Who is Iron Fist, aside from a guy who’s super good at punching people? Since his debut in 1974, millions of fans have learned the answer to that question. He’s Danny Rand, a martial arts master born into excessive wealth who cleans up the streets of New York, often alongside his friend Luke Cage. But at the same time, yes, he is super good at punching people. Famous for having the exact power you’d expect him to have based on his name, the popular Marvel hero can focus mass amounts of energy into his fist, giving him the ability to superhumanly punch anything and anyone he desires. Essentially, he’s got an Iron Fist and he uses it to take down bad guys.
But with Marvel’s Iron Fist coming to Netflix on March 17th, it’s time the world learns more about Iron Fist and what else he can do. Because he’s more than just a punching machine. He’s a superhero without compare, one who is all at once a rich playboy with lofty ideals and a regular guy who stumbled on natural superpowers. He’s appeared in the pages of comic books for five decades, he’s regularly been featured in animated Marvel TV series, he’s been a playable character in several video games, but he’s never before been brought to the screen in live action. Until now.
So get ready to be the Iron Fist expert among all your friends and stun them with information they didn’t know. Be the coolest guy at the Iron Fist viewing party, or at least the nerdiest, by reading to find out the 15 Powers You Didn’t Know Iron Fist Has.
15 Pressure Point Control
There’s something inherently cool about the idea of pressure points that every wannabe superhero kid takes notice of. Maybe it’s the idea that there are these hidden magical buttons you can press on people to make them do anything you want. Maybe it’s that the concept sounds scientific enough to be believable. Whatever the reason pressure points are so infinitely fascinating, what makes them even cooler is the fact that Iron Fist knows how to use them like the ultimate bad-ass.
A unique power that you just don’t see heroes like Hulk and Wolverine using, Iron Fist is able to locate the pressure point on any human target and inflict whatever damage he likes. By knowing exactly how to manipulate every possible pressure point, Iron Fist is able to freeze people in their tracks, incapacitate them, severely injure them, or even kill them. The only thing more useful than Iron Fist’s ability to manipulate pressure points on regular humans is his ability to do it on superhumans; in the past he’s landed pressure point attacks on targets as fast-moving and Spider-sensey as, um, Spider-Man.
14 Enhanced Reflexes
It’s all well and good to have cool physical powers that let you attack anyone you want, but no hero is complete without being able to dodge attacks in a cinematically enjoyable way. In that sense, Iron Fist can make all of us happy because he’s one of the very best at backflipping, jumping, running, and three-point-landing his way out of trouble. If looking cool while fighting is of top importance for a superhero, than Iron Fist is one of the coolest, most important heroes around.
Without the use of chi, Iron Fist is superhuman enough as it is, as he has natural conditioning that puts him in a class above the world’s best living athletes. From running at speeds up to 35mph to doing that for hours on end without getting tired, Iron Fist can beat even the best Marvel heroes in a race. But when you factor his chi into the equation, Danny Rand is able to increase his speed exponentially, allowing him to dodge and catch bullets and keep up with even the swiftest, most dangerous attacks in order to counter them.
One of the world’s foremost experts at chi-manipulation, Iron Fist famously is able to focus his chi energy into his fist, thus giving him the one power that he’s famous for. But sometimes having an Iron Fist can get you into trouble, as is often the case when other people attack Iron Fist and his Iron Fist can’t save him. That’s when Danny Rand’s self-healing powers come in handy, because every superhero fan knows that you can’t survive on just sheer offense alone, you need an equally good defense.
Rand’s defense involves huge amounts of willpower, essentially focusing all of his chi into healing himself on his own accord. Having faced certain death after various battles in the past, Iron Fist has been able to save his own life by healing his own critical wounds as if by magic. Able to purge poison from his body and mend serious ailments, Rand’s self-healing ability often comes with dangerous levels of energy-drain, leaving the hero near-defenseless immediately after performing life-saving miracles on himself.
12 Super-Heightened Senses
If showcased properly there’s few things cooler than a superhero’s heightened senses. With multiple characters over the decades, Marvel has shown us all the incredible ways that having super-hearing or super-sight can come in handy. And while there’s no doubt that Daredevil’s hearing and Wolverine’s sense of smell are among the most famous super-senses, it can be argued that Iron Fist has the sense (pun intended) to blow those guys out of the water.
With eye-sight that allows him to see tiny details potentially miles away, Iron Fist’s physical powers are often augmented by his keen senses. In addition to his eyesight is his super-sensitive hearing, which can be so precise so as to allow him to hear sweat rolling down someone’s face. From sniffing out enemies in hiding to using his senses and insight to act as a human lie detector, the sky’s the limit on what Iron Fist can accomplish just by keeping his eyes and ears open.
