Have you binge-watched Marvel’s Iron Fist yet? No? You might want to stop reading then because I’ve picked out a bunch of hidden Marvel Easter eggs to be found in the newest Defenders series. Netflix is going into full martial arts mode with its new superhero show, which sees Danny Rand (played by Finn Jones) channelling his chi to become the Iron Fist. He’s not the only Marvel hero we’ll see. The action-packed series is crammed full of nods to the other shows, comic book references, and more. Here’s some of the best Easter eggs, cameos, and other references you might have missed.
Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments below...
Comic book costume
Most superheroes get their own costume, but let’s be honest - Iron Fist’s classic garb is too garish for TV. Originally sporting a yellow bandana with a green and yellow suit, his high-collared retro look went out of fashion a long time ago (if it was ever actually in fashion). Instead, Marvel’s Iron Fist sports a far more modern look. That is, until we see him wearing some snazzy yellow and green robes in a flashback to his martial arts training. I know, it’s sadly not his original costume, but it’s a fun nod to his classic colour scheme.
Daughters of the Dragon
Iron Fist is about to join The Defenders, but he might not be doing it solo. Heading off to earn a few extra bucks as a cage fighter, Colleen Wing (played by Jessica Henwick) introduces herself as Daughter of the Dragon, but it’s not just a cool-sounding moniker. In the comic books, Colleen teams up with another feisty female to form a crime-fighting duo, the Daughters of the Dragon. Who is that other hero? None other than Luke Cage character, Misty Knight.
Although the events of Avengers Assemble changed New York forever, The Avengers themselves are yet to turn up on any of Marvel’s TV shows. That’s not about to change with Iron Fist. But they are mentioned in passing (yet again) after Danny is caught on camera in a viral video that could put his company’s future at risk. “You have more YouTube views than that incredible green guy,” says his advisor. Hulk smash YouTube ratings!
The New York Incident
Everyone remembers where they were when the Chitauri aliens appeared in New York, and Danny’s psychiatrist is no exception. After managing to convince him that he really is the missing-presumed-dead Danny Rand, the young billionaire takes it a step too far, spouting tall tales about possessing an ancient, mystical power. “That’s a new one on me,” says his doctor. “But I do know that ever since the incident, I’m seeing a lot more people who honestly believe they have superpowers.” Of course, that doesn’t help Danny much, especially as he still doesn’t believe him.
Another classic hallway fight
After Daredevil’s unforgettable hallway fight scene, it’s become a bit of a Marvel/Netflix calling card. Now, Iron Fist gets to lay the smackdown on some unsuspecting hooligans in another incredible hallway fight scene. This time, a local triad is baying for blood, and they attack his old pal Joy Meachum. Luckily, Iron Fist is there to save the day. There’s plenty of close-quarters action and even the odd flying hatchet as they fight their way inside an elevator. It’s not quite as ballsy as Daredevil’s single-cut scene, but it’s a fun, frantic scramble nonetheless.
Daredevil name drop
It’s no secret that Iron Fist and Daredevil share a few similarities. After all, they’re both fairly acrobatic, they’re both trained in martial arts, and they even both go up against The Hand. But it’s not just fans who have noticed the similarities. At one point, Ward Meachum (played by Tom Pelphrey) shoves Danny out of penthouse window, after Danny attempts to break in. “Last thing I remember, I was climbing up…” says Danny after he comes round. “Yeah, like goddamn Daredevil.” Of course, Danny has no idea who that is. But I get the feeling he’ll find out soon enough.
Attorney at law
She’s back - Carrie-Ann Moss returns as everyone’s favourite lawyer, Jeri Hogarth. But how the hell is she connected to Iron Fist? It’s actually a rather neat, well thought out connection. It turns out that Danny has known her for a long, long time. Since he was a boy, in fact. Good old Jeri was a young intern once, working in the legal department of Danny’s father’s office. And when Danny returns to New York City after 15 years living in a monastery, she’s the only one who believes it’s really him. Good thing she’s a lawyer, right?
It looks as though Claire Temple can’t keep out of trouble. Earning a reputation as the Stan Lee of the Marvel/Netflix world, Rosario Dawson appears once again, this time as an unlikely student at Colleen Wing’s dojo. Obviously, this follows on from a scene in Luke Cage, where Claire is seen picking up a flyer for Colleen’s self-defence class. But before long, she’s got another patient bleeding out in front of her as she’s forced to help her vigilante pals stitch him back together. How does she keep getting into these messes?
