It’s safe to say that season one of Iron Fist was less than stellar. It was the first Marvel property that failed to capture a strong critical reception and proved that the studio wasn’t incapable of suffering a misstep. The show did receive strong streaming numbers, so a second season was inevitable.
Luckily, Marvel and Netflix listened to a majority of the criticisms and made some major improvements going into Season 2. Original show runner, Scott Buck, was replaced with M. Raven Metzner (Sleepy Hollow), and the episode order for the second season was cut down from 13 to 10.
The fight choreography makes a vast improvement and is showcased almost immediately with a huge fight scene involving Danny taking on a new gang in the middle of a New York City street. This wouldn’t be the last awesome fight sequence of the episode and it’s a true testament to the fact that the studios new there was ways to improve the show.
That being said, Danny Rand is still played by Finn Jones. One of the biggest criticisms of the series was the casting choice and how “The Barefoot Billionaire” was the least interesting part of the show. His inclusion in The Defenders didn’t help much in terms of his reputation. The characters played to the fact that he was hated by fans and would make fun of him and his Iron Fist throughout the series.
It wasn’t until his guest appearance in Luke Cage Season 2 that made the character likable and more in line with the comic book character. [Iron First] Season 2 picks up right after the events of The Defenders with Danny playing the role of the city’s protector now that Matt Murdock appears to be dead. He has also moved in with his girlfriend, Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), who has taken a break from crime fighting. Danny has stepped down from his day-to-day activities at Rand Enterprises and is now working for a moving company.
There is a lot going on in the premiere that sets up a majority of the season’s plot. Davos (Sacha Dhawan) has returned and is partnering up with Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup) for a nefarious adventure. She meets with Ward and Danny, who haven’t seen Joy since the fallout with her father, to drop a buyout on their laps.
Colleen, despite trying to distance herself from the crimefighting, ends up playing detective when a mysterious family heirloom winds up at her current job. Her retirement is officially cut short when her and Danny get involved in an intense (and pretty awesome) fight inside a restaurant.
One last thing of note is the inclusion of Alice Eve’s Mary Walker, who in the comics is turns into the Daredevil villain, Typhoid Mary. Eve is one of the most underrated genre actresses working today. Her star power and character’s mysterious place in this universe is one of the more intriguing aspects of the new season.
“The Fury of Iron Fist” was not only a strong premiere, it was better than the entire first season of the series. As someone who felt like the first go around was an absolute chore, this season already feels like a vast improvement to Marvel’s ugly stepchild. The second season of Iron Fist doesn’t just feel watchable, it might actually be enjoyable.
Rating: 7 out of 10