Following in the footsteps of Marvel’s Daredevil, Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Marvel’s Luke Cage, the latest Netflix-exclusive Marvel show has arrived: the Finn Jones-headlined Marvel’s Iron Fist.
As ever, anticipation has been high for this new series, but surprisingly the show has struggled to get some love from a lot of viewers. The slow burning, martial arts heavy tale of Jones’ Danny Rand returning from his apparent death to reclaim his father’s company while dealing with becoming far more than a mere mortal man hasn’t been well received in some quarters, whereas others have massively enjoyed the series.
For the record, me personally, I’ve absolutely loved the series, although that could well be due to me going in with low expectations after the early buzz around the show had it labelled as a complete dud.
As ever, though, with Marvel’s Netflix shows – and with plenty of other Marvel properties, too – Iron Fist has a generous amount of Easter eggs dotted through each of its episodes, some of which are a nice nod to the Marvel comic book realm and beyond, others that potentially allude at what may lie ahead for Danny Rand and his fellow heroes.
So, in case you missed them the first time around, here’s 15 of the Easter eggs Marvel’s Iron Fist delivered to audiences.
15. That Incredible Green Guy
If you missed this one, well, let’s just say you must have been paying absolutely no attention whatsoever to the sixth episode of Marvel’s Iron Fist. Then again, with the obsession of being glued to a smartphone while watching TV (or doing pretty much anything!) these days, who knows.
It was in said sixth episode that a reference was made to “that Incredible green guy” being seen on YouTube. Not so much an Easter egg, more a slap around the face, this was, of course, a nice nod to Thor.
14. Taaaaaaaaake Oooooon Meeeee
We all know a-ha’s Take on Me 1985 classic, and one of the greatest moments of Marvel’s Iron Fist was seeing that song seemingly being butchered on karaoke randomly… only to then realise that a splatter-tastic massacre had taken place only seconds earlier.
In case you were wondering, no, neither a-ha or Take on Me have any ties whatsoever to any Marvel characters or classic Marvel comic book tales. What the nice little Easter egg here is, though, is that the video for Take on Me is a comic book come to life.
13. Luke Cage’s Catchphrase
Even if you’ve never read a Luke Cage comic book tale in your life, you’ll have quickly gathered from Marvel’s Luke Cage that Power Man’s favourite saying is “Sweet Christmas.”
In a nice nod to Cage and his own series, we saw Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple come out with the catchphrase during the sixth episode of Marvel’s Iron Fist, showing a nice glimpse at the clear influence that Luke has had on Claire – so much so, this latest series shows that Cage has been sending her regular letters from prison.
Positioned as this world’s take on Marvel’s Night Nurse character, Claire is the only character (not counting Stan Lee cameos) to have appeared in all four of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and now Iron Fist – not to mention, she’ll also be present when the four heroes come together for Marvel’s The Defenders.
12. Chikara Dojo
In another case of foreshadowing, Colleen Wing’s Chikara Dojo was actually first glimpsed right at the end of Marvel’s Luke Cage.
As Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple glances at a lamp post advertisement towards the final moments of Luke Cage, the eagle-eyed out there will have noticed that the ad in question was for a martial arts class ran at, you guessed it, the Chikara Dojo.
Seeing said Dojo come into play here in Iron Fist is yet another nice nod, and further prove that Marvel have had a well-thought-out plan in place for all four of their Netflix-exclusive shows way ahead of time. It’s the attention to the little things such as this that makes so much of these shows and this world rewarding.
11. The Dogs Of Hell
Having been introduced in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Dogs of Hell gang of bikers would make a far more memorable appearance in the second season of Marvel’s Daredevil.
It was there, in the Charlie Cox-starring Guardian Devil series, that the gang ran up against both The Punisher and then later ol’ Hornhead himself. If Frank Castle blowing up one of their motorcycles wasn’t bad enough, they’d then battle against DD in the much-praised, single-shot hallway fight sequence that wowed us all.
10. Comic Book Foes
With Danny Rand battling the ever-looming threat of The Hand, the first half of Marvel’s Iron Fist saw a pretty spectacular battle play out between Rand and a couple of characters who may be familiar to longtime Marvel fanboys (and fangirls, of course!).
With Madame Gao watching on, Rand ends up battling impressive incarnations of both The Bride of Nine Spiders and Scythe (he of karaoke fandom).
Despite being pretty damn badass here, The Bride does have a slight difference from her comic book counterpart: she doesn’t have spiders bursting out of her body! In the comics, much like the Iron Fist mantle, she’s one of the Immortal Weapons of the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven. As for Scythe, he’s a comic book villain who dates back as far as Iron Fist’s second ever appearance.
9. John Anderson
When Danny Rand is locked up in a mental hospital and still trying to convince the world that he really is the real Danny Rand, a passport is produced that says this locked-up potentially crazy man is John Anderson.
Now John Anderson may seem like a generic, throwaway name to most – and it pretty much is – but fans of Spider-Man may well have picked up the faux name Danny had given himself. In the Marvel comic book world, Paul Anderson was a neighbour of Peter Parker during the 2000s. A New Zealander by birth, Anderson would even go as far as to help ol’ Web-head by suiting up and becoming the Kiwi Kid to assist Spidey in a battle against Doctor Octopus.
8. Interesting Allies
As Finn Jones’ Danny Rand recounts his vast training in K’un Lun, two particular warrior monks are mentioned by name: Chodak and Tashi.
