Iron Fist season two has arrived on Netflix and the improvements since the first outing are on full display. Though it took Danny a while to find his footing in the first season and parts of The Defenders, he's developing into quite the hero. The Immortal Iron Fist appeared to be on his way to better mirroring his comic counterpart in his cameo in Luke Cage, Season 2. Heck, even Luke commented on the change he perceived in his friend. Though there's quite a way to go until we see Danny become his loveable self, he's certainly not as moody as he once was. With the seeming end of Daredevil's life during their last confrontation with The Hand, Iron Fist is covering two heroes' shifts as we return to New York once more.
It's not just Danny getting a more thorough platform this time around, his supporting cast enjoy room to develop too! One of the stars of the original season was Ward Meachum, whose journey turns to an introspective one. Colleen continues to steal the show with her infallible will and unshakable backbone. Misty Knight takes a brief break from her work as a police officer to help give the proceedings a measure of wit and grit. With more complex themes explored in this season and some villains we can really invest in, Season 2 was refreshing for fans of the punch-happy playboy. Though not without some faults, we look into what we liked and what we didn't like about Iron Fist season two.
Though a tentative ally with an underlying tension with Danny by the end of the first season, Davos reaches a boiling point in his second appearance. One of Iron Fist's more formidable foils from the comics, Davos' ambition turns to fanaticism. Not only is Davos shown to be dangerous himself, but his ability to cultivate his lethal ambition in others is relayed well.
A ruthless villains who believes himself to be judge, jury and executioner, Season 2 shows us the danger in Davos' dealing in absolutes. His vocal disapproval of the way western culture and New York operates is also quite funny at times. As Davos finally becomes the Steel Serpent, Sacha Dhawan does a great job of making both his hate and disgust palpable.
Where previously we only got glimpses of K'un-Lun and some brief scenes of the cave Danny carried out his trial in, we get a little more this time around. The mystical city's atmosphere and culture is better depicted, from the flashbacks of Davos and Danny bonding as youngsters to the sorrowful parting of Davos and his mother.
The fated duel for the right to become the Iron Fist in the sun chamber is also shown in detail. The Thunderer is also featured prominently, and as a staple of the Iron Fist mythos, his hand in the two young men's destiny is displayed efficiently.
One hero who would have been a great addition to this season of Iron Fist is his good friend Luke Cage. Danny popping up in Luke's second season was a real highlight. The two friends appeared to have more chemistry than ever, giving shades of their Heroes for Hire dynamic from the source material.
It would have been nice to have Luke come in for an assist here and there, building on the bond between the two. Even having Luke work alongside Misty and Colleen would have been a nice nod to their work together in The Immortal Iron Fist, Volume 2: The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven.
We had a few glimpses of the Iron Fist regalia in this series. The first appearance was in a flashback to the sun chamber duel between Davos and Danny. The costume appeared to be used as ceremonial wear for trials relating to the Iron Fist mantle. We saw the costume again on what appeared to be the corpse of a former Iron Fist that was shipped to New York.
The body in question was used as part of Davos' ritual to steal the Iron Fist power. When Davos gains the power he seeks, he's seen wearing the bandanna of the Iron Fist gear as he trains with it. Lastly, in the ending scene, Danny appears to be wearing a costume akin to that of Orson Randall, another former Iron Fist.
Colleen was a fan favorite in the first season. Her genuine dedication to teaching and helping others endeared her to audiences. In the second season, she's trying to come to terms with her former life as a Hand member not being what it seemed. The idea that she was assisting a nefarious organisation has really left a mark on the young hero.
We see Colleen take a less physical role in the proceedings, opting to help guide youth in the community or go on brief investigations on behalf of the neighborhood. By the end, Colleen has to confront the fact that her path of least resistance is impractical in the face of the danger Davos represents. She even gets a well deserved taste of the Iron Fist's power along with hints to her lineage being that of a former Iron Fist.
Joy's had a rough time since Danny returned to New York. She had to deal with her childhood friend returning from out of nowhere, found out that her father was still alive and was shot shortly afterwards. Her portrayal in the second outing, however, is a little uncertain.
Joy begins with a plot to destroy Danny alongside Davos, then tentatively reconciles with Danny, rejects Ward's attempts to mend fences then runs off back to Davos. Then it is revealed she's working to undermine Davos. Though she almost loses her life and shows brilliant defiance in this, her to-and-fro in motives and alignment was a little jarring.
The inclusion of Typhoid Mary was a little surprising, but welcome once she got going. While we expected to see Mary Walker appear in Daredevil rather than Iron Fist, the troubled mercenary's slow build was an interesting watch. The contrast between the two personalities within Mary and how they interacted with the rest of the cast was, at times, unsettling and genuinely humorous in parts.
