Iron Fist Easter Eggs and References Episode by Episode

iron fist netflix

One of our most popular posts is listing the references to Marvel Comics history and the interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe for the shows and movies. I started Iron Fist at midnight on Thursday and was done before the weekend was over. It had some bad reviews prior to debuting so I went in with lowered expectations. Ultimately, I think it was “okay.” It was not great but I also didn’t find it terrible. It was very watchable and a handful of episodes had some great fight scenes.

Anyway, my brain is stuffed full of useless comic book trivia so I’m putting it to use here explaining who the characters, settings and comics history are used in the show, as well as any references to previous Marvel TV shows and movies. It’s listed by episode so you can read as far as you’ve seen without spoiling future episodes.

Episode 1: Snow Gives Way

harold meachum

  1. Iron Fist/Danny Rand first appeared in Marvel Premiere #15 (1974) by Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane. His first several issues dealt with him returning from K’un Lun, the otherdimensional place he was trained, and heading directly for Rand/Meachum Tower to reclaim what was his. It’s the bare bones idea for the season of the show.
  2. In issue #15 we also met Iron Fist’s ultimate target – Harold Meachum. In the comics, he went on a hike with Danny and his parents in the Himalayas but betrayed them, letting Wendell Rand fall to his death and leaving Danny and his mother to survive on their own. Heather Rand gave her life to let Danny escape a pack of wolves and he eventually found his way to K’un Lun. But when Iron Fist eventually met Harold, he learned he was old and full of regret and the old man was assassinated by a mysterious ninja in issue #18. That’s also when we met Joy and Ward but in the comics Ward is Joy’s uncle/Harold’s brother. And Ward spends a while hiring assassins to kill Danny. Joy is the closest interpretation to that from the comics.

Episode 2: Shadow Hawk Takes Flight
crane mother 1

  1. “The Incident” is mentioned by Dr. Edmonds at Birch Psychiatry, referring to the Avengers battling the Chitauri. There is no Birch Psychiatric or Dr. Edmonds in Marvel comics, in case you were curious. There’s never been a storyline where Danny was locked up in a mental hospital.
  2. There is a mention of “The Order of the Crane Mother.” In the comics, Crane Mother is the ruler of K’un-Zi, one of the seven heavenly cities like K’un Lun. She first appeared in Immortal Iron Fist #4 (2007) by writers Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker and artists David Aja, Travel Foreman and Sal Buscema. In the comics, they have a martial arts tournament every 88 years to determine which city will have access to Earth. In the show, this is a bit different. We’ll get into it in a future episode.
  3. Danny mentions the term “Immortal Iron Fist” which was the title of the comic mentioned above by Fraction and Brubaker that introduced the idea that Iron Fist is a title bestowed each generation. So Iron Fist can die but there will be others.
  4. Harold Meachum’s assistant Kyle mentions he found a beer and a clothing line called Iron Fist but not much else. Those are both real businesses.

Episode 3: Rolling Thunder Cannon Punch

iron fist ceramic bowl

  1. Jeri Hogarth appears. She previously appeared throughout Jessica Jones season one. In the comics, she’s a man, Jeryn Hogarth, and has been a long-time supporting character in Iron Fist as his lawyer. Jeryn first appeared in Iron Fist #6 (1976) by Chris Claremont and John Byrne. Here, Jeri becomes Danny’s lawyer.
  2. Madame Gao from Daredevil shows up here – she is the Crane Mother Danny mentioned earlier. In the comics, she rules K’un-Zi but here on the show she is leading The Hand. That’s a change from the comics. Similarly, on the show Iron Fist says he’s the sworn enemy of The Hand but that’s new for the show. It makes sense to connect them but in the comics, The Hand has been the enemy of Daredevil and his mentor, Stick.
  3. Colleen Wing introduces herself at the fight club as “Daughter of the Dragon.” In the comics, Colleen and Misty Knight (seen in Luke Cage) are known collectively as The Daughters of the Dragon. They also operate a detective agency originally known as Knightwing Restorations. Both Misty and Colleen were introduced in Iron Fist comics.
  4. Colleen first appeared in Marvel Premiere #19 (1974) as a private eye and Misty appeared in Marvel Premiere #21 (1975) as a police detective. In the comics, Danny and Misty are a longtime on-again, off-again couple. For the Netflix shows, Misty dated Luke Cage and Danny and Colleen are romantically linked. Colleen runs a dojo on the show, instead of being a detective.
  5. The bowl that Danny made as a child is yellow and green, which are the same colors he wears in his Iron Fist suit in the comics.

