Viewers are bound to have a lot of questions when they tune into Netflix's newest Marvel comic book series this Friday, but "What are Iron Fist's powers, exactly?" is bound to be at the top of the list. We can all pretend that we watch superhero shows for stuff like the characters or the social commentary. But let's be honest; at the end of the day, we're really there to watch people with cool superpowers kick ass and take names. And given that Iron Fist protagonist Danny Rand isn't exactly an A-list Marvel hero in the realm of Spider-Man, Iron Man, or Captain America (or even a B-list hero like Ant-Man, honestly), audiences may be more unfamiliar than usual with the titular character when they stream Iron Fist this weekend.
In order to understand what Danny Rand's powers are, you first have to know where and how he got them. On the page, he's the son of a wealthy businessman who once lived in the extra-dimensional realm of K'un-Lun, located in the Tibetan mountains. After the tragic death of his parents, Danny journeys to K'un-Lun to learn more about his past. While there, he underwent rigorous martial arts training, and was eventually allowed to undertake a rite of passage that transforms an ordinary warrior into an "Iron Fist" — a title conferred upon anyone who can defeat the immortal dragon Shou-Lao The Undying and absorb its mystical energy. After an intense battle, Danny slew the dragon, was imbued with superpowers, and earned the right to call himself Iron Fist.
It remains to be seen how Danny will attain his powers on the Netflix show, since star Finn Jones (Game Of Thrones) admitted to Yahoo! News that Iron Fist doesn't have the budget necessary to bring a dragon battle to life. But dragon or no dragon, Netflix's version of Danny will still obviously be a superhero, so the question still remains: what are his powers? The official Marvle wiki page for Danny Rand lists seven "abilities" for the character, ranging from Master Martial Artist to Meditation and even Skilled Acrobat.
But those are just the things he can do as a regular human being. He also has two "powers" listed — Chi Augmentation and Magical Immunity — which may not seem like much, except for the fact that one of those (Chi Augmentation) has a whopping 18 sub-categories assigned to it… and that's where the fun comes in. The idea behind Chi Augmentation is that, thanks to his mystical encounter with Shou-Lao, is now able to harness his own enhanced Chi in order to augment his physical and mental powers.
In the comics, those powers really run the gamut from traditional superhero stuff like Enhanced Speed & Reflexes, Durability, and Healing to more arcane abilities like Energy Absorption (which lets him absorb an incoming attack and deflect it back out at his attacker), Hypnotism (which he uses to conjure illusions and confuse his enemies), Dimensional Travel (which allows him to create nexus points between dimensions), Nervous System Control (which means he can ignore massive amounts of pain), and Mind Fusion (which gives him access to another person's thoughts, emotions, and memories).
But Danny's most iconic and oft-used power is undoubtedly the Iron Fist Punch. With this move, he is able to channel all of his massive amounts of Chi energy into his hand, transforming it into an invulnerable weapon of destruction that can punch its way through anything — people, doors, walls — without Danny injuring himself. So yes, Iron Fist's primary ability is hitting things really, really hard.
Watch the Man Formerly Known As Loras Tyrell punch his way through hordes of enemies when all 13 episodes of Iron Fist Season 1 debut on Netflix this Friday, March 17.