The brief flashbacks into her past and the tease of a third, far more sinister personality lurking within her added a chilling suspense to her parting conversation with Joy. We hope she comes back elsewhere in the Marvel Universe, possibly running into her more common comic nemesis, Daredevil.
Misty and her new Rand-Tech arm stopped by in Iron Fist Season 2 to provide valuable assistance. Her relationships with other characters across Luke Cage, The Defenders and Iron Fist are all crucial. Misty has the ability to pull people together while not taking any nonsense.
The expansion of her partnership with Colleen was good to see, as the two appear to feed off one another's support. Additionally, working alongside Danny and Colleen helped her realize her affinity for freelance work, as opposed to her fixed law enforcement role. These could be the beginnings of her moving towards her role in the comics as a private investigator.
In this season, the Iron Fist powers are swapped between characters who partake in a specific ritual. The characters in question are Davos and Colleen, which on its own is absolutely fine. It's heavily hinted that Colleen is a descendant of a former Iron Fist and Davos was trained to wield the power since birth, so them using the power is plausible.
However, the transference method is a little strange. Initially, it takes a long and painful ritual to transfer the power, though by the end of the season, this is not the case. Colleen and Davos are able to attempt to sap the others' power by simply placing their hands on the others' faces.
Ward Meachum, much like his sister, has been on a wild ride. To watch Ward's development across both seasons has been intoxicating. Tom Pelphrey plays the role in an erratic yet measured way. Where Ward is capable of putting on a cool facade, it is very easy to push his buttons.
The volatile character of Ward and his attempts to control his demons and improve as a person have rounded out his arc well. In the second season in particular, Ward is trying his best to redeem his past actions, and though he stumbles a few times, his journey is ultimately compelling. He's set to join Danny on his adventures from now on, so we're excited to see how he grows from that, too.
It's always a treat to see Colleen and Misty working with one another. The heroes have a chemistry together that is both believable and formidable. It feels like watching two old friends fighting crime together, despite not knowing each other that long in the grand scheme of things. Misty comments on how their names sound good together, teasing a more permanent partnership.
In the comics, the two operate together as the Daughters of the Dragon; if we see them make this official in the Netflix series, it would be a welcome addition. With Misty ending Iron Fist Season 2 unsure that she wants to return to the police force and Colleen newly powered up with the Iron Fist, now's the time!
In the first season of Iron Fist, Danny was a little angsty. While that's understandable, since he needed to adjust to life in New York after his time away, this attitude continued into The Defenders. Being far too serious, irritable and rash in his decisions even brought him into conflict with his fellow heroes. Though he's calmed down a fair bit, he's still a little afraid to cut loose.
This is a stark contrast with the Danny we know from the comics who is a lot more fun. He even does silly things with his money, like hiring a plane to fly into the upper atmosphere so he can read his comics in zero gravity. This more childish Danny is endearing, and his silly side projects speak to his making up for lost time in his childhood, something we've yet to fully see in the Netflix series.
It was a pleasant surprise to see the Crane Daughters included in this season, re-imagined as the Crane Sisters. Though their role and concept is different to that of their comic counterparts, they still serve as advocates for Davos' rise to power. Having the trio be tattoo artists that dabble in occult rituals for the right amount of money was quite a nice spin.
As the city they hail from (K'un-Zi) has not been shown in the Netflix series, this was a more grounded way of including them without having to explore another capital city of heaven. The Bride of Nine Spiders, who appeared in Season 1, sometimes accompanies the Crane Daughters in the comics, though she does not in Netflix's Iron Fist, apparently.
The last scene we see in Iron Fist Season 2 is Ward trying to gather information on who shipped the corpse of a former Iron Fist to New York earlier in the story. He's seen probing for information in a bar in Japan, seemingly acting drunk and loud to draw out those with information. When confronted, he points out his associate, who is, of course, Danny Rand.
When the informants try to shoot Danny, he is seen pulling out two guns, infusing them with Iron Fist chi and shooting their bullets from the air with his own. This is extremely exciting as it calls back to Orson Randall, a former Iron Fist in the comics who was able to use his powers through firearms. In Colleen's final scene, we see her power up her sword, also!
Following the events of The Defenders, Daredevil appears to have perished, asking Danny to carry on his work. This could have been an interesting plot point, but it is only mentioned two or three times by Danny in Season 2.
It would have been nice to see Danny commit to this promise more actively. In the comics, Danny once took up Daredevil's duties while he was imprisoned during Civil War. He even went as far as to dress like Daredevil to give the impression that he was always present in Hell's Kitchen. Sadly, this level of dedication to covering Matt's shifts is not shown in Iron Fist season two.