Episode 4: Eight Dragon Diagram Palm

Orrgo the Unconquerable

  1. Danny mentions the “August Personage in Jade” which is the title for Yu-Ti, the ruler of K’un Lun. We don’t get to see him. He has a distinctive look. He wears a green hood over his face that looks a lot like what Cobra Commander wears. He first appeared in Marvel Premiere #15 in flashbacks that explained the basics of Iron Fist’s origins and training.
  2. When Danny goes under his father’s old desk at work to look at stickers, they seem to be based on old Marvel Comics monster comics from the 50s. Orrgo the Unconquerable by Jack Kirby is especially prominent.
  3. The white suit Colleen wears in the fight is very similar to the outfit she wears in the comics.
  4. We finally see Danny’s “tattoo” on his chest. This is actually a mystical scar that he obtains by defeating Shou Lau the Undying, a literal dragon. Danny earned the right to fight it and noticed it seemed to be drawing energy into itself through a symbol on its scaly chest. Danny hugged it and burned the image into his chest but it cut off the dragon’s power which it drew from its heart which was in a burning brazier. Danny then plunged his hand into the brazier and obtained the power of the Iron Fist. This occured in a flashback in Marvel Premiere #16.

Episode 5: Under Leaf Pluck Lotus
steel serpent

  1. Claire Temple finally shows up, as she has on every other Marvel Netflix show. She may not be called Night Nurse on the shows but that’s basically who she is, especially since Dr. Strange used Christine Palmer from the Night Nurse comics as a doctor and colleague of Strange. Well, a goon called her Night Nurse in Luke Cage so I think she’s Night Nurse.
  2. Ward talks to a reporter from the New York Bulletin who calls her editor and says “Don’t give Karen the front page.” This is referring to how Karen Page became a journalist for the paper in Daredevil season 2. You’d hope that with Spider-Man being integrated into the film Marvel Universe we could get The Daily Bugle and J. Jonah Jameson but no. At least not yet.
  3. Danny refers to his friend Davos from K’un Lun. In the comics, Davos was a fellow student alongside Danny under the tutelage of Lei Kung the Thunderer, who also happened to be Davos’ father. When Danny earned the right to become the Iron Fist, Davos became bitter and jealous and is basically Iron Fist’s biggest nemesis in the comics.
  4. In the comics, Davos has a tattoo similar to Danny’s but without the wings. We’ve seen that image before, on the heroin Madame Gao was moving in Daredevil season 1 and now again here on Iron Fist. However, the reason for this is explained later and it does not mean the two are working together.

Episode 6: Immortal Emerges from Cave
bride of nine spiders

  1. This episode was directed by RZA, who previously directed and starred in a movie called The Man with the Iron Fists. No relation to the Marvel character. But it’s also the second time a Wu-Tang Clan member has worked on the Marvel Netflix shows. Method Man appeared in an episode of Luke Cage as himself and also contributed a song to that show.
  2. Danny sees visions of his old mentor, Lei Kung the Thunderer. Here he’s played by Boon Lee and he wears a monk’s robe. In the comics, he wears a blue and white mask and walks around bare chested. He first appeared in Marvel Premiere #15.
  3. The hitman singing A-ha’s “Take on Me” might be because the music video was about a comic book come to life.
  4. Danny battles several opponents that work for Madame Gao. At least two of them are from the comics. The lady with the poisonous needles is an adaptation of Bride of Nine Spiders who first appeared in Immortal Iron Fist #8 (2007). In the comics she was one of the weapons from the seven heavenly cities just like Iron Fist represents K’un Lun. Her look is straight out of the comics but in the show, she works for Madame Gao/Order of the Crane Mother/The Hand.
  5. Danny also faces a dude with a weapon and this is an interpretation of Scythe. Scythe was a mercenary in the comics and the first real supervillain he ever faced, showing up in Marvel Premiere #16.
  6. Claire Temple meets with her old co-worker Shirley Benson who was in Daredevil season 2.
  7. Claire chases after an ambulance and lets out a “Sweet Christmas” which was Luke Cage’s catchphrase.
  8. A lawyer at Rand mentions “the incredible green guy” referring to the Hulk. Although I don’t know why people are coy about this stuff. Just call him the Hulk.
  9. It is implied that Danny’s father had a connection to or was aware of K’un Lun and that’s why the family was in a plane near its location. In the comics, Wendell Rand had been to K’un Lun and took the family on that hike in the Himalays to find it. In fact, Wendell had saved Yu-Ti’s life and been considered a brother.

Episode 7: Felling Tree with Roots
ny bulletin

  1. Madame Gao refers to the changes she’s seen in the world including The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen and the Man with Unbreakable Skin – Daredevil and Luke Cage.
  2. We see a New York Bulletin article by Karen Page mentioned.
  3. Roxxon is mentioned – an evil company in mostly Iron Man comics but they’ve appeared in Iron Man, Avengers, Agent Carter and more.
  4. Midland Circle is mentioned, which was that weird pit in Daredevil season 2 that The Hand controlled. We still don’t know the significance of it. Maybe it’ll be explained in Defenders.
  5. The Dogs of War pop up. They’re a biker gang that appeared in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Daredevil season 1.
  6. Bakuto, Colleen’s sensei, first appeared in Daredevil #505 (2010). He led a group of The Hand down in South America.

