Iron Fist Recap: From Disappointing Season 1 To Defender To Luke Cage

Marvel's Iron Fist season 2 continues the heroic journey of the Living Weapon of K'un-Lun. In March 2017, Danny Rand (Finn Jones) became the fourth and final Defender introduced into Netflix's corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the Immortal Iron Fist wasn't greeted with open arms either in his own show or by fans in real life. Since the kung fu hero's critically panned debut in his own series, Iron Fist has appeared in The Defenders and in Luke Cage season 2, and, little by little, it's been a path towards redemption for Danny Rand.

Iron Fist takes on a greater responsibility in season 2. Making his home base in Chinatown, he is now the protector of New York City, though he's not doing it alone. Joining him are his most important friends and allies, including his girlfriend Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), who teams with Detective Misty Knight (Simone Bissick) as the Daughters of the Dragon, and Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey), who runs Danny's multinational company Rand Enterprises. The billionaire martial artist also has several threats to contend with, like Davos aka the Steel Serpent (Sacha Dhawan), Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup), and Typhoid Mary Walker (Alice Eve). The threat of the Hand also continues to loom over Iron Fist despite the Defenders scoring a decisive victory over them last summer.

Related: Iron Fist Season 2: Every Update You Need To Know

The new season, which is overseen by new showrunner Raven Metzner (Sleepy Hollow), also promises improved kung fu action and will delve more into Danny's training in K'un-Lun, depicting his conflict with Davos over which one of them would ultimately gain the power of the Living Weapon. Secrets are sure to be revealed, one of which was teased in the season 2 trailer when Danny says "I didn't ask for the Iron Fist!" season 2 could retcon Danny's origin. With the return of Iron Fist upon us, let's look back at the road Danny Rand has traveled in the MCU so far:

The Iron Fist Season 1 Disappointment

Iron Fist season 1 was the first Marvel Netflix series disappointment, at least critically and with fans, though the series was a hit and did high numbers for the streaming service. Showrunner Scott Buck's season eschewed the pulpy kung-fu action fans hoped for; instead, focusing on a twisty, overcooked tale of corporate espionage as the Hand tried to assert its control over Rand Enterprises. The fight scenes in season 1 were also infamously underwhelming; one of season 1's biggest problems was Finn Jones wasn't given nearly enough time to learn the complex choreography necessary to look credible as one of the best hand-to-hand combatants in the MCU.

However, season 1 told Danny Rand's overall tale effectively. Orphaned at age 10 when an airplane carrying Danny and his parents crashed in the Himalayas, the boy billionaire was raised in the mystical city of K'un-Lun. After spending 15 years training in kung fu and then gaining the magical power of the Iron Fist, Danny abandoned his role as Protector of K'un-Lun and returned to New York City.

Danny was not met with a warm homecoming; Ward and Joy Meachum, who publicly ran Rand Enterprises, had Danny institutionalized, while the Hand took steps against their sworn enemy. Danny was eventually reinstalled as majority owner of his company, but he quickly proved he lacked the business acumen to be an effective corporate leader. Danny then learned that the Hand had long-since infiltrated Rand Enterprises and that Harold Meachum (David Wenham), Danny's father's business partner, was still alive. Harold died of cancer in 2004 but was resurrected by the Hand and controlled Rand from the shadows, manipulating his son Ward as his proxy.

Related: Season 2 Theory: Iron Fist Could Introduce The Living Weapons

However, Danny met Colleen Wing, a kung fu instructor who would become his partner romantically and in crime-fighting. Danny then learned that Colleen was raised by the Hand and her instructor was Bakuto (Ramon Rodriguez), one of the evil organization's leaders, which drove the couple apart for a while. Danny's best friend from K'un-Lun, Davos, also appeared in New York and confronted Iron Fist. Davos was defeated but ended up recruiting Joy Meachum to his side against Danny. Eventually, Danny and Colleen defeated the evil that infested Rand Enterprises and Ward killed his father and asserted control over the company while Bakuto was also seemingly killed. His company set to right, Danny then decided to return to K'un-Lun with Colleen, only to discover the ancient city had completely disappeared from this dimensional plane.

As a character, Danny was hard for fans to root for. He was quick-tempered, headstrong, and irrational. Even Colleen, the person closest to him, often found him frustrating and immature. Still, there was definitely room to grow, and by the time he realized his negligence caused K'un-Lun to vanish, Danny began to take steps towards growing up and becoming the hero he was meant to be.

Page 2 of 2: The Defenders And Danny's Redemption

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