Later this month, Marvel’s final defender arrives when Iron Fist hits Netflix. The story follows the fury of the fist, Danny Rand, as he returns home to New York City after having spent years in the mystic city of K’un-Lun training to become a warrior.
Marvel has used the Netflix corner of the MCU to explore darker, more mature themes within the franchise. The more realistic tone Marvel’s Netflix series doesn’t lend itself well to the colorful costumes from Marvel comics. The obvious exception here is Daredevil whose costume audiences have excepted due in large part to the practical necessity of it.
Iron Fist showrunner Scott Buck has already revealed the first season of the series won’t feature the debut of Danny Rand’s costume from the comics but the show’s costume designer Stephanie Maslansky recently spoke with Forbes dishing on how important she feel’s it is to refer back to the original source material when designing the looks for the characters:
“I always go back to the original comic illustrations, the origin stories…We’re bringing these characters in an honest, authentic way from the pages of a comic book into the 21st century, and it’s very important to me that the fans appreciate and approve the work we do. These are characters that are steeped in decades of Marvel history, and we try to bring them to life in a believable way.”
Maslansky went further to add that the most challenging character to design for yet has been the look of Iron Fist:
“Although the most unusual-looking character so far, has been the Iron Fist. But there are different illustrations of the Iron Fist. There are some that look very militaristic, kind of cool and edgy. The earlier illustrations have an incredibly seventies vibe. And there’s a look when he wears cargo pants and a tight shirt, with the emblem emblazoned on the shirt. We did something like that, not with the shirt but with the tattoo on his chest. But I drew my inspiration from the classic look, mostly.”
For a character whose costume we won’t see appear in the first season of the series, Maslanksy seems to have done an awful lot of research on the different incarnations of Iron Fist’s appearance. It’s possible we could see him suit up in the green and yellow this summer in The Defenders or in the second season of Iron Fist. Netflix has yet to not give a series a second season and it’s highly unlikely the first would be a Marvel show.
While the Iron Fist’s costume won’t be seen in the first season, Maslansky revealed the clothing worn by the warrior monks in K’un-Lun will be an homage to the traditional Iron Fist costume:
“I took that distinctive silhouette from the Shaolin warrior monk clothing, and we combined it with the traditional colors of the Iron Fist, green and gold. So that’s one homage to the comics. There are a couple of references to the origin stories. I’m not allowed to give them away but you’ll see them.”
Maslanksy, who has worked on all four of the Netflix Marvel series, is also working on the team-up series The Defenders which features all of the heroes (for hire) putting their resources together to take on the mysterious villain Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver). Maslanksy spoke a little about the challenge of weaving together the distinct styles of all four series into one:
“It’s been interesting, combining all these different characters and their looks together. We’ve kept them all fairly distinctive throughout each series. They each have their own look and style. They all come together for a common cause, but their worlds are very distinctive from one another. And I’m not allowed to say anything more than that. [Laughs].”
As MCU Exchange has pointed out, Maslansky holding back from going into detail could possibly suggest an upgrade to Daredevil’s suit or even Iron Fist donning the traditional costume himself. Or it could simply be for the fact that these projects are produced with a high level of secrecy due to the reality of Internet spoiler culture.
Iron Fist hits Netflix on March 17, 2017.