Luke Cage and Iron Fist Netflix Original Series – CCG First Look
When Marvel announced their Netflix deal for four original series (Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones), I wasn’t the only confused fan. Because of the history of the “Heroes for Hire”, the natural assumption was that Luke Cage (Power Man) and Iron Fist (Danny Rand) were going to kick it (and by “it, I mean “crotches”) old school from the streets of Marvel’s Hell’s Kitchen.
It’s a bit of a surprise that Marvel’s going to split the duo into their own series’ and lead into an inevitable crossover. My own personal speculation is that they may try something like Netflix’s “Arrested Development” where the characters are all available in any of the series, but in the “Luke Cage” series, Luke is the focus of the action. It’s probably a bit complicated, but if they could pull it off, it would be an excellent way to attack the four series.
Anyway, let’s start with Luke Cage. Why you should care about him and what you might expect from the series?
Who is Luke Cage?
Sweet Christmas! What do you mean “who is Luke Cage”? In the comics, he was called Power Man – until suddenly he wasn’t. Maybe about the time he stopped wearing a chain around his waist. A chain I like to imagine is connected to a wallet that says “Bad Mother…”
Luke Cage is so awesome that when Nicolas Coppola decided to go into acting and wanted a “stage name”, he chose the name Nicolas Cage out of deference to Marvel’s premiere professional puncher. And, since every fifth web site I visit has some kind of homage to the weird wonder of Nicolas Cage, that testament should be enough to convince netizens that Luke Cage is someone you don’t mess with if you value your dental work.
Luke Cage has super strength and bulletproof skin. Well, it’s almost anything-proof, but bullets are a good start.
It’s hard to talk more about Cage and his origins without talking about Danny Rand, his partner in Heroes for Hire. So let’s do that.
Who is Iron Fist?
Danny Rand is a playboy billionaire (is there any other kind) who moonlights dispensing street justice with his martial arts moves. Because he can channel his chi energy into his fist, turning it into a ball of face-wrecking, his superhero name is “Iron Fist”.
For some reason, the owner of the Rand Corporation opened an office in the middle of Hell’s Kitchen. Hanging the “Heroes for Hire” shingle, Iron Fist teams with Power Man to handle the problems of the average citizen – well, the average citizen who can afford their retainer rates. They are specifically “for hire”. It’s right in the name of their business.
Because Rand doesn’t really need the money, I’m going to go ahead and assume his motivation is some blend of Eastern philosophy about the value of the common man and the fact that he has an iron fist. Admit it, if you had an iron fist, you’d just be dying to smack bad guys in the chops. And if you and your super-strong partner happened to demolish an Arby’s in the process – hey, you improved the neighborhood even more.
What is Luke Cage’s Origin?
I’ll admit, I had to cheat on this one and check Marvel’s wiki.
So first off, I’m glad to see that Luke Cage’s first appearance is listed as “Hero for Hire” #1 published in 1972. Now it makes sense why I so closely associate Power Man with Heroes for Hire.
Anyway, as an African American hero who debuted in 1972, of course he started out as a gang member. After quitting the gang, he was framed for drug possession and sent to jail. While there, he was experimented on with a version of the Super Soldier serum. Add in a prison guard who amped the electricity on the experiment up to 11 in hopes of killing Cage, and Power Man was born.
What’s Iron Fist’s Origin?
While climbing with his family in the Himalayas, searching for the mystic city of K’un-Lun, 9-year old Danny Rand’s parents were both killed. The mystic monks of K’un-Lun found Danny and trained him in the martial arts. At the completion of his training, Rand defeated a giant dragon and gained the power of Iron Fist in something reminiscent of a Mortal Kombat fight.
Later, Iron Fist would join Luke Cage as partner in Heroes for Hire. The mystical kung fu master and the street-tough gonad masher would become Marvel’s odd couple, serving as private investigators, bodyguards, and whatever other jobs they could land working out of their Times Square office.
What about the TV Series?
There’s a ton of opportunity for both series to be pretty cool. Hopefully the writers and producers don’t wait too long to get the Heroes for Hire together. Some noir action (both characters have had complicated love lives) would be welcome. I could see the two investigating a seemingly simple case and uncovering a massive conspiracy involving SHIELD, Hydra, and/or AIM twisted up with the local government.
Here’s hoping the series lives up to its potential.