“Marvel’s Iron Fist,” the latest entry in the Netflix Marvel TVverse, has a pretty wide gamut of character quality, covering the full spectrum from totally insufferable to totally delightful. And we’ve got the definitive rankings of where all the major character place on that scale. Check it out.
31. Young Ward (Ilan Eskenazi)
Ward was a total jerkface when he was a kid. That might be interesting if he didn’t also sound completely fake and full of it in the way he interacts with everyone. His jealousy of Danny for having parents who actually love him would inform his character, but Ward sounds like a kid copying what he heard on a badly written soap opera.
30. Wendell Rand (David Furr)
Do we really need a screed about how hard Danny’s dad sucks? No, I think Wendell’s suckiness speaks for itself.
29. Lei Kung (Hoon Lee)
Danny’s master who appeared to him either as a spectre or a hallucination in order to disapprove of him not getting that innocent Russian girl killed, and then we never saw him again. Yeah, you’re a great master.
28. Radovan Bernivig (Olek Krupa)
Hard to conjure up many compliments about a guy whose main characteristic is he got shot and spent several episodes in a row dying without actually contributing much to anyone.
27. Darryl (Marquis Rodriguez)
Won a scholarship to join a cult and then immediately got his leg broken in half for being a dork. Fitting for a character named “Darryl.”
26. Dr. Edmonds (Murray Bartlett)
A fairly ineffective doctor who spends most of his time with Danny in the mental hospital trying to convince him he’s not Danny. Not the best psychiatrist of all time for sure.
25. Danny “Iron Fist” Rand (Finn Jones)
Danny would climb the ranks significantly if he’d just fully embrace his child-like hobo bathrobe martial arts master shtick. Instead he’s altogether too clueless to be this exceedingly serious, bumbling through New York like the child he is. It’s like “Baby’s Day Out,” except not in a fun way.
24. Young Danny (Toby Nichols)
The coolest thing Danny has going for him as a 10-year-old is his hip-hop playlist. His role is mostly to see watch his parents die and be a dopey rich white kid, though.Is better than adult Danny by virtue of actually being a child while acting like one.
22-23. Vesnikov Brothers (Nikita Bogolyubov and Stan Demidoff)
They make a crack about being one person instead of two before they get their butts kicked by a skinny guy with no muscles, so the joke’s really on them.
21. Heather Rand (Victoria Haynes)
We don’t see a lot of Danny’s mom, but she has one incredibly intense moment in which she gets sucked out of a crashing plane. If you’re going to die on a superhero show to give the protagonist a tragic backstory, you could do a whole lot worse than that. At least she wasn’t murdered by some random mugger to help turn a billionaire kid into a vigilante.
20. Hai-Qing Yang (Henry Yuk)
There’s not much to this crime lord, except that he shows up a few times to fulfill some plot necessities. The story he tells about the undead warrior is a pretty cool one though.
19. Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick)
The baddest of asses in “Iron Fist,” Colleen runs her own martial arts dojo. She is, for a while at least, the most well rounded character we meet. Her penchant for just rolling with Danny’s stupid is troubling, however.
18. Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup)
Joy’s unstoppable must-win attitude makes her become much more interesting as “Iron Fist” goes on. She’s got her own kind of ruthlessness, even if it’s not of the murdery sort like the rest of her family. Her disparagement of brown M&Ms is unnecessary, though.
17. Big Al (Craig Walker)
Danny’s homeless friend had a refreshing lack of seriousness on an otherwise inappropriately serious show. At least until he was randomly murdered offscreen.
16. Wilkins (Clifton Davis)
Exists to be an indignant jerk until a much bigger jerk shoots him in the face. I can admire that sort of utilitarianism.
15. Ringmaster (Craig Geraghty)
This guy brings a panache to his job that’s admirable, even if he only has a couple of scenes in the first few episodes.
14. Bride of Nine Spiders (Jane Kim)
Nearly succeeds in seducing Danny the Virgin while they’re supposed to be fighting. An A for effort, at least.
13. Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss)
The New York lawyer for superheroes shows up to help Danny get back into Rand Enterprises, dishing out some cool legal kung-fu of her own. She’s doesn’t have much to do in “Iron Fist,” but her friendship with the Rand family helps to further flesh out the character that “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones” started building.
12. Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey)
A bumbling villain with a painkiller addiction, daddy issues and a penchant for talking to dead people, Ward has a lot of problems for a rich CEO. His ever-lengthening list of issues make him fun to watch, especially when he starts to see things that aren’t there and begins trying to juggle more and more lies.
9-11. Corporate Drug Ladies (Jeanna de Waal, Kati Sharp, Monette McKay)
The heroin subplot was pretty boring aside from when we saw these cool corporate ladies hawking it to rich people like they were selling accounting software or something.
8. Davos (Sacha Dhawan)
Earnestly serious, but in a way that pays off real well when he gets to talk about how trash all the non-heaven food is.
7. Kyle (Alex Wyse)
Harold’s assistant is entirely pathetic and extremely wimpy. One wonders how he even ended up in a job where he cares for a man who faked his own death and never goes home. Too bad he mentioned ice cream that one time.
6. Madame Gao (Wai Ching Ho)
The spooky leader of The Hand (you might remember her from “Daredevil”) is good at showing up to give supervillain speeches. She’s also good at messing with Danny’s head, and her cool-headed, relaxed evil is a good foil for all the hothead murderers on the show. Danny isn’t particularly smart, so Gao’s conniving nature makes her a formidable foe.
5. Scythe (David Sakurai)
Gets absolutely the best scene in the series, when he’s seen singing to the corpses of a bunch of people he just murdered before strangling somebody with the microphone cord. At least it took Danny using the actual Iron Fist to beat him.
4. Zhou Cheng (Lewis Tan)
The drunken master and protector of the Hand that Danny fights in China has a mouth to match his fighting skills. It’s unfortunate that Danny beats him to a pulp, because the dude would have made a good silly nemesis to have show up over and over, whenever the Hand comes after Danny.
3. Bakuto (Ramon Rodriguez)
We will always fondly remember Bakuto’s inability to smile in a way that doesn’t make him appear like an evil schemer.
2. Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson)
Unlike in the other Marvel Netflix series, at least Claire gets a chance to do things other than stitch wounds in “Iron Fist.” And she’s constantly calling out Danny’s dumb ideas and stupid plans, making her a great counter to the naive earnestness of the children she’s constantly having to babysit.
1. Harold Meachum (David Wenham)
Meachum dad Harold is a delightfully ruthless, diabolical mustache-twirler. He’s got his own reasons, but regardless of whether he’s a pawn or a player in the story, he’s worth having around for his hilarious abuse of his spineless assistant, Kyle.