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The Netflix version of Iron Fist is the lowest-rated series in their Marvel Cinematic Universe portfolio. Fans and critics alike did not respond well to the first season.

The protagonist proved to be problematic, and the concept of the entire series never seemed to work. The first 13 episodes lacked direction leaving viewers with a show about a superhero that didn’t seem worthy of watching.

When the series got renewed for another season, a new showrunner came in to make changes to the failing storyline. The first half of Season 2 focused on the supporting cast, which did make it a little more enjoyable to watch. The second season episodes weren’t as bad as the original ones but weren’t what MCU fans are accustomed to seeing.

Season 1 of ‘Iron Fist’

Finn Jones
Finn Jones | Bennett Raglin/WireImage

Released to Netflix in 2017, Iron Fist is based on Marvel Comics’ portrayal of the character Danny Rand. The story takes place in New York City, where Iron Fist hasn’t been seen for 15 years. He is presumed dead only to mysteriously return and have to choose between running his family’s company or assuming his responsibilities as a superhero.

Viewers of the first season complained that parts of the series seemed obscure and were “nonsensical” at times. Rand’s ability to summons a mystical force to focus his chi did not translate well to television. Critics panned the series, saying that the storyline and pace weren’t working.

They disapproved of Finn Jones’ performance of the main character (Danny Rand) and felt that the casting was racially inappropriate. Reviewers also felt that the martial arts-inspired fight scenes were “poorly acted, choreographed, and edited,” according to Screen Rant.

Rotten Tomatoes gave the first season of the series a 20% on the Tomatometer, saying, “despite some promising moments, Iron Fist is weighed down by an absence of momentum and originality.”

Despite the negative ratings and decline in viewership, Netflix renewed the series for another season.

Improvements made in Season Two

Fans think that the bar was still set pretty low for Season 2 of the Iron Fist series. Some fans on Reddit say that it still wasn’t great but definitely an improvement from how the show began.

They found it to be a lot more fun to watch, with one viewer saying, “I had a good time watching the second season. Considerably more fun than the first one. I was especially impressed with some bold story choices late in the season.”

A Reddit user started a discussion about how he skipped the first season because it was hard to engage in the show and feel connected to the characters. He stated, “I really tried and gave up.”

Viewers of Iron Fist agreed that the fight scenes with Rand were “much less cheesy” compared to Season 1. They still felt that the character was too “self-righteous and arrogant” to be likable but sensed that he matured and seemed a little wiser in the later episodes.

The second season of ‘Iron Fist’ showed potential


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Marvel fans felt that the action was “significantly better” in the second season. Compared to the early episodes, a viewer commented that Iron Fist is not one of the better MCU characters to transition to television. He said, “I still don’t rate it that high compared to other Marvel Netflix shows, but not in the bottom few either.”

Critics from The Verge stated that “Danny Rand is the worst thing about the show” when it comes to the low-rated series. They claim, “Iron Fist is still a mess of comic book and kung fu clichés, but the later episodes of the second season show its potential to actually tell a good story.”

