When Danny Rand returns to New York after being presumed dead for 15 years, things don’t really go according to plan.
The New York that Danny (played masterfully by Game of Thrones’ Finn Jones) returns to is not the same one he left with his parents when he was 10 years old. His parents died in the same plane crash that left him stranded in a mystical monastery for 15 years and his best friends, Ward and Joy, have moved on with their lives.
Danny isn’t the same either. During his 15 years on K’un Lun he earned the responsibility of becoming the Iron Fist, a mystical guardian of K’un Lun who is a master of martial arts and has the ability to make his fist indestructible.
The first season of Iron Fist, released to Netflix on March 17, shows Danny’s transition back into society as he comes to terms with both being the Iron Fist and readjusts to the real world. Much of the show’s first season follows Danny’s struggle to regain his sense of identity, which Jones portrays well and deserves more screen time.
While on K’un Lun, Danny was trained to believe his sole purpose was to defeat an evil organization called the Hand. Once back in New York, he finds himself again face-to-face with the Hand, and he learns his abilities allow him to do far more than fight and destroy things. He learns that by being the Iron Fist he also has the power to heal people.
Overall, Iron Fist is a solid introduction for the final piece of The Defenders puzzle Marvel has been creating on Netflix. The acting shows promise, including a strong supporting role from Daredevil and Luke Cage regular Rosario Dawson. The show also gave fans more information about the Hand, which has also faced off against Daredevil before and is set to play a future role in the plot of Netflix’s show focused on him.
None of The Defenders are entirely sure of who they are or what they’re doing. Unlike their counterparts on the big screen, they didn’t set out with the intention of becoming heroes. Now that they are, they need to figure out who they are. Jones does a good job of bringing that struggle to the character of Danny Rand, and it should be interesting to see how he expands on that in The Defenders crossover and future installments of Iron Fist.