danny rand iron fist finn jones

I Am Actually Excited for Iron Fist Season 2, Y’all

What is this feeling, so sudden and new?

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Sometimes the snow comes down in June. Sometimes the sun goes round the moon. Sometimes you watch a trailer for a series you had previously written off and go, “hmm, I kinda wanna watch that.”

That’s what happened when I watched the latest trailer for season two of Marvel’s Iron Fist. In their stellar run on Netflix, Marvel has gone gritty. The Defenders bleed, suffer, have sex, and deal with nuanced, darker storylines. Daredevil struggles with morality. Jessica Jones is a sexual abuse survivor who suffers from PTSD. Luke Cage was wrongly imprisoned and experimented on. And Danny Rand … is a rich white guy.

Iron Fist was beset with issues from the jump. While Danny Rand is a white guy in the comics, Marvel missed an opportunity to diversify the character, leading to outcry and frustration from viewers. It also didn’t help that Iron Fist had to follow three very strong and well-reviewed shows, so the bar was already high. While the series did give us the badass Colleen Wing, the tonal inconsistencies and lackluster fight scenes made Iron Fist the weakest link in the Marvel chain.

And then there’s the character of Danny himself. A rich, dorky white guy who spends the first season mansplaining martial arts and mysticism to everyone he comes across. AND, he walks barefoot in New York City so he definitely has hepatitis. It’s not a good look.

Since then, Marvel has taken note of fan criticism and reworked the character. While The Defenders was largely disappointing (and a waste of Sigourney Weaver), Danny Rand became an unlikely source of humor. His boyish enthusiasm played well off of Luke Cage’s stoicism, and I will never tire of Jessica Jones giving him shit.

It looks like season 2 will be a humbling journey for Danny, as his fellow K’un-Lun student Davos (Sacha Dhawan) shows up in New York, looking to take on the Iron Fist mantle for himself. Plus, it seems to have more Colleen Wing/Misty Knight team-ups, which is always something the world needs more of. The fight scenes look much stronger, Danny seems more nuanced, and the classic yellow mask makes its first appearance.

Can Iron Fist turn things around? There have been countless series with lackluster first seasons (30 Rock, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) that then went on to be excellent shows. Maybe the same will be true for Iron Fist. We’ll have to wait until September 7th to find out.

(via io9, image: screengrab)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.