There is a 'new' Danny Rand in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and fans are hoping he'll stick around in the upcoming second season of Iron Fist. In Luke Cage season 2, the Hero of Harlem welcomed Danny as a guest star and together they toured the streets of his neighborhood and got into some expected scuffles. It was a tease for Iron Fist season 2, which premieres September 7, 2018 on Netflix, that was warmly received by fans.
A warm reception is not something Danny Rand (Finn Jones) is used to. Just as in the first episode of Iron Fist, Danny returned to New York City after 15 years training in the magical city of K'un-Lun and was met with mistrust and derision, his series also got the same reaction from fans. Iron Fist was lambasted for its uninspired story and outright bad fight scenes (which was disappointing, since Iron Fist is supposed to be one of Marvel's greatest martial artists). When he later teamed up with the Defenders, the boy billionaire was the butt of his fellow heroes' jokes.
2017 was overall not a banner year for the Immortal Iron Fist, but with his lauded guest spot on Luke Cage, the perception of Danny Rand and his series is on a positive upswing. Here's why season 2 is poised to continue the exploits of the 'new' Iron Fist:
- This Page: Iron Fist Was The Worst Defender Until Luke Cage Saved Him
- Page 2: Why We're Looking Forward to Iron Fist Season 2
Iron Fist Was The Worst Defender
Marvel Television doesn't roll out their Netflix series in "Phases" like their movie counterparts, but if everything up to The Defenders can be considered Phase 1, then Iron Fist was hands-down the worst Defender. Strong reviews overall met Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, but Iron Fist was taken to task for the many issues that made the series underwhelming. (However, Iron Fist did score strong streaming numbers and was a hit for Netflix.) The blame for the show's poor creative falls on now-departed showrunner Scott Buck, who then left Iron Fist to create the failed Inhumans TV series.
But there's no denying season 1 Danny Rand has lots of deficiencies. Even though he had just returned home after a decade and a half of intense martial arts and meditation training to become the Iron Fist, Danny was a pretty immature character. He was impatient, quick to anger, and irrational. He tested the patience of everyone he met, including his partner/love interest Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), his childhood friend Joy Meacham (Jessica Stroup), his attorney Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Ann Moss), and the ever-present Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson).
Danny began to show some growth in The Defenders, but he was still mocked as "a thundering dumbass" by his fellow superheroes. Yet when that Marvel team-up was over, Danny was the only hero to emerge with a new mission given to him by Daredevil, who is currently presumed dead: protect New York City. It seems like Iron Fist has not only accepted this challenge but has been thriving.
Luke Cage Debuted The "New" Danny Rand
Danny surprised his old friend Luke Cage (Mike Colter) in "The Main Ingredient", the 10th episode of season 2, and it was immediately apparent that the billionaire hero was not just different but better. He was relaxed, confident, and everywhere he went, he was treated with respect (Harlem was in awe that "Billionaire Danny Rand" was in their part of town). With Luke torn about how to apply his power and influence to save Harlem from the twin threats of Mariah Dillard and Bushmaster, Danny was able to step into the role of mentor for the first time.
Iron Fist offered sage advice, taught his bulletproof buddy how to meditate, cut to the chase of what was secretly eating at Luke, and of course, they pounded on some bad guys together. They even debuted cool new tandem moves. With this outing, Danny and Luke not only made a strong case for a Heroes For Hire team-up series, but it was an immediate and impactful image rehab for the maligned Iron Fist. Danny Rand came off like a new man and a new hero. This guest spot provocatively set the stage for Iron Fist season 2.