already been ninjas and there are more to be promised in Season 2. Madame Gao has the whole mystical eastern vibe going. Plus, her drug running business has a symbol on it which basically tells the audience that the boss of the drug-running operation is Steel Serpent. That’s a perfectly good reason why Iron Fist should come to Hell’s Kitchen.
In conclusion, there should really be no problem with integrating Iron Fist into the Netflix universe. Tonally, he’d suit fine.