All right, look, it’s highly unlikely that Marvel’s Iron Fist — which arrives Friday on Netflix — will altogether suck.
But as the last in a set of four shows building up to the Defenders crossover miniseries on the same online network later this year, the bar is set higher than a tall building Superman can leap in a single…oh, wait, wrong comics franchise.
The (Tony) stark reality is that it’s gonna take more than some slick martial-arts maneuvering and a glowing punch to outdo Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
Let’s take a look at 10 reasons why Danny Rand, a.k.a. Iron First, won’t be able to stack up against his comic-book comrades…
1 Doctor Strange
Wait, didn’t we just see a privileged white male Marvel character hunker down in Asia to learn martial arts, then return to the U.S. to use his newly acquired skills to beat up bad guys?
Yep, his name was Doctor Strange, and his autumn movie of the same name raked in $675 million at the box office — thanks to stars Benedict Cumberbatch and, Rachel McAdams and Tilda Swinton, and some of the best special effects seen onscreen all year.
2 Same old, same old
Iron Fist’s parents died in a plane crash when he was 10 years old. Daredevil’s dad died when he was a kid too. Jessica Jones’ parents died when she was younger too. Oh, and so did Batman’s. Snoozer.
3 Where’s the hunk?
Finn Jones isn’t half as hot as the other male leads in the Netflix’s Marvel shows.
Did you feast your eyes on Charlie Cox’s abs? Or Mike Colter’s biceps?
Jones looks scrawny in comparison; just check out his light-as-a-(Knight of)-flower frame as Loras Tyrell in Game of Thrones.
4 A lousy villain
No offense to David Wenham — who killed it as Faramir in Lord of the Rings and Dilios in 300 — but his villain character Harry Meachum seems a bit weak.
Evil corporate tycoon, compared with Vincent D’Onofrio’s businessman, who was so ruthless and massive that he earned the nickname Kingpin? Please.
5 No-star costars
Where are the A-list — or even B-list — costars?
Daredevil captured D’Onofrio in one of his best performances to date, not to mention Jon Bernthal’s nihilistic Punisher performance that almost overshadowed his work in The Walking Dead.
Jessica Jones had the tenacious Carrie-Ann Moss, not to mention star Ritter coming off her acclaimed role as Jane in Breaking Bad.
And Luke Cage had Mahershala Ali — who just won an Oscar for his work in Moonlight. I
ron Fist has Jessica Leigh Stroup, who you may remember from The Hills Have Eyes 2. But probably not.
6 It’s already Rotten
Rotten Tomatoes has Luke Cage towering over his compatriots at a mighty 96% (88% audience score), Jessica Jones standing at a lofty 93% (90% audience score) and Daredevil pegged at 87% approval (95% audience score).
Those are some intimidating numbers, and Iron Fist only has a 14% approval rating so far.
Straight from Wikipedia’s mouth: “The series was panned by critics, with many criticizing the pace and storytelling, the underwhelming fight sequences, and Jones’s portrayal of Rand.”
8 Making it was a mess
An Iron Fist screen adaptation has been in the works forever. A movie was in development as early as 2000 but fell apart thanks to a musical chairs of directors.
9 Last but
Could it be that Marvel’s decision to release Iron Fist last in the quartet of its Netflix shows is an indicator of its confidence in the show?
Bonus fact: The show was initially supposed to be the third-released series of the four but took the bench due to Luke Cage’s breakout role in Jessica Jones.
10 Bad jokes
Charlie Cox’s blind lawyer and Krysten Ritter’s alcoholic detective may have made for some snarky jokes, but expect the “fisting” double-entendres to abound with Marvel’s latest Netflix series.
Don’t agree with our list? Check out the 10 Reasons Why Iron Fist Will Rule.
Season 1 of Iron Fist debuts Friday on Netflix.