What Does Marvel’s New Iron Fist Mean for the MCU?

Marvel is introducing a new Iron Fist, which means changes might be coming to the MCU.

Marvel Comics' New Iron Fist
Photo: Marvel/art by Jim Cheung

Marvel is introducing a new Iron Fist. Recent events in the comics have seen Danny Rand give up the superheroic mantle of Iron Fist, and he’ll be replaced by a new version of the character (with a cool new costume designed by Jim Cheung) this February in a new series.

The book, simply titled Iron Fist, “will see the legendary mantle of Iron Fist passed on to a new hero in a revolutionary transformation of one of Marvel’s most fascinating mystical mythologies. Fans can expect an epic hero’s journey in true Marvel fashion as this mysterious character unlocks long-hidden secrets behind the history of his ancient powers and confronts a threat that only he has the ability to defeat!”

Marvel making any big change in the comics often means that you can expect reverberations for the screen versions of the characters. But a new version of Iron Fist is particularly notable, because the MCU’s version is kind of a radioactive prospect at the moment. Netflix’s Iron Fist series starred Finn Jones as Danny Rand, and the show got off to a rocky start, with a poor first season. While Iron Fist season 2 was far better, Jones was generally considered to be miscast in the role, and reports have since come out that he didn’t take the martial arts training for the role particularly seriously, something which showed on screen.

But even before Iron Fist hit TV screens, controversy surrounding the character was brewing. In those pre Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings days, Marvel had yet to center an Asian lead as a superhero, and there were early calls to reinvent Danny Rand as an Asian-American for the series. It wasn’t to be, and all the MCU Netflix shows were eventually canceled in a storm of studio and network politics that ultimately saw Marvel Studios regain control over the characters that had previously been farmed out to Marvel TV.

Ad – content continues below

It’s unclear what the status is of those Netflix Marvel shows in the “sacred timeline” of the MCU. This writer chooses to believe that they are indeed official canon until proven otherwise. That being said, there’s little reason to think they aren’t, as the concerns dealt with on those shows were so contained to New York City that there’s little to contradict any of the “official” events of the more high profile MCU projects. There has also been an increasing clamor from fans to see the return of Charlie Cox as Daredevil from these shows in an upcoming MCU project, whether on the big screen or small.

The creation of a new Iron Fist for the comics would allow the MCU to have the best of all worlds. They can introduce a new Iron Fist on screen without explicitly contradicting the events of the Netflix series. And since Iron Fist is by definition a legacy character, with the power being passed down through the years, it can just be assumed that both Rand and Colleen Wing (who was portrayed brilliantly by Jessica Henwick and should certainly be given a chance to return in any future MCU efforts surrounding the character) have passed on the mantle. Audiences who have seen the series can just assume everything took place, while those who haven’t wouldn’t have to worry about it.

Here are some more details on the new series, courtesy of Marvel:

After giving up his power to save the world earlier this year in IRON FIST: HEART OF THE DRAGON, Danny Rand believes he’s seen the last of the Iron Fist. But when demons begin to attack cities around the world, a new hero appears, hands blazing with the Chi of Shou-Lao the Undying! Who is this new Iron Fist? And does his power really come from the Dragon of K’un-Lun… Or from something far more sinister?

“It’s an incredible honor to introduce a new Iron Fist to the Marvel Universe,” new Iron Fist series writer Alyssa Wong said in a statement. “I’m excited to delve into the comic’s rich mythos and build on it. What does it mean for someone to take up the mantle of the Iron Fist right now, today? As a newcomer, how does one interact with legacy, and how does one honor it while forging a new path? I’m so stoked to work with artist Michael YG, colorist Jay Ramos, and the rest of the incredible team on this book. And writing this character, who views things through fresh eyes, feels very special to me.”

“Working for Marvel is a dream come true, yet it was beyond any dream to be trusted to carry the legacy of Iron Fist,” added artist Michael-YG. “It is such an exciting new direction, I can’t wait for you to read all about it because I’m giving nothing less than my best efforts!”

Iron Fist is a five-issue limited series, and the first issue will arrive on Feb. 16, 2022.

Ad – content continues below