It may be Luke Cage’s catchphrase, but he’s not the only one who gets to say it. After hanging out with various members of The Defenders for a bit too long, it looks as though Claire Temple has picked up some bad habits. When Danny rescues The Hand’s special ‘chemist’ - the guy who’s been making all their drugs - it’s not long before they snatch him back. Claire uses Luke’s classic catchphrase as they chase him down, through the hallways of her old hospital.
Madame Gao returns
Speaking of The Hand, everyone’s favourite sinister old lady is back - Madame Gao. And this time, she’s not just pushing drugs and bossing around Wilson Fisk. Appearing in the shadows, it looks as though she has a very special interest in the Rand family friend, Harold Meachum (played by David Wenham). Yes, he’s supposed to be dead, and it looks as though he owes The Hand his life. But what does Madame Gao want from him? Taking on the Iron Fist could be the only way to repay his debt. That is, until Gao faces Iron Fist herself.
Elektra’s fate revealed
Daredevil season 2 introduced Elektra (played by Elodie Yung) - Matt Murdock’s former squeeze turned international assassin. But after being killed at the end of the season, it looked as though The Hand were trying to bring her back. And now we know it’s possible, after Harold Meachum was given the same treatment. “Some people approached me with a cure, and it placed me in their debt,” he explains. “What they didn’t tell me, was I had to die first… yeah, I still remember my last breath.” That’s right, he was resurrected by The Hand, exactly the same way as Elektra. Creepy, huh?
Google Iron Fist
One of the most meta Easter eggs on our list, Iron Fist actually includes a reference to what you’ll find when you google ‘Iron Fist’. After spying on Danny for a bit, Harold Meachum finds out about Danny’s mystical new moniker. But he has no idea what it means. Thankfully, he has a lackey to find out for him. Heading off to research ‘Iron Fist’ he inevitably returns with some bad news. “I found nothing on Iron Fist,” he explains. “There’s a beer named Iron Fist, a clothing line, but nothing helpful.” And that’s exactly what used to come up when you googled the term.
It sounds as though Danny Rand got the power of the Iron Fist the old-fashioned way - by beating up an immortal dragon before plunging his fists into its still-beating heart. I know, it’s a bit gross. But that’s exactly how he gets his power in the comic books, and Danny makes a brief mention to Shou-Lao as he’s describing his time at the monastery. Will we see this astounding fight? Well… no. It seems they to make that happen. Still, it’s a cool nod to Iron Fist’s origins. And who knows, maybe they’ll come back to it at some point.
A mysterious symbol
One way or another, classic Iron Fist comic book villain the Steel Serpent is definitely involved. That mysterious logo that appears on Madame Gao’s drug packages in Daredevil literally translates as ‘Steel Serpent’, and it looks as though Danny has picked up the trail in his series. Investigating what’s going on within the corrupt Rand Enterprises, he’s given a mysterious package with a note from the head of a local triad. “This is the answer for which you seek,” reads the note, along with a small drugs packet emblazoned with the familiar logo. It could lead to an appearance from the big bad.
The South American Hand
If you thought The Hand were just an East Asian organisation, well… you’re dead wrong. Say hello to Bakuto (played by Ramon Rodriguez). In the series, he’s Colleen’s former sensei, but after swooping in to teach Danny a thing or two about being the Iron Fist, it turns out he’s been a member of The Hand all along. In the comic books, he’s one of The Hand’s South American crime lords and we get a hint about that when Joy and Harold start to look into The Hand’s finances. “It started moving to a series of offshore holdings in South America…” Muchas gracias.
Karen Page cameo
It looks as though Karen is doing pretty well for herself after leaving Nelson & Murdock behind. After all, her new job at the New York Bulletin has already led to some pretty juicy exclusives thanks to Rand Enterprises. Following Danny’s little indiscretion as he publicly admitted liability for a series of cancer diagnoses, he takes some drastic action - stopping the entire production at their facility until they can determine whether they’re the cause of those people’s suffering. The best part? He takes the story to Karen page at the New York Bulletin before the board of directors can protest. Who says he’s not business savvy?
Rand Enterprises isn’t the only company being used by The Hand. It turns out that Roxxon Oil Corporation is on the list of The Hand’s shell companies… and that shouldn’t be a huge surprise to comic book fans. After all, Roxxon is known for its shady dealings, and they’re not the only ones. “It’s genius how The Hand’s been using our company,” says Harold Meachum. “Well not just us, it’s everywhere. Roxxon, Midland Circle…” That’s right, Midland Circle are in on it, too - the same guys who literally dug themselves a massive hole through Hell’s Kitchen in Daredevil season 2.