11 Complete Control of His Nervous System
By now it should be clear that there’s little Iron Fist can’t control if he has total concentration. The problem is, when someone’s attacking you with superpowers it’s pretty hard to concentrate. So it may sound good in theory to have complete control over your own nervous system, allowing you to block pain receptors in your body and control yourself like a fine-tuned machine, but the reason this power remains so under-the-radar is because Iron Fist doesn’t use it all that much: he can’t.
The thing that makes Iron Fist so compelling is that – while his powers are nearly-limitless – they take a lot to control. They are not naturally a part of him like Spider-Man or mechanically-added like Iron Man. They take skill and determination. So, sure, it’s cool that Iron Fist can control himself like a marionette, but all it really amounts to is little party tricks that can be used in the calmest of environments. For example, passing a lie detector test by manipulating your heartbeat. Sure, that’s fun, but it’s no super-punch.
10 Super Durability
It’s one thing to be able to heal yourself, and sure, it’s cool and all, but the real goal is to not get hurt at all. Considering how draining it is for Iron Fist to heal his own body using chi, it makes much more sense for him to use that chi as a type of shield: and that’s exactly what he’s able to do. Every great hero has their own version of durability – the Hulk is a nuclear-radiated bulletproof tank, Luke Cage is impenetrable, Iron Man has the shiniest techno-armour – but Iron Fist’s durability is different. His comes from sheer concentration rather than a natural or man-made exoskeleton.
Often described in the comics as an “aura,” Iron Fist is able to generate a chi-covering over himself in order to stop energy attacks before they hit him. By absorbing some of the most powerful long-range and close-range physical damage, Iron Fist can protect himself from his strongest enemies before it’s too late. So between deflecting damage and healing what damage does get through, there’s really no hurting Iron Fist no matter how hard you try.
One of the cool things about Iron Fist’s history over the decades is how he interacts with other corners of the Marvel Universe, specifically the more mystical/magical parts. While there’s no doubting that he’s very much a part of the ancient kung-fu power-subset of heroes, he’s also picked up abilities that would feel right at home residing in Doctor Strange or the Mandarin. One of those powers is his skills in hypnotism.
Having read The Book of the Iron Fist after obtaining it from Orson Randall, Danny Rand started experimenting with illusions and magic in order to trick his enemies. Realizing the power in these illusions, Rand started incorporating hypnosis into his fighting style, tricking his foes into seeing what wasn’t in front of them. This would give Iron Fist whatever advantage he wanted, being able to either hide from his enemies or make them think that there’s an army after them, when in reality all that was happening was Rand working his way into their head and outsmarting them.
8 He Can Heal Others
Superheroes are meant to inspire us common-folk to be better, but often all they end up doing is destroying cities and mowing down innocent civilians in explosions of CGI. While many have incredible powers that if shared can help heal the world, all we often see is our favourite hero kicking the hell out of our favourite villain. Not that we’re complaining – it’s entertaining – but this is where Iron Fist differs. He actually helps others.
Aside from being able to turn his chi inward to heal himself, Danny Rand is actually able to project his chi outward and heal others. It’s a very simple power that makes a lot of sense if you think about it, but it’s also something we don’t see very often in the comic book medium. With this power Rand can easily transfer some of his vast energy resources into others – whether they’re innocent bystanders or superheroes on his team – and give them strength or healing abilities to get them through tough times.
7 Energy Absorption
We all know by now that Danny Rand can focus his own energy and use it for incredible gains. Whether he’s focusing his chi into an attack or using it internally to heal himself, energy is a huge part of what makes Iron Fist unstoppable. But as it turns out Rand’s powers don’t just come from his own chi energy, he can also harness energy from external sources. And when you fight in the Marvel Universe against all sorts of superpowered energy-spraying villains, that’s a very good thing.
In the ultimate example of turning an enemy’s attack into his own, Rand is able to absorb high amounts of energy that are directed at him and store it without any negative impacts. From there he can use the energy to feed his own attacks, top up his own power reserves, and just generally be a super-strong badass that can’t be hurt. Just another reason you don’t want to attack Iron Fist if you can help it.
6 Immune to Magic
When you’re a part of the Marvel Universe, being immune to magic is a pretty important thing. It’s a good way to get one up on a whole bunch of heroes and villains that wouldn’t be able to use their magical powers against you. Especially considering that for some characters, magic is the only weapon they have. Aside from every other power on this list that makes it clear you shouldn’t fight Iron Fist, a magical being certainly wouldn’t want to end up in a fight with him.
