Despite the fact that Danny’s name is on the skyscraper, there’s no mistaking exactly who runs Rand Enterprises when the Meachums appear in Netflix’s Iron Fist. The Meachums and the Rands have a comics history as colored as the Montagues and the Capulets; but there’s little love between them, only tenuous business ties that died with Danny’s parents in a horrible plane crash. In case you don’t have time to backread 40 years of comics canon to catch up, here’s everything you’ll need to know about the Meachums before the show drops.
Mild spoilers ahead.
Danny’s father, Wendall Rand, was best friends and business partners with Harold Meachum.
This means that Harold Meachum’s kids, Ward and Joy, grew up in the constant company of slightly younger and more annoying Danny. While Danny considered them to be like family, Ward and Joy have very different opinions on the matter.
This is a change from the comics, where Ward and Harold are brothers, and Ward helps Joy seek revenge on Iron Fist after the death of her father.
Harold Meachum is responsible for engineering the plane crash that killed the entire Rand family.
After the death of Wendall, Harold takes over Rand Enterprises and grooms Joy to take over. What he doesn’t know is that Danny survives the plane crash and is raised in the mystical city of K’un Lun. It’s there that he trains to become the Iron Fist.
In the Netflix show, the Meachums have some sort of connection to The Hand.
In the trailers for Iron Fist, Harold Meachum is in contact with the mysterious Madame Gao, a villain introduced in the first season of Daredevil. Madame Gao is not only the figurehead of The Hand, a criminal organization that runs NYC, but also has an unnamed power that she’s used to escape more than one sticky situation. The power seems to manifest like a mirror to Danny’s own: a glowing fist which is super strong and can punch through anything.
An otherwise unassuming heroin kingpin, Madame Gao’s shadowy organization is the very same that Danny Rand grew up training to fight in the heavenly city of K’un Lun. His sole purpose is to defend the gates of heaven from The Hand, which ensures a Danny / Madame Gao fight scene at some point during the show.
When Danny returns to New York, all three of the Meachums’ lives will be upheaved.
Ward begins to truly question his father’s sanity for being loyal to a criminal organization which would kill him in a heartbeat. Joy wonders if being good at her job has turned her into the kind of cold, cruel person who would abandon a childhood friend for money and power. And Harold worries that a future he killed for will all come crumbling down around him.
Danny’s sworn to fight The Hand, and finding their associates at the center of his company only guarantees that Harold and the rest of the Meachums family will be in Danny’s crosshairs.
Iron Fist premieres March 17th on Netflix.