Iron Fist Creator Disagrees With You, Likes Finn Jones In The Lead Role

"Eternals" may be the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to earn a "Rotten" score on Rotten Tomatoes, but there was a time when creators liked to pretend that Netflix's shared TV universe of street-level Marvel characters was also connected to the MCU. The "Defenders" side-franchise produced some memorable heroes and villains, like Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Killgrave (David Tennant), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali). But the red-headed — or in this case, blonde-haired, blue-eyed — stepchild of the family was "Iron Fist."

Finn Jones was fresh off his role as Loras Tyrell on "Game of Thrones" when he signed on to play Danny Rand, the immortal Iron Fist. His casting became the subject of controversy, however, since it appeared to uphold the "retrograde racial dynamics," as /Film's Angie Han called it, of "a white guy who travels to a mystical Asian land, undergoes intense martial arts training, and returns to the U.S. as a Chosen One with superpowers."

This was well before "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," Marvel's first Asian-led superhero film, and commentators like our own Hoai-Tran Bui argued that Marvel and Netflix should have cast an Asian actor as Iron Fist. They originally had half-Chinese, half-British actor Lewis Tan earmarked for the role, before they went with Jones. Critics accused "Iron Fist" of appropriating Asian culture, and also of just not being very good. "Iron Fist" season 1 scored a 20% on the Tomatometer (contrast this with the 53% where "Eternals" currently sits).

However, Roy Thomas, the comic book writer who co-created the Iron Fist character with artist Gil Kane, and who served as the Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics at one point, has a more favorable view of Netflix's "Iron Fist."

Roy Thomas on Iron Fist

Thomas recently told that he watched both seasons of "Iron Fist," the second of which was slightly more well-received than the first. He said: 

"Oh, I watched all of it. Yeah. 'Iron Fist' had a few problems here and there, but I really liked the actor who played Iron Fist. I liked the general concept of it and everything."

Thomas talked about meeting actors like Mike Colter and seeing the pseudo-realistic take that the Netflix shows offered. He also referenced the team-up series, "The Defenders," which was meant to be "The Avengers" of Marvel on Netflix. It ultimately came and went and "wasn't that popular," Thomas said, even though he himself enjoyed it as "an old superhero group fan." He reserved his highest praise for "Jessica Jones," saying:

"Maybe some series were better than others, like Jessica Jones was one of the best with the revival of the Purple Man, so wonderfully played by Tennant."

I watched all of "Daredevil" and "The Defenders" and the first season of "Jessica Jones," "Luke Cage," and "The Punisher." But I only watched the first episode of "Iron Fist." I couldn't say how good or bad it really was, but since Iron Fist is a character who is close to Thomas's heart, it's not that surprising to hear that he was a fan.