Netflix subscribers met a new Marvel superhero with “Iron Fist,” but comic book readers realized that this wasn’t exactly the story they remember. All Marvel projects are inspired by the comics, but they aren’t exactly direct adaptations. These are the changes Netflix made to make Danny Rand’s story suited to television:
[Spoiler Alert: There are some major plot details from “Iron Fist” Season 1 below.]
1. The Accident: The Rand family plane accident didn’t happen in the comics, but Harold Meachum was still responsible for the deaths of Danny’s parents. The family was on a trip to find K’un-L’un with Harold, who let Wendell fall off a cliff because Harold was in love with Danny’s mother, Heather. When she rejected Harold’s advance right after her husband fell to his death, Harold left Heather and Danny in the wilderness. Danny’s mother died protecting him from a pack of wolves.
2. Danny’s Age: The “Iron Fist” TV show states that the opening to K’un-L’un only happens once every 15 years. In the comics, it’s every 10 years. Danny is 19 when his story in the comics starts, but Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage probably wouldn’t let Iron Fist tag along with the Defenders if he was a teenager.
3. Joy and Ward: Joy and Ward aren’t siblings in the comics. Joy is actually Ward’s niece. They agree to kill Iron Fist to avenge Harold’s death.
4. Harold’s Death: Most of Harold’s storyline in Netflix’s “Iron Fist” was written for the show. In the comics, he nearly froze after abandoning Heather and Danny, but a small village saved him. His legs were amputated and he learned Danny was living in K’un-L’un. He returned to the U.S. without trying to save his business partner’s son. When Danny returned to New York, he did not kill Harold. A mysterious a character called Ninja did.
5. Danny’s Romance: Danny was actually romancing Misty Knight in the Marvel comics. Many credit the couple as delivering the first interracial kiss in Marvel Comics history in 1977 as well. He never had a fling with Colleen.
6. Daughter of the Dragon: Colleen joins fighting matches on her own in the “Iron Fist” TV show, but she wasn’t so independent in the comics. She was part of Daughters of the Dragon, a fighting duo with Misty Knight. It doesn’t sound like the characters will take the same path when they meet in Netflix’s “The Defenders” later this year.
All episodes of “Marvel’s Iron Fist” Season 1 are now available on Netflix.