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Iron Fist: Why Marvel Comic Fans Love the Hero Everyone Else Hates

Due to the poor reception of Netflix's ill-fated television series, martial arts superhero and businessman Danny Rand, a.k.a. Iron Fist, has received an overwhelming amount of criticism from casual Marvel fans. However, within the realm of Marvel Comics, Iron Fist is a well-respected hero who has been a fan favorite since his debut in the mid-1970s and early 2000s resurgence.

Starring Game of Thrones' Finn Jones, Netflix's Iron Fist series was a lackluster adaptation of the bold, high-octane Iron Fist comics. The series focused heavily on Rand's corporate life in New York City while moving the character's martial arts and mythology to the background, much to the dismay of die-hard comic fans. Before Marvel could truly deliver on the wishes of Iron Fist diehards, Netflix abruptly canceled the series prior to work beginning on a globe-trotting third season. As Iron Fist's live-action presence was reaching a finish (at least for now), the true nature of the character would remain in the pages of the comic books.

Related: Iron Fist's New Movie Is So Much Better Than The MCU

Iron Fist has long remained a key fixture within the Marvel Comics Universe, but going into the 21st century, Danny had not received a defining comic run akin to Spider-Man or the X-Men, which catapulted those characters to modern popularity. It was writer Ed Brubaker and artist David Aja's Immortal Iron Fist series, released from 2006-2009, that revitalized Iron Fist for the modern age, and in a way the Netflix series never properly could. While Rand Enterprises lies at the center of Brubaker's arc, the main focus is on Iron Fist's adventures in the mystical city of K'un-Lun. And while mainstay supporting characters and locations may feature throughout the run, the mystical city and all contained therein likely would have been a logistical nightmare to film and cost too much to depict even for a powerhouse like Netflix.

While there are glimpses of K'un-Lun throughout Netflix's series, they're fairly sporadic and never give the location the kind of in-depth exploration that can be found in Invincible Iron Fist. As such, the version of Danny Rand most casual Marvel fans are familiar with is a far cry from the much more well-developed comic book counterpart and the world the latter inhabits.

The immense success of Marvel Studios' first martial arts action film Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has only made the crushing defeat of Iron Fist's small screen debut even more painful for fans. Comic fans are patiently waiting for a reintroduction to Danny Rand in either a sequel to the Shang-Chi or in another MCU venture entirely. Shang Chi has now opened the door for a comic faithful Iron Fist to be done right in all of his otherworldly kung fu glory without the need to water his material down for a TV budget.

Next: DC Admits Its New Series is Ripping Off Marvel (And That's Great)

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