Iron Fist or Ham-Fist?

A dramatization based on Marvel’s Iron Fist took a long time coming. The comics themselves which began in the 1970s only came into being with the craze for kungfu films in the US at the time, and even with its blatant cultural appropriation and lumping together of all non-white cultures, it was a beacon as a Western comic with a semblance of diversity. The Fraction/Brubaker series in the 90s paid its dues to diversity, nodding to a long line of warriors from different backgrounds, who held the title of Iron Fist, though still representing in quite stereotypical terms the nation the culture of which it owed so much of its world building.

In the 21st century, with the popularity of superheroes TV series, and the success of the “Daredevil” and “Luke Cage”, many have been anticipating one on the warrior of K’un-Lun, and there has been calling from fans and celebrities alike for an Asian casting of its protagonist Danny Rand. The series had been delayed, due to creative debate on the on-screen depiction of the hero’s fiery powers. At last, it was released on Netflix on the 17th of March, and I watched through it all in one go to bring you a continuous commentary on social media. Owing to the positive response I’ve received, here’s a write up of the various themes and points of interest that have come to light.


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An Iron Hero Without Irony

When Netflix announced the collection of Marvel heroes it would be bringing the small screen, I was overjoyed to see Iron Fist amongst them, but with Daredevil now in its second series, and Luke Cage’s stand-alone show being slated as the next in the pipeline, I’m beginning to wonder what sort of a show we’ll end up with.


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White Crane: the Legacy of Fang Chi

I’m often quite traditional in my information gathering, usually finding out about books through printed reviews, or more often just wandering round book shops, but I discovered White Crane through their twitter account. I’m quite new to comics, having had an upbringing that didn’t really have space for comics beyond the type of kids books brought from corner news agents (Lian Huan Hua). However, they are an important part of popular culture, and when I saw this title, a Kung Fu inspired comic in English, the amalgamation of traditional and pop culture, Eastern subject for Western readers, it really struck a chord with me.


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Chinese Marvel Super Heros and Super Villains

2013 saw Stan Lee in China for the creation of his Annihilator, the Marvel Chinese super hero movie currently in production and scheduled for release next year. This year we’ve seen a very cool new Chinese mutant, Blink, introduced in X-Men: Days of Future Past. I thought this would be a good time to take a look at some existing Chinese super heroes and villains in the Marvel universe.


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