Need some dirt on your fellow board members? Never fear - Alias Investigations is on the case! She’s fierce, she’s feisty, and she’s firmly in Joy Meachum’s pocket as it turns out that Jessica Jones was hired to dig up dirt on the Rand Enterprises board. True to form, she does an excellent job (while she could keep off the sauce, at least). “I hired a private detective to do a little digging a while ago,” confesses Joy. “She was worth every penny… when she was sober.” Got to be Jessica, right?
After a close encounter with Luke Cage, it seems Claire Temple hasn’t quite moved on… and still holds on to one of his t-shirts. Thankfully, his bullet-hole-riddled rags come in rather handy when Danny is left shirtless at Claire’s apartment following a run-in with The Hand. “Here, it’s clean,” she says, as she throws Luke’s t-shirt to Danny. “A friend of mine left it here.” Obviously, Danny is more than a little concerned to spot the bullet holes, and asks if her friend is doing okay. “Probably doing better than you are.” Touché.
More classic Iron Fist
Fans get another glimpse of a traditional Iron Fist look when a former member makes an appearance in the form of a historic video. During episode 10, Bakuto reveals video footage of the living legend in action, spotted by Chinese soldiers protecting the path to K’un-Lun way back in 1948. Sure, it’s in black and white, but check out that glorious bandana.
Stan the man
It wouldn’t be Marvel without a cameo from Stan Lee. So what is it this time? Will it top the epic librarian cameo of The Amazing Spider-Man? Well, not exactly. Once again, it’s not quite the cameo we’ve all been hoping for… instead, Stan’s face appears on a cut-away shot of a poster in the background of episode 13. “Be Proud” reads the poster’s tagline, and it seems to be a recruitment ad for the NYPD.
The Steel Serpent himself
Throughout the early parts of the season, there’s not even a hint that Steel Serpent will be involved, but it looks like that mysterious symbol I mentioned above is more than just some clever drug marketing. The comic books paint the Steel Serpent as a jealous former-K’un-Lun warrior who wants nothing more than to steal Iron Fist’s power, but in the Netflix series, he’s introduced as Danny’s childhood friend, Davos (played by Sacha Dhawan). Davos and The Steel Serpent are one and the same, in the comic books at least, and in Iron Fist we get a hint of the dented ego that makes him face off against Danny. He’s not exactly pleased that the Iron Fist chose to leave K’un-Lun… and even less so when he realises he doesn’t want to go back. Season 2 villain in the bag, then?
Bride of the Nine Spiders
Iron Fist faces a pretty tough matchup when he accepts Madame Gao’s challenge… and she certainly doesn’t fight fair. After brawling his way through a pair of Russian gangsters, Danny eventually finds himself up against the enigmatic and deadly Bride of Nine Spiders. If she’s a bit familiar, that’s because she’s a pretty evil comic book villainess… and one of the eight immortal weapons, just like Iron Fist. Her comic book powers are pretty awesome, releasing a swarm of spiders from her chest at will. We see nothing like that here, but instead she uses some pretty lethal spider-like toxin to get the upper hand.
The Drunken Master?
After tracking The Hand to China, it’s time for Iron Fist to dive into Madame Gao’s drug operations and take it down from the inside. The problem? Her massive drugs warehouse is guarded by a drunk hobo. No big deal, right? Except he turns out to be very good at martial arts… and that has to be a homage to Jackie Chan’s classic 1978 film, The Drunken Master. Here, Chan encounters a mysterious drunken master who teaches him the art of Drunken Boxing. And the scene where he first encounters him sees the master drunkenly helping him out of a scrap.
If you thought one of Colleen’s students looked familiar, you’re not alone. We first ran into Darryl in episode 10 of Luke Cage after he finds himself in trouble with the police. Grabbed by the NYPD for information on Luke Cage’s whereabouts, he points them in the direction of someone who might know. But now, it looks as though Darryl’s street gang days are behind him, when he turns up at Chikara Dojo as one of Colleen’s star pupils. Unfortunately, Darryl hasn’t turned his life around as much as he thinks - his new ‘scholarship’ turns out to be with Bakuto at The Hand’s training ground. Not quite a fresh start, then.