Danny Rand's arc in The Defenders will complete the journey he began in the first season of Iron Fist. Thanks to the nature of Marvel's Netflix shows, characters don't necessarily have to wait until the next season of their show to get more shading and development. With cross-pollination proving essential to the plotting of each series as they've headed towards The Defenders, a number of possibilities have arisen for stories to be told in non-traditional ways.
When the heroes of the various shows join forces in a few weeks for The Defenders, we'll see each hero go through all sorts of changes. Daredevil will be retired, Luke and Jessica will be learning to navigate their potential romance, and Elektra will be a lot bloodier. Meanwhile, Danny will be continuing to grow as a hero and completing his arc from Iron Fist season 1.
During San Diego Comic-Con, CBR was able to hear from the stars of The Defenders about how the show will shape each of its individual characters. In particular, Jessica Henwick (who plays Colleen Wing) spoke about how The Defenders season 1 will finish Danny's origin as a superhero:
“In Iron Fist, he’s just going through so much that he’s not presenting his best self. It was always a bit of a gender reversal in Iron Fist, in that Danny is kind of the ingénue… and Colleen is the Clint Eastwood, like, ‘I’ve been around too long and I don’t give a shit.’ She’s jaded and she’s tough and she doesn’t want to let people in. So that was actually part of the appeal to me, that they had had that character swap… His growth on Iron Fist and then certainly going into Defenders… By the end of Defenders, he’s a whole different character! It’s part of the appeal, I imagine, of working with someone like Netflix, is that they give you that freedom to really evolve the character.”
We've heard a similar statement before about how Danny will be ready to wear his comic book costume by the end of The Defenders. While Iron Fist saw Danny navigating his new power and responsibility mostly alone, Finn Jones says the new team will help teach him how to be a better hero and person:
“That’s the great thing about us all coming together, is that we really learn from each other. I think Danny definitely learns from all the other superheroes. One of the things he learns from Luke is how to just actually step down a notch — actually, no, not step down a notch, but how to really understand who he is a little bit better and really take his responsibility a bit more seriously. The fact I have this enormous power because I’m head of this company… I can actually use that in a lot more intelligent ways than just flashing some cash around or going and punching stuff.”
With Danny's arc completed in The Defenders, his future is much more open. SDCC also brought confirmation that Iron Fist season 2 is happening, pairing Danny and Colleen with Misty Knight from Luke Cage. Not only will Danny enter the season with a new perspective, but a new showrunner will help to guide the series. In the meantime, The Defenders will hopefully give Iron Fist fans a story they can be excited about.
Marvel’s The Defenders premieres on August 18, followed by The Punisher season 1 later this fall. Premiere dates for the new seasons of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist have yet to be announced.