In Netflix/Marvel’s fourth and final Defenders lead-up series, Danny “Iron Fist” Rand is a former shaggy-haired rich kid who goes missing, presumed dead, only to return home with an impressive skillset and a mission to fight evil. His company has been corrupted, partially due to the father of his old friend. Sound familiar? I think someone at Marvel has been watching Arrow for research.
Daredevil’s Catholicism is a driving force in his superhero motivations. Meanwhile, Rand is a Buddhist monk. He’s all about karma and dharma. It’ll be harder to find a correlation with Christian faith. But you know me; I’m going to try.
After fighting to regain control of his family’s company, Rand turns out to be kind of a horrible businessman, but only because he’s a disturbingly good person. He gives his assistant a cute little Post-It note origami flower and makes it a priority to get her dental plan reinstated. He cares much, much more about helping people with his company’s products and making up for their professional mistakes then making a profit or a good public impression. This can all be attributed to his altruistic philosophy that he learned from Buddhist monks.
Problem is, he prays to spirit-dragons or something. He seems to believe in nirvana-reincarnation-whatever. He meditates to channel power from within himself and it works. I personally suspect “chi” is the same pseudo-magic that Doctor Strange uses with different branding. Surprisingly enough, my nerd perspective makes this one easier to accept from a Christian perspective.
But Iron Fist is still my least favorite Defenders series. The story starts well, but it kind of becomes a mess. Isaac, you say you like the characters? I did, too. But most of them will zig-zag back and forth until you don’t know who’s on what side and who’s betraying whom.
I loved Daredevil, particularly Season 1. Even if some of the supporting cast was more interesting than the hero, that’s a point in their favor considering how effective Charlie Cox’s performance was.
I know practically nothing about abuse victims or recovery. But based on my limited understanding and given the unique situation on Jessica Jones, I’d say a happy and genuine romantic relationship between two consenting superheroes, even if it starts with a random guy in a bar, shows progress and recovery, just like choosing to protect others from your former mind-controlling creep rather than skedaddling.