The first footage for Marvel’s newest stand-alone series, Iron Fist, surfaced this summer at Comic-Con, and it went a little something like this: A private jet goes into free fall. A young boy looks across the aisle to his parents to make it stop. His mother caresses his cheek; then darkness; then the boy lying on his back in the snow, still strapped into his seat. And then a group of monks show up to look over him with varying levels of disgust and inconvenience.
It was interesting, because there were only two words spoken and also because this was a brand-new Marvel-Netflix series. Of course, it wasn’t new even with all that, not really. We’ve been here literally hundreds of times before, and also we already have Batman. This is variations on a super-theme.
To push the beads on the abacus here: We have a billionaire orphan, now complete with a defining element of tragedy, and a handful of monks who probably teach him kung fu. The next teaser gave us Shaolin-mountain-grizzled Danny Rand doing yoga in his penthouse wearing Tom Ford. They’re connecting the dots for us, and the image that emerges looks a lot like … Nice Batman. Or not-blind Daredevil. You get it.
A new trailer for Iron Fist was released on Tuesday, confirming our worst suspicions. The longest look at the show we’ve gotten yet makes it out to be more or less a comic-book-trope car crash. There are cartoonish representations of Eastern mysticism. There’s the erstwhile Loras Tyrell, titular white savior, bending said mysticism to his goal of weeding out the baddies from his parents’ empire. There’s ear-splitting EDM. Also, there’s a hallway fight. We’ve done this exact same thing before, and really well.
All episodes begin streaming March 17, and there’s a possibility — albeit what looks like a small one — that Iron Fist won’t be a slog. Marvel’s Netflix shows have a way of getting just weird enough, and anyway, Iron Fist is just meant to lay the groundwork for something bigger. Along with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Daredevil, the Iron Fist is the fourth member of Marvel’s Defenders. They’ll jump from their own individual Netflix series into one together later this year. That’s the superhero Super Bowl. So, yeah, Iron Fist was always bound to be a little repetitive. But I’m bored already.