Iron Fist Is An Homage To The 1970’s Kung Fu Fad

Netflix is moving forward with season one of Iron Fist as planned. The titles to a number of episodes in the series have leaked. The more interesting titles include “Lead Horse Back To Stable”, “Dragon Plays With Fire”, and “Eight Diagram Dragon Palm”. Long-time fans of martial arts movies will recognize these titles as being an homage to 1970’s kung fu films. Consider the influence appropriate. Iron Fist debuted in the 1970’s to capitalize on the martial arts movie craze occurring at the time.


Anyone who has read the first several issues of Iron Fist’s appearances in Marvel Premiere and in his own title knows the stories were gems. Iron Fist was an incredibly cool character whose adventures were fun and compelling. The drawback was the character was overshadowed by Shang Chi, Master of Kung Fu. Iron Fist was a mix of superhero and martial artist. Comic fans preferred a martial artist without a mask or superhero gimmick. Hence, Iron Fist could not sustain sales while Shang Chi could. Iron Fist did end up teaming up with Luke Cage/Power Man to cult success.


The tumultuous history of Iron Fist as a cinematic property likely is traced back to his lack of success in the comics. An Iron Fist movie was placed in development well over a decade ago and went nowhere. Marvel Studios eventually had second and third thoughts about spending millions on a film featuring a character no one heard of.


Netflix’s decision to create programming around realistic and grounded heroes opened a door for the character. The success of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage makes it a lot easier to debut an Iron Fist series.


Speaking of debuts, Iron Fist makes his first appearance in the upcoming series featuring The Defenders. After The Defenders, Iron Fist goes solo.


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