Don’t worry, neither of these are characters pulled directly from the Marvel comic book world. No, instead, Chodak is actually a nod to Star Trek: The Next Generation, where there is the alien race of the Chodak Empire.
As for Tashi, that’s a wink to a galaxy far, far away – as in, yes, Star Wars. In George Lucas’ 1977 Star Wars (or A New Hope to you younger sorts), Luke Skywalker makes mention of Tosche Station on Tatooine. And so, it’s no coincidence that Rand pronounces Tashi as more of a “Tosche.”
7. The Jessica Jones Shout Out
Really, who could Joy Meacham have meant when she made reference to a private investigator who has some serious skills… so long as she’s actually sober?
Of course, it’s none other than Jessica Jones.
An expert private eye is needed as things heat up at the Rand firm, and without time or expertise on her side, Joy makes mention of seeking out who we all know is actually the head of Alias Investigations. And in fairness to Jessica, the description from Joy is pretty much spot on, for while Jones is indeed absolutely top drawer at her job, she also, as highlighted frequently in her own Netflix series, has a penchant for quelling her pain with plenty of booze.
6. Karen Page Gets Bumped
When Ward Meacham reveals to a reporter that Danny Rand had instructed Rand to start selling a breakthrough medical drug at cost value, said reporter promptly makes note of this massive news before then heading straight off to write up her story.
As she speedily leaves Ward behind, the reporter immediately calls her editor, Ellison, and says to keep Karen off the front page.
Who would Karen be? Why, that’d be Karen Page, a face familiar for her time in Marvel’s Daredevil. As for Ellison, that’s Mitchell Ellison, the editor of the New York Bulletin for which Karen began to do some work for during Daredevil’s second season.
5. Familiar Face
Darryl. Initially a random character introduced early on in Iron Fist, right? Nope, not quite.
For the attentive viewers out there – those viewers who have watched Marvel’s other Netflix-exclusive shows – you’ll have seen Darryl before.
The character of Darryl, as played by Marquis Rodriguez, appeared briefly in the tenth episode of Marvel’s Luke Cage, and it was totally a nothing role, a one-off appearance, the smallest of side parts as the cops were attacking people. That was the belief of us all. Apparently not, though.
Darryl has a relatively large role to play in Marvel’s Iron Fist as it develops, and his turn towards joining The Hand was one of the most shocking parts of Iron First and one that caught many viewers off-guard. And to think, this was just a random, nondescript character when we initially saw him in Luke Cage.
4. Daughter of the Dragon
Colleen Wing was undoubtedly one of the most entertaining and enjoyable elements of Marvel’s Iron Fist, but her cage fighting moniker is one that will have rang familiar with plenty of longstanding Marvel comic book fans.
In case you’ve forgotten, Wing’s alias when cracking skulls in the cage was Daughter of the Dragon. Why’s that an Easter egg? Why, because in the comic book realm, the teaming up of Colleen Wing with Misty Knight is a pairing known as Daughters of the Dragon.
Misty Knight has already been introduced into this world, as played by Simone Missick in Marvel’s Luke Cage, and both Misty and Colleen are confirmed to be a part of the upcoming Marvel’s The Defenders – so maybe a live-action Daughters of the Dragon team-up will indeed happen at some point in the future.
3. Strange Tales
When Danny Rand first gets his own office – formerly his father’s office – one of the initial things he does is to immediately check out the underneath of the desk. It’s there that he finds a bunch of stickers dating back to his childhood.
It was a brief and seemingly nothing moment, but those with a fandom for Marvel comic books of yesteryear will have instantly recognised the stickers as being of some beloved creations of the legendary Jack Kirby.
From the Strange Tales title, we saw glimpses of the likes of Mangog, Orrgo the Unconquerable, and Mentelleronite. Books like Strange Things are rare these days, especially where the larger comic book houses like Marvel and DC are concerned, so it’s nice to see a quick nod to them here.
2. The Steel Serpent
As Danny discusses his time in K’un Lun with Colleen Wing and Claire Temple during an impromptu dinner date, he name drops a fella by the name of Davos; someone who would turn up later on in the series.
To comic book fans, Davos will be better known as Steel Serpent – the son of Rand’s trainer, and the once-friend who would go on to become Iron Fist’s greatest foe. Davos would become jealous of Danny once he became the Iron Fist, for Davos himself had tried to claim the title for himself before ultimately failing.
Additionally, in Marvel’s Iron Fist, Steel Serpent is the name that’s given to the no-good heroin that’s at the centre of so much of the show’s story. So, with Davos having appeared in New York and now not happy at how Danny has handled being the Iron Fist and the requirements that come with that, expect to see Davos fully became the Steel Serpent in Season 2 of the show.
1. Stan “The Man” Lee
A Marvel property without a Stan Lee cameo? Pfft! Not likely.
With “The Man” having appeared in pretty much any and every single Marvel show or movie in some form or fashion for as long as we can all remember now, Marvel’s Iron Fist is not different.
Lee didn’t actually appear in person in Iron Fist, but instead he appeared on a poster as the face of a recruitment drive for the NYPD. This follows in the footsteps of Marvel’s previous Netflix-exclusive shows, where Lee has appeared either on a poster or in a photograph.
Stan Lee is a true A-list legend of the comic book game, and so it’s good to see Marvel’s Iron Fist follow the lead of so many Marvel properties and give The Man a small bit of love.