11 Iron Fist characters you really should know about
Ahead of Netflix's "Iron Fist," here are the characters you need to know to feel like a K'un-Lun local. Don't worry, that'll make sense soon.
The new Marvel superhero show "Iron Fist" is kicking its way onto Netflix. Meet the characters from the comics who may or may not pack a punch in the new series.
We start with Danny Rand, played in the show by Finn Jones. Danny is the 66th person to hold the title of Iron Fist, champion of the mystical city of K'un-Lun. Orphaned in a plane crash, he was taken into the city, where he was raised and trained in martial arts. One time he hugged a dragon to death. You should probably know about him before the new show comes out.
Danny's best friend and bulletproof partner (whom you might've already seen in Netflix's "Luke Cage" and "Jessica Jones") is played by Mike Colter. Go figure. Together, Danny and Luke were the crime-fighting duo Heroes for Hire, who were happy to meet all your superheroic needs -- provided they got paid. Bromance levels are off the charts.
We loved Detective Misty Knight in Netflix's "Luke Cage." In the comics, Misty has been a cop, a paralegal and a private investigator. While she's also been a Hero for Hire and romantically entangled with Danny, her coolest pairing is with Colleen Wing. Together, they were Daughters of the Dragon.
A trained warrior and the other half of the Daughters of the Dragon, Colleen Wing has been a longtime ally of Iron Fist. She's also the best part of Netflix's "Iron Fist," where she's played by Jessica Henwick.
Shou-Lao the Undying
Said dragon that was hugged to death. Shou-Lao is the final trial each challenger must overcome to claim the title of Iron Fist. He's been killed and reborn more than 60 times. It must kind of suck being an undying dragon/guardian of a mystical city/final boss for countless generations of kung fu masters.
Lei Kung the Thunderer
Lei Kung is K'un-Lun's martial arts instructor. He may or may not be immortal, and may or may not have trained every previous Iron Fist -- the details are deliberately murky. While it was his duty to train every male in the city in martial arts, he also secretly recruited and trained the all-female Army of Thunder to overthrow the corrupt ruler of K'un-Lun.
Orson Randall held the title of Iron Fist before Danny Rand, and his '40s pulp-hero vibe extended to channeling his chi through a pair of pistols. Randall took Danny under his wing, teaching Danny more about the history of the previous Iron Fists, as well as new ways to channel his chi.
Also known as the Steel Serpent, the villainous Davos trained under the tutelage of his father, Lei Kung. He failed to defeat Shou-Lao the Undying and left K'un-Lun in disgrace before being taken in by Crane Mother and becoming her champion and a long-running thorn in Iron Fist's side. I can't imagine how any of that might tie in with the upcoming series.
There's a popular theory (OK, maybe just wishful thinking) that the sinister criminal matriarch Madame Gao, who appears in both Netflix's "Daredevil" and "Iron Fist," might be the mysterious ruler of K'un-Zi, Crane Mother. I mean, the Steel Serpent is on those drugs! She knocked Daredevil down with one hit!
The Immortal Weapons
K'un Lun isn't the only mystical city in the Marvel Universe, and each of the Capital Cities of Heaven has its own champion. Prince of Orphans. Bride of the Nine Spiders. Tiger's Beautiful Daughter. Dog Brother #1. Fat Cobra.
And if those outrageous names aren't enough, their spider-vomiting, lightning-throwing martial arts should be.
Marvel's other master of martial arts. Raised by his father to be an instrument of destruction, Shang-Chi rebelled and began to fight against his father's criminal empire. Since this is comics, it's important to know whether he or Iron Fist would win in a fight. And yeah, Shang-Chi's kung fu is stronger than Danny's.