Fixing a Broken Start: ‘Iron Fist’ Season 2

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Spoilers For Iron Fist Season 2 Below The Picture 

With the recent news of Marvel’s Iron Fist being canceled, a lot of people went online to say “finally”, but some of us, especially after watching season two have asked, “Why now and why not after season one?”

In 2017 we witnessed what would be considered the worse of the Marvel – Netflix shows, Iron Fist. With problems in pre-production and Scott Buck as a showrunner, who later became the showrunner of the doomed Inhumans serie on ABC, the first season of the show got people talking. Between a weak plot, subpar action sequences, and an unlikeable main character, Iron Fist became a show that was loved by few. Many fans wanted the show to be canceled, replaced, or be made over entirely.

At the time, I was a regular guest on a local podcast that talked about the Netflix – Marvel TV shows. The premise was to watch the whole season before recording the show, the weekend of release. However, trying to binge watch Iron Fist was a test of wills. Overall, Colleen Wing, as played by Jessica Henwick was the only major highlight of the show.

The brilliant spots of the show were not lost to the fans online, and many fanart reimaginings saw Danny Rand as an Asian-American, including one made by artist Kristafer Anka. This quickly became a viral trend amongst fans and artists, giving their own twists and even a gender-swapped Dani Rand by Paulina Ganucheau.

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warm up – danny rand – the iron fist

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It’s ya girl Dani Rand here to kick your ass. 👊🐉💥

In between the amazing fanart that came from a subpar show, the fans started asking for better and more from season two, which eventually led to some calling to see Colleen Wing as the Iron Fist and exploring the lore behind the Daughters of the Dragon. So when the second season of Iron Fist was greenlighted, people had no idea what to expect.

Raven Metzer took over showrunner duties for the second season, branding it an “evolution” from what we saw in season 1. And he was not wrong. Season 2 of Iron Fist was, without a doubt, an improvement over season one because of what stories they chose to tell and how much they decided to dial down some traits that marked season one. 

The Rand Corporation plot was pushed to the background, like in Iron Man. The main character gets money is something we know but it’s not present in every installment and that’s okay. Danny Rand’s character (Finn Jones), was dialed down and came off less as a smartass and more as a toned down yogi. This season also showed us who Danny Rand is when he is not the Iron Fist. After a ritual strips him of his power and transfers it to Davos (Sacha Dhawan) – this season’s villain. 

Rand is presented more as a man looking for his place in the world, he is no longer repeating “I am the Immortal Iron Fist” like a mantra. He no longer shows himself as superior both morally and spiritually to the people he interacts with. Danny has finally accepted that he is the Iron Fist not by choice, and the fact that K’un-Lun seems to no longer exist feeds into his acceptance of him not being ready nor worthy of being the Iron Fist, protector of K’un-Lun. This new, everyman Danny who resonates better with audiences and even if not likable, makes him bearable.

Davos (left) confronting Danny (right).

But out of all the characters, Colleen’s journey was the most rewarding. Between the first seasons of Iron Fist and The Defenders, we saw Colleen discover that her brotherhood was being part of The Hand. We see her mentor, and maybe slight love interest, try to kill her, she lost her dojo, and consequentially her direction in life.

In season two we see Colleen wander thru her daily life, helping Danny fight the gangs but she seems to have no real conviction in her, no sense or real purpose. While trying to understand a family heirloom, she encounters a teenager who is a part of a gang. It is here where we realize that Colleen still wants to help the youth in her neighborhood. This season, Colleen befriends the young man and when he is tragically killed, we see the spark in Colleen come to the surface. 

It is at the end of the season where we see the biggest change yet. Danny Rand comes to the conclusion that he is not worthy of the power of the Iron Fist, that someone else must hold the power of the dragon and that someone is Colleen. Colleen not only becomes the Iron Fist, both giving us finally an Asian-American Iron Fist but also giving the spotlight to the best character of the show. It also shows us that she is the descendant of Wu Ao-Shi, the only woman to hold the Iron Fist mantle.

The end of season two gave us a glimpse of what could have come, Colleen as a new Iron Fist with a glowing katana protecting the city in the most badass way. Danny Rand now travels the world in search of Orson Randall, who many of us will know from the comics, while also yielding the powers of the Immortal Iron Fist on two glowing guns. 

Season two was only 10 episodes long and it worked. It was a pathway to a better third season that we won’t get. It used one of the best, Iron Fist comic runs to shape its future while also giving the fans what they asked. The Immortal Iron Fist, written by Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker and illustrated by David Aja, whom Fraction also worked within his acclaimed Hawkeye run, and Travel Foreman,  is one of the best Iron Fists comic runs. The story it tells is compelling and expands both the world of the Iron Fist and also it’s lore.

But where do we go from here? Hopefully, we finally get a Daughters of the Dragon series, Colleen and Misty’s team up that season showed us a glimpse of what can happen. Maybe we will get Heroes for Hire because there is no doubt that Danny Rand was at his best when he guest starred in Marvel’s Luke Cage season two. Maybe this is just the end, but let’s hope it’s not. Fans have waited far too long to finally have an Asian-American superhero, and that is Colleen Wing as the Iron Fist.

I firmly believe that season 2 of Marvel’s Iron Fist was a step in the right direction. Colleen Wing as the main character has a lot to offer as an Asian-American superhero searching for the story of her family and as a female superhero, bringing some balance into the Marvel-Netflix tv shows. If the only thing you liked about season one was Colleen Wing, then check out her journey in season two. Her character development shows that sometimes fans have the perfect ideas on how to fix a broken show.