Second character appearing in the Iron Fist trailer is most certainly a villain… even if some surprise may lie ahead. Along with Joy Meachum, we see at her side also her brother, Ward, portrayed by Tom Pelphrey. In the show, he’ll be a childhood friend of Danny Rand, and he’ll be one of the owners of his company the moment he comes back from his presumed death… and it’s unlikely he’ll let it go easily. Well, this brief description already puts him on a completely different level than his comicbook counterpart, as in the comics he’s not Joy’s brother, he’s never been friend to Danny Rand, and he didn’t even own his company. Let’s see together.
Born in Manhattan, New York City, Ward Meachum was the brother of wealthy and successful businessman Harold Meachum. Not much is known about his early activities, but he was a skilled and successful businessman as well, owner of a big company. When his brother Harold was killed, his niece Joy inherited his company, the Rand-Meachum Inc., but she also called for her uncle in New York. Joy, in fact, claimed to know the killer of her father, as she had found the vigilante Iron Fist near Harold’s dead body: she asked her uncle Ward to both help her run the company, and most of all to help her get her revenge against Iron Fist. Ward was a man of experience, and had quite a few connections in the underworld: believing to have it easy, he hired known mercenary Batroc the Leaper to dispose of the vigilante, but was quite surprised the moment Batroc was defeated, as Iron Fist proved to be a better martial artist than him (quite rare). Realizing that the masked man wasn’t a simple thug to eliminate so easily, Ward Meachum started investigating on him, and soon found another masked martial artist who had a grudge against Iron Fist, the Steel Serpent: he convinced Joy to assume him as a bodyguard, enlisting his services in exchange of a chance to obtain his vengeance against the other fighter. In the meanwhile, Ward kept his own empire alive by making deals with his connections in the underworld, continuing business with several groups; one of these, the Golden Tiger Gang led by Chaka Kahn, wasn’t exactly satisfied by the treatment they received, and ended up attacking Rand-Meachum Inc. putting Joy’s life at risk. Following that, Steel Serpent started investigating on Ward, and found out his criminal connections: disgusted by the man’s duplicity, the assassin beat Ward’s bodyguards, and threatening Meachum he told him that he was done working for him; then he left, seeking his vengeance on his own. Again, Ward Meachum was alone with his niece in his revenge quest.
As the top of irony, at last even Joy Meachum gave up on her war against Iron Fist, finally convinced of his innocence, even allying with him; obviously, since the very beginning Ward wasn’t interested in the slightest in avenging his brother, as he had seen an easy way to increase his profits through Ward-Meachum Inc… but now he had lost that opportunity, having been cut out of the company’s direction. Ward needed another financier, and ironically he found it in Master Khan, the true killer of his brother Harold. Khan promised Ward power and wealth in exchange of the Power Gem of Quon, a powerful relic in Danny Rand’s possession able to bring Khan back to Earth from the dimension he’d been exiled from. One of Khan’s minions, the humanoid wolf Ferocia, was sent to help him, but Meachum had already resumed his old style, and had hired some goons to do the dirty job for him: he enlisted Shades and Comanche, and even gave them advanced tech to pass through Danny’s ever-present bodyguards, Iron Fist and Power Man, the Heroes for Hire. Despite Shades and Comanche got defeated and arrested, Ward managed to steal the Power Gem, and brought Khan back to Earth… only to be intercepted by the Heroes for Hire immediately after. While Power Man took care of Ward and his goons, Iron Fist fought Khan: during the battle the crystal got destroyed, and the evil warlord was sent back to K’un Lun; exposed and without an ally, Ward Meachum was arrested along with the low-life criminals that worked with him. Now, resentful towards Iron Fist for personal issues, Ward kept planning his revenge… but soon something else replaced his original obsession, tapping to his everlasting thirst for power. Out of prison thanks to what had remained of his connections, he made quite a level-up when he contacted the Super Skrull, the alien who possessed the combined powers of the Fantastic Four, and offered him his help and resources in conquering Earth for the Skrull Empire: when dreaming of power, why not dreaming big?
Ward Meachum is an ambitious and greedy man, ready to do anything to obtain power, wealth and influence. With no moral restraint at all, he only takes care of his personal benefit, and he’s ready to sell out anybody for some profit… even the entire human race.