Davos (Steel Serpent)

His presence has been felt since Daredevil Season 1, as his crest appeared on the drug produced by Madame Gao, and finally we get to meet him. We’re almost at the end of the characters appeared in Iron Fist, but the most interesting ones are all here: in The Mistress of All Agonies, we see that a strange young man is following Danny, and he’s an incredibly skilled martial artist, able to turn simple alluminium foil into lethal throwing stars. As we learn soon after, that’s Davos, Danny’s best friend. Portrayed by Sacha Dhawan, Davos came to New York City to bring Danny back home, as the portal to K’un-Lun is open and there’s no Iron Fist to protect the city. The relationship between the two degenerates by the end of the season, promising new developments for Davos. In the comics, he’s Iron Fist’s nemesis, a formidable warrior who’s been opposing him since the very beginning…but the friendship he shares with Danny in the show doesn’t exist, at least not with him, as Davos was really close to Danny’s father instead…

Davos was born in the mystical city of K’un-Lun, the son of the capital’s greatest warrior Lei-Kung the Thunderer. Since his childhood, he knew he was meant to be a great warrior just like his father, maybe even to surpass him. Wanting to live up to his legacy, Davos aimed to become the new Iron Fist, the legendary protector of the city, and he trained harder than anyone else since he was a kid to be granted the privilege to challenge the immortal dragon Shou-Lao, the final step to obtain the power of the Iron Fist. While training his own son, Lei-Kung had another disciple, Wendell Rand-K’ai, a foreigner who had become the adoptive son of Yu-Ti the August Personage in Jade, K’un-Lun’s ruler. Davos and Wendell grew up as rivals, surely, but also as the best of friends, almost brothers, always facing together the harshness of the training and sharing the burden of Lei-Kung’s severity and expectations. Finally, the day came that one of the two students would have been chosen to face the dragon: the two battled in a one-on-one duel, a fight that Davos was sure he would have won…but Wendell proved to be stronger and more skilled, and he bested him. Refusing to give up, Davos kept coming back to his feet even if he was unable to fight, and in order to prevent him to get himself killed, Yu-Ti interrupted the combat, declaring Wendell’s victory. Furious for something he perceived as an injustice, Davos accused Yu-Ti to favor his own son, and when Lei-Kung ordered him to be silent, he realised he was alone in this. Secretly, that very night, he entered the cave of Shou-Lao on his own, sure he could have beaten him and proved to everybody he was worthy of being the Iron Fist…but he was severly defeated, and he barely escaped with his life. Found and treated by Lei-Kung, Davos was exiled by Yu-Ti to Earth, never to return to K’un-Lun ever again: so much for all the ambitions and dreams he had on himself, and for the legacy of K’un-Lun’s most powerful warrior.

Davos spent years on Earth as a mercenary and an assassin for hire, putting his incredible martial skills to the service of the best offerer. In the meanwhile Wendell, not wanting to hurt his friend even more, had refused to face Shou-Lao and had come back on Earth as well…but years later his son, Danny, reached K’un-Lun and eventually became the Iron Fist in his father’s place. When he learnt of this, Davos swore he would have killed Wendell’s son, and taken from him a power he still believed was his birthright. He travelled to New York City, when he found out that Ward and Joy Meachum, brother and daughter of the deceased Harold Meachum respectively, were hiring agents to send against Iron Fist, whom they believed to be Harold’s killer. Davos stepped in, presenting himself as Steel Serpent, and obtained the position of Joy’s bodyguard, being loyal to her in exchange of the possibility to kill Iron Fist. Joy employed Steel Serpent for a variety of delicate tasks, as she came to trust him: she even asked him to investigate on her uncle Ward, since he was running some unclear business. This oath of loyalty went as far as making him chose to protect Joy instead of attacking Iron Fist when the Golden Tiger Gang assaulted the company’s building. In the meanwhile, Davos had discovered several connections between Ward Meachum and some criminals and drug dealers, proving Joy’s suspicions to be justified; instead of reporting to the woman, however, Steel Serpent directly confronted Ward and threatened him, telling him to disappear from Joy’s life and to leave the direction of the company to her. After that, he came back to Joy and announced that his oath of protecting her had been fulfilled, and that it was finally time for his vengeance: he would have served her no more, and he would have hunted down Iron Fist. With a new technique that allowed him to absorb the power of Shou-Lao from Danny’s body, Davos was finally ready to obtain what had been destined for him since his birth…as well as his own personal vengeance.

Davos is a serious and honorable warrior, corrupted by a wounded pride that makes him a determined and violent avenger, guided by ambition and arrogance. As the Steel Serpent, he’s and incredibly skilled martial artist, one of the greatest warriors ever trained in K’un-Lun; he can manipulate his chi to augment his strength, durability, speed and agility, he doesn’t feel pain and he’s immune to most drugs and poisons, and he can absorb chi from other living beings (usually killing or hurting them) to replenish his own, including the dragon’s chi inhabiting the Iron Fist. Single-mindedly obsessed on obtaining the power that was denied to him in his youth, Steel Serpent is a dark mirror of the protector he wanted to be, a violent warrior who has lost his path.