Iron Fist is an Entitled White Boy Jerk, pt 2

Marvel: “Hey fanboys, are you socially awkward and don’t care about women’s feelings or autonomy? It’s ok, they’ll sleep with you anyway!”

Fanboys: “Yay!”

. . .

I’m to that point in Iron Fist (spoilers for episode 7, I think) where there’s an entirely unearned sex scene coming up, and it just makes me roll my eyes so hard my head hurts.

“Unearned,” in the sense that the narrative doesn’t justify it in any way.

What about this guy is Colleen Wing supposed to be attracted to?

Is it the bad hair?

The constant disrespect for her teaching methods?

The one or two compliments that he gave her in the last couple episodes? (Compliments that came totally out of the blue, “you’re the strongest person I know,” ah, you’re an idiot, Danny Rand.)

How about the stalking?

The breaking into people’s houses?

The inability to take “no” for an answer?

The vow of celibacy that he apparently swore but discards in a HEARTBEAT as soon as there’s a sexy exotic/erotic Japanese poison woman in the previous episode? (Yeah, don’t think I missed that little gem. [1])

I get that it’s a vulnerable moment with her manufactured anxiety about failing to protect a mostly dead guy, and that Danny tells her some cute stories about little boys being doofuses, but c’mon, seriously? How are we supposed to take this seriously? They’re not Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. Heck, they’re not Matt Murdock and Elektra.

Maybe she’s just really into fake-looking chest tattoos.

Yeah, that’s probably it.

Are Colleen Wing’s initials “CW” because this is a CW show? Maybe that’s it.

If that sounds harsh, it’s because Marvel keeps digging that hole for The Great White Hope, and doesn’t seem to realize it’s digging.

Flawed people, I’m cool with–I *prefer* flawed characters, in fact–but I expect there to be narrative consequences to their flaws or an exploration of their flaws.

So far, Danny’s only “flaw” is that he’s too compassionate, refusing to kill the Hand warrior so that Madame Gao wouldn’t kill the damsel in distress. And then he angsts about that, because that’s apparently a good thing.[2]

His seeming inability to respect women or boundaries is a significant flaw, but there’s been zero sign that he’s even aware of that problem, much less that he’s going to address it. And why would he? Even the women he disparaged, disrespected, and harassed fall into his arms without any real effort on his part. No doubt Colleen and Joy will end up fighting over him, because that’s how these rich white boy wish fulfillment stories usually go.

Every episode, I like him less and less, which is pretty remarkable, considering how little I liked him initially.

Jessica Jones, for instance, was an incredibly flawed character who made all kinds of bad decisions and disrespected the hell out of basically everyone, but she suffered for it. She had to earn every ounce of good that happened to her in that show (and there wasn’t a lot of it). Her whole story was a compelling climb up a rugged mountain during a lightning storm without so much as a jacket or even boots.

Danny doesn’t struggle or suffer or have to earn anything. Sure he gets hurt on occasion, but it’s never a big deal. Everything just kinda works out for him, because it’s destiny.

And that’s a lame story.

This is a lame story.

I hope it gets better.



[1] The Japanese spider lady who fights with sexiness was really, REALLY bad. (Orientalism, anyone?) I mean, I want a Spider Woman show as much as the next hot blooded Marvel fanboy but c’mon.

[2] Also, can we have a conversation about how eastern philosophy is a stand-in for psychopathic disregard for innocent lives here? Maybe it’s an Objectivist thing–that in order to truly excel at your calling, you have to put petty things like morality aside. (Maybe the “Rand” part of his name isn’t a coincidence.) Maybe this is the conversation Marvel wants us to have, but that’s really weird.

(See also, Iron Fist is an Entitled White Boy Jerk, part 1.)

2 thoughts on “Iron Fist is an Entitled White Boy Jerk, pt 2

  1. Pingback: Iron Fisting, pt 1 | Worldswalker

  2. Pingback: Iron Fisting, pt. 2: Conclusion | Worldswalker

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