Comic books are not real life. They are better than real life. They allow you to go forward in your own story with the myth of the super power to bolster your courage. You can face your daily devils and demons secure in the knowledge that, while no one is perfect, we can all at least imagine holding firm to an ideal in spite of the trials we face… being true to a power and a goodness beyond ourselves… being a hero.
I have followed Iron Fist’s adventures since the 1970’s. It is true that I haven’t been as devoted to him and his heroics as I have been to Spiderman and the Avengers. But I love the idea of a good guy in white standing up to the bad guys in black and beating the poop out of them with a good heart and a bare fist, not resorting to guns and bombs and gratuitous killings. Danny Rand, the Iron Fist, has always been such a character to me. Noble because he does not intentionally kill the enemy, like Batman, Superman, Captain America and so many other favorite super heroes.
I admit it, this love-gush of a post is only happening because I finished binge-watching the new Iron Fist series on Netflix. I depend on Netflix now to deliver to me effortlessly what I used to endlessly hunt and scrabble for in the way of idea fuel and motivational electricity. And even though I am a notoriously uncritical critic, I have to say, it was not as heart-thumpingly good as either Daredevil or Luke Cage. But it brought an old friend to life in a way that I never before believed could happen. And I love the way it fit this puzzle piece into the overall jigsaw of the Marvel superhero stories on Netflix. It used characters like the ER nurse Claire and the villainous Madam Gao to connect plotlines in Daredevil and Luke Cage, and the evil but helpful lawyer character from Jessica Jones. Will I watch it again? Definitely. Will I need to draw Iron Fist for myself? Probably. But this is a hard experience to either explain or recapture. Television using comic book heroes, sometimes, at its best, makes life better than it really is.