Since Iron Man took flight in 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been dominating the box office year after year, smashing records and creating thousands (if not millions) of new fans of comic book characters that have been held dear in the hearts of comic readers but never reaching broader audiences to the point of being part of the cultural zeitgeist. But the MCU isn’t relegated to the big screen. Once the films began to run away like a freight train in popularity, street level heroes, some of whom had seen often maligned adaptations, began getting their own television shows on the streaming service Netflix.
On April 10, 2015, Netflix released all thirteen episodes of its inaugural Marvel series, Daredevil, creating a new on-screen universe that portrayed the grittier side of Marvel Comics and was only tangentially related to its big screen brother. Since Daredevil, there has been a five more series consisting of eight seasons, some of which have been praised by critics while others…not so much.
With Luke Cage returning on June 22 for its second season, we decided to reflect on the all nine seasons thus far (including Luke Cage Season 2) in the Netflix Marvel canon, ranking them by critical reaction.
IRON FIST SEASON 1 - AVERAGE SCORE: 27
When it was announced Danny Rand, The Immortal Iron Fist was coming to the small screen, long-time fans of the character were excited to see how Netflix would handle telling the story of K’un-Lun and the man who would defeat the dragon Shou-Lao the Undying to become an Immortal Weapon. It’s safe to say that Marvel’s Iron First was burdened with the impossible question of how to properly portray the sweeping story of mystic martial arts with a white lead, and according to critics, they whiffed it.
With a dismal critics’ score of 17% on Rotten Tomatoes and 37 Metacritic score, Marvel’s Iron Fist is by far the most derided entry of Netflix’s Marvel shows. Often cited for being muddled in its plot and lacking a compelling hero, Danny Rand’s first outing couldn’t capture the imagination of the masses. To quote Susana Polo at Polygon.com, Marvel's Iron Fist is "laughably bad."