Netflix’s Iron Fist has perhaps had the most uneven trajectory of any of the Marvel Netflix superheroes populating the MCU, with appearances varying in both quality and tone as Finn Jones has brought the title character to life. It’s been sou never, even those who have watched every minute of Netflix’s Marvel series might be a little confused as to where Rand stands. Thus, in preparation for the arrival of the second season this week on Netflix, we’re breaking down the adventures of the MCU’s Danny Rand from his introduction on Iron Fist Season 1, teaming up with the rest of Netflix’s Marvel superheroes on The Defenders, and his most recent appearance in the second season of Luke Cage.
Danny Rand makes his quiet return to Manhattan in the series premiere of Iron Fist, having been presumed dead for the previous fifteen years following a plane crash in the Himalayas. Childishly naive and more than a bit socially awkward from all his years isolated from the rest of the world, Danny is initially barred entry from his family’s pharmaceutical corporation, Rand Enterprises, which has since been run by Meachum family. Before his untimely death, Wendell Rand, Danny’s father, had run the company with Harold Meachum, with the latter businessman faking his death and leaving the day-to-operations of Rand Enterprises to his children Ward and Joy.
Discouraged, Danny meets Colleen Wing, a young woman who runs her own Manhattan-based dojo, shortly before Ward has Danny apprehended and drugged. See, Ward believed Danny was attempting to take over his family’s business shortly before Rand Enterprises extends its operations into China. When Ward orders an institutionalized Danny killed, the young hero reveals himself to be a master of martial arts and able to channel his inner strength into his fist granting it flashes of super-strength and endurance, having learned both after years of training in the mystical city of K’un-Lun; Danny then uses these abilities to escape custody.
After retaking control of Rand Enterprises with the help of Jessica Jones character Jeri Hogarth, Danny reunites with Harold who reveals the ancient ninja cult, The Hand, cured him of his terminal cancer in return for pledging his loyalty. Danny agrees to help his family friend destroy The Hand once and for all. Meanwhile, the stress of Danny’s sudden return and takeover of the company with his unorthodox business methods along with Harold becoming more active in his life lead Ward to become addicted to heroin secretly manufactured by Rand Enterprises as part of Harold’s deal with The Hand.
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