Spoilers for The Defenders
This past Friday, the culmination of Marvel and Netflix’s unprecedented deal finally arrived with the premiere of The Defenders. Across 8 episodes, the title heroes of each of the four MCU shows on the streaming service so far came together to take down an enemy that’s been growing alongside each series. We also saw the various supporting characters from each show enter each other’s orbit and create new dynamics while teasing future storylines.
Starting next year, the heroes will return to their own lives and dive into new adventures. Daredevil will be looking to the comics for inspiration, Jessica Jones will explore life after trauma, and Luke Cage will navigate newfound freedoms and threats.
Iron Fist, meanwhile, will emerge as a whole new character, one set on protecting his second home. The second season of the show will also explore returning characters like Colleen Wing while bringing Misty Knight into the fold along with some potential new characters from the comics. And though we know precious little about the new season, The Defenders offers plenty of hints as to where the Immortal Iron Fist is headed.
New York’s New Defender
Just as this past season of Gotham ended with Bruce Wayne surveying his city, The Defenders leaves Danny Rand atop a building gazing out at New York below him. The image is not only meant to tease the return of Matt Murdock, but also evoke the idea of NYC having a new guardian. Inspired by Daredevil’s example, season 2 of Iron Fist will see the lead hero sticking a little closer to home in his battle against evil.
Though the Iron Fist is associated with the protection of K’un-Lun, Danny Rand is a fixture of the New York superhero scene in the comics. Along with his adventures with Luke Cage, Danny has spent years fighting crime and supervillains in NYC solo and with various teams. With Matt off on his own journey next year, Danny will step up as New York’s new savior.
Before The Defenders, fans were teased that the Danny at the end of the series would be an entirely different character than the one at the start. And while not a lot of character development took place, Daredevil’s impact on Iron Fist is clear. Danny is already in touch with his power and responsibility to thwart evil. He’s also more than comfortable owning up to his fantastical name. After the events of The Defenders, Danny is now set to become a full-time hero who not only tackles mystical threats, but also addresses any issue his hometown faces. And with the convenient negation of K’un Lun as a place that needs protection, Danny will be free to focus all of his energy on New York.
Fans have been told a number of times that season 2 of Iron Fist will see Danny suit up, and it’s easy to see the path toward him putting on a costume now. With the name, power, and motivation, all Danny needs to truly emulate Daredevil is a colorful costume. While season 1 of Iron Fist and The Defenders focused on Danny finding who he was, the conclusion of the team-up finally brought the hero a sense of clarity. Now, when he puts on a costume, it will be a moment that feels earned in the narrative. And while Danny is becoming a fully realized Iron Fist, his allies will be moving closer to the comics as well.
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