Iron Fist: Is Madame Gao the Crane Mother?

by Jenna Anderson

Marvel's Iron Fist promises to expand the television side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe even further - as well as being the final piece of the puzzle that will be Netflix's The Defenders series later this year.

And now, a recent theory hints that the show might reinterpret a character from one of the previous Netflix shows in new light. 

MCU fans will recognize Madame Gao (Wai Ching Ho) from her appearances throughout Daredevil. The often-silent heroin dealer was a fixture of the show's first season, until she betrayed Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) and decided to return to her homeland to 'reflect upon the future.' 

Madame Gao briefly returned in the eleventh episode of Daredevil's second season, entitled '.380.' In it, she maniuplated Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox) and Frank Castle/The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) to kill a rival heroin lord for her.

It appears that Madame Gao will be a prominent fixture in Iron Fist, but there is a chance there will be more to her appearance than meets the eye.

A theory has floated around - almost since her initial appearance on Daredevil - that her character will actually double as the Crane Mother, an adversary of Iron Fist who appeared in an arc of The Immortal Iron Fist in 2007.

Crane Mother was the ruler of K'un-Zi, a mystical city that frequently went at odds with K'un-Lun, the home of the first Iron Fist, Orson Randall. When Danny Rand later took on the title, Crane Mother sent assassins after him and Randall. This threat lead to Danny Rand participating in the Tournament of Heavenly Cities.

The character was co-created by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction. While Crane Mother was limited to those three appearances, it's not entirely impossible that she could be adapted to Iron Fist's onscreen debut - and that Madame Gao, who still remains a relatively mysterious fixture of the MCU, could play her.

If this were true, it would certainly be an interesting twist on the character. And giving the magical nature of Iron Fist, as well as other MCU outputs such as Doctor Strange, it would fit into the universe perfectly.

More Marvel's Iron Fist News: Will Shou-Lao The Undying Appear? / Trailer Hints At Classic Costume / How The Trailer Connects To Marvel's Daredevil

Marvel’s Iron Fist is developed by Scott Buck. The Netflix series stars Finn Jones as Danny Rand, a martial arts expert with the ability to call upon the power of the Iron Fist. The cast also includes Jessica Henwick, David Wenham, Jessica Stroup, Tom Pelphrey, and Rosario Dawson.

Iron Fist was created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane for Marvel Comics. Iron Fist made his first appearance in Marvel Premiere #15 in 1974. Though he has headlined his own series, he is best known for being Luke Cage's partner in the Heroes for Hire.

Marvel's Iron Fist premieres March 17, 2017 exclusively on Netflix.

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