Danny Rand has come to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the new Netflix series Iron Fist. While reviews of the show have been tougher than a chi-focused right hook, it hasn’t stopped Marvel faithful from bingeing on Danny Rand’s journey back to New York to fulfill his duty as the Iron Fist.
15 years after his family’s plane crashed over the Himalayas, Danny Rand (Finn Jones) returns to New York to reclaim his family’s corporate empire. But instead of a master’s degree in finance, Danny comes equipped with the knowledge and abilities of the Iron Fist, an inherited power passed down from generation to generation in K’un-Lun, one of the seven capital cities of heaven that appears on Earth only ever decade or so.
And as part of the MCU, Iron Fist is peppered with all kinds of references to the larger fabric of the universe. Here are some great Easter eggs to watch out for.
12. “John Anderson”
While unconnected to anything from the MCU, Danny Rand’s stolen passport had the identity “John Anderson.” While a pretty generic name, “John Anderson” also happened to be the name of Peter Parker’s neighbor from New Zealand who lived in the floor above the web-head. One time, to create a diversion against Doc Ock, John Anderson donned the name and costume of “The Kiwi Kid.”
11. Madame Gao’s heroin is named “Steel Serpent”
The heroin Madame Gao is pushing with her rogue Hand faction bears the name “Steel Serpent” and has a serpent insignia similar to Danny Rand’s sweet dragon tat. The Steel Serpent name and wingless logo belongs to Davos, who later shows up in Iron Fist played by Sacha Dhawan. Like Danny, Davos doesn’t wear his signature costume throughout the series.
10. Daughter(s) of the Dragon
When Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) participates in illegal cage fighting to pay debts, she adopts the alias “Daughter of the Dragon,” to which the rowdy, drunk crowd jeers. If she were with Misty Knight (Simone Missick) from Luke Cage, they’d be the Daughters of the Dragon, their official team name in comics going way back to 1977’s Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #32. Expect another nod to this in the forthcoming crossover, The Defenders.
9. Orrgo the Conquerer!
Iron Fist may be the immortal weapon, but Jack Kirby is the immortal creator and one of the most important, influential talents in all of comic books. Two of Jack Kirby’s monsters, Orrgo the Conquerer and Mangong (a monster from Thor comics) appear as stickers that Danny stuck on his father’s desk when he was a child.
8. Bride of Nine Spiders
Most fans of Iron Fist are familiar with The Immortal Iron Fist, the Ed Brubaker/Matt Fraction run that defined the character for modern readers. In that blockbuster series, Danny Rand competes in a tournament featuring “Immortal Weapons” of the other six capital cities of heaven. Episode six of Iron Fist lightly mimics this storyline with two competitors: Scythe, and the Bride of Nine Spiders.
Scythe fights Danny Rand sporting a more grounded and realistic look, but the Bride of Nine Spiders looks as if she jumped out of the page. Though she lacks the magical spider attacks her comic book counterpart had, the Bride still has toxic venoms she manages to poison Danny with for a brief moment.
7. Karen Page
Karen Page’s journalism career is really taking off. In Daredevil Season 2, Karen left the offices of Nelson & Murdock to take a gig at the New York Bulletin, the struggling Midtown paper that covered the Frank Castle case. With the Castle story old news, Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) has moved on and is contacted by Danny to write a scoop on RAND Corporation’s internal strife. Note: Deborah Ann Woll doesn’t physically appear in Iron Fist, so don’t hold out for a cameo.
6. Claire continues her training.
Not really much of an Easter egg per se, but Luke Cage ended with Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) peeling out the phone number for Colleen’s dojo. In episode five of Iron Fist, Claire debuts in the series training with Colleen, showing real skill for a discipline most take years to hone.
5. A sober private eye?
Even though Jessica Jones has had her own entire series and will soon have to put up with Danny Rand’s BS in The Defenders, she’s still spoken in whispers in Iron Fist. Jones is alluded to by Joy Meachum, who hired a P.I. who was “worth every penny” when “she’s sober.”
4. The Incident
Even now, five years later, “The Incident” — aka the Battle of New York, aka the epic climax from 2012’s The Avengers — continues to haunt the city. Colleen makes a reference to “The Incident” in discussing how one of the Hand’s students was an orphaned kid who lost their parents to the Chitauri.
3. A Letter from Lucas
Claire is still holding a candle for one Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who wrote her a letter that she keeps close when she goes off to China with Danny and Colleen. Luke is back in prison at Seagate, but he’ll no doubt break out in time for The Defenders. (Later, Claire gives one of Luke’s bullet-hole t-shirts to Danny.)
Because it wouldn’t be a Marvel TV show without seeing Stan Lee.
1. The costume of the Iron Fist.
It was a strange creative decision on the part of Iron Fist to keep Danny Rand from wearing his very cool, very sleek costume from the comics. But that doesn’t mean the costume doesn’t appear at all. In an old, top secret film stolen from the Chinese government, a reel dated “1948” reveals an older Iron Fist battling guards who were getting close to K’un-Lun.
Marvel’s Iron Fist is available to stream on Netflix.