Episode 8: The Blessing of Many Fractures
zhou cheng

  1. Joy refers to using a private detective to get blackmail material on the Board. She says she’s good… when she’s sober. A reference to Jessica Jones.
  2. Claire tosses a letter on her table that appears to be from Luke Cage from jail.
  3. Danny battles a man named Zhou Cheng who calls himself the Defender of the Hand. In the comics, he’s an enemy but has a different goal. He first appeared in Immortal Iron Fist #17 (2008) and was pledged to kill the Iron Fist before he turned 33. The reason for this was to eliminate Iron Fist before Shou Lao, the dragon, was reborn and would allow the heavenly city of Ch’i-Lin to steal its power while it was still an egg.
  4. Danny recognizes the symbol on Gao’s heroin but says that The Hand is using it to mock K’un Lun.

Episode 9: The Mistress of All Agonies
colleen wing 1

  1. Harold Meachum’s return to life mirrors something The Hand has done to Elektra in the comics and seems likely to do on the show.
  2. A lot of Bakuto’s men wear red, which in the comics is what all Hand ninjas wear.
  3. Colleen mentions her grandfather. In the comics, her grandfather was Kenji Ozawa, who taught her the ways of the samurai including the use of the sword. That was revealed in Power Man and Iron Fist #70. He gifted her a 3,000 year old sword.
  4. Bakuto shows Danny that he can do other things by focusing his chi, in this case healing Colleen. These abilities were first introduced by writer/artist John Byrne in Namor the Sub-Mariner #22-24 which retconned Iron Fist’s death in the comics from a few years ago. Iron Fist had contracted cancer and died in Power Man and Iron Fist #125 but the storyline in Namor revealed he’d been kidnapped and replaced with an evil doppleganger for a short time and it was the doppleganger who had died while Danny spent a long time using his chi to cure his cancer.

Episode 10: Black Tiger Steals Heart
orson randall

  1. Bakuto explicitly shows us that there have been previous Iron Fists. He shows old footage of one in a fight. He appears to wear a mask similar to the one Iron Fist wears in the comics. In 2007’s Immortal Iron Fist series, Danny meets his immediate predecessor, Orson Randall, who disappeared and gave up using his abilities around age 33 to avoid being killed by Zhao Cheng. It’s not clear if the Iron Fist we see in the footage could be Orson or another previous Iron Fist.
  2. The mystery man who showed up last episode following Danny is revealed to be his friend from K’un Lun, Davos. He is thus far still Danny’s friend and has not taken on the identity of Steel Serpent. He also does not appear to have his wingless dragon tattoo. In the comics, Steel Serpent could suck the power of Iron Fist into himself.
  3. Madame Gao mentions Daredevil and Luke Cage again.
  4. Claire gives Danny a shirt to wear and it has a bullet hole in it. It’s clearly one of Luke’s many destroyed shirts.

Episode 11: Lead Horse Back to Stable
kun lun

  1. We see some of the aftermath of Danny emerging from the cave after defeating Shou Lao the Undying.
  2. We have it explicitly stated that K’un Lun is an other-dimensional city which crosses over with our world every 15 years. It was 10 years in the comics.
  3. Colleen is held by The Hand in the same place that they held the children to drain their blood and ressurect Elektra as a Black Sky in Daredevil season 2. Bakuto mentions she will still be serving The Hand so presumably they were about to do the same thing to her.

Episode 12: Bar the Big Boss
bakuto white tiger

  1. Bakuto dies in a similar fashion to the comics, with the sword, but it was at the hands of White Tiger in the comics.

Episode 13: Dragon Plays with Fire
stan lee cameo iron fist

  1. This episode makes it clear that Harold Meachum sabotaged the plane to kill the Rands. Since he killed them in the comics, this was a good clarification.
  2. Claire and Jeri walk past a sign featuring Stan Lee as a cop. He’s popped up in photos and posters as this police officer on all the Netflix Marvel shows.
  3. Joy’s turn, teaming up with Davos, is reminiscent of her early appearances in the comics when she mistakenly believed Danny killed her father. She and Ward worked to kill Iron Fist in revenge and Ward even tried to hire Davos/Steel Serpent when he first showed up in the comics. Davos at that time refused to be an assassin for hire and said he’d go after Iron Fist for himself.
  4. Gao overhears everything that goes down. As Crane Mother, she probably has a way to mystically empower Davos in the future. Steel Serpent did eventually serve as one of the Immortal Weapons in the tournament of the Seven Heavenly cities.
  • Dan Gibson

    this is really in-depth, thanks for doing it