While Iron Fist’s immunity to magic is now cannon, Rand hasn’t always had this immunity. He gained the ability when he was transported into another dimension along with the Eye of Agamotto. When he was in this dimension, his mentor the Ancient One appeared to him. The Ancient One provided him with a new outfit that contained a few new powers including – conveniently – an immunity to magic. A pretty generous gift, especially when added to all the other powers that Iron Fist wields on a daily basis.
5 Enhanced Lifespan
He can punch through anyone who threatens him, he can heal himself if he gets hurt, he can avoid getting hurt entirely, he can absorb attacks against him and use them against his attacker, and he’s immune to magic. When you’re that powerful, there’s little reason to worry about the little things. But then you add an enhanced lifespan into the mix and there’s really nothing to worry about – Iron Fist can outlive his enemies and still have years of free time to Netflix and chill.
With a dramatically slowed aging process, Danny Rand is primed to stay young, healthy, and in prime-fighting condition for decades to come. And though he hasn’t been around since the 19th century like Wolverine or some of the more famous Marvel heroes, considering his relatively young age it’s been theorized that Rand will outlive many in the Marvel Universe. Not one to just settle for power and wealth, it may not be right that Iron Fist gets a crazy long life to do what he wants with, but that’s just how it works.
4 He Can Fuse His Consciousness with Others
When you’re a super-smart, emotionally connected, really-cool punching machine, chances are you’ll find everyone else in the world quite boring. So if you don’t want to simply be bored when you connect with every other human being on earth, it helps to have a power that makes others at least slightly as interesting as you. Lucky for Iron Fist, he’s able to fuse his consciousness with others, thus making them a less-badass offshoot of himself.
Okay, so this power isn’t exactly meant for Iron Fist to create interesting friends, but the ability is there if he wants it. In reality Iron Fist’s consciousness-sharing is a really cool power that allows him to share his emotions, knowledge, and memories with whomever he wants. Whether sharing his empathy with a villain or allowing a superhero partner access to life-saving information, there’s near unlimited uses for this power, and whenever he busts it out in the comics it’s always an equally-cool intellectual addition to his arsenal of physical powers.
3 Increased Empathy
You wouldn’t think a trained, expert fighting machine would be the most empathetic person in the world, yet here we are. Just one of the many things that makes Iron Fist stand out from the rest of the hero pack, Rand’s ability to connect to the living world on an emotional level is something that makes him a good person as well as a good fighter.
Masterfully in tune with the techniques of ancient meditation and human compassion, Danny Rand knows how to connect to humans and animals on a deep level. With this connection Rand is able to feel a being/animals emotions and intentions, and thus determine what it is they’re going to do next. Once connected on an empathetic wavelength, Rand is also able to inject his own feelings and emotions into a living creature in order to influence them remotely. Whether he’s gaining insight into the mind of an ally or trying to get an enemy to understand his own point of view, Iron Fist’s increased empathy is a powerful – and peaceful – weapon unlike any other.
2 Can Withstand Extreme Environments
It’s been said before that pain is a mindset, and if that’s the case than Iron Fist certainly knows how to erase that mindset and pretend pain doesn’t exist. But what about very real concepts such as heat and cold? Surely Danny Rand can’t just ignore the temperature and not be affected by it? Well, actually, he can.
Taking inspiration from some of the best trained monks, martial arts masters, and magicians throughout history, Danny Rand can actually survive all manners of extreme environments if he sets his mind to it. The comic book world’s answer to David Blaine, all Rand needs is focus and meditation in order to push himself past the limits that any normal human can endure. Hot, cold, sitting through an entire showing of the Fantastic Four reboot – there’s no limit to what Rand can accomplish. And when you find yourself facing off against the world’s worst villains in Arctic lairs and Sub-Saharan caves, it certainly doesn’t hurt to will the pain away and focus on the task at hand.
1 Dimension Hopping
Move over Doctor Strange, there’s a new Marvel hero in town. And while this one is also trained by an ancient mystic and knows the secrets of the universe, there’s a key difference. Iron Fist can actually fight; he doesn’t need a cape to do his battles.
Yep, one of Iron Fist’s coolest hidden powers is his ability to travel between dimensions at will. And unlike the heroes known for dimension hopping, he doesn’t even need an ancient artifact or some type of complex Mr. Fantastic-designed technological portal, he just needs his chi. By focusing his energy into massive-astral-plane-spanning portals, Iron Fist is able to create nexus points between dimensions and travel through them freely. Whether he wants to banish someone to a new dimension or just do a little light traveling, the multi-verse is his to explore and we can’t figure out why more people aren’t talking about it.
Which of these powers were you most surprised to learn Iron Fist has? Are there any you’re hoping to see when Iron Fist hits Netflix? Let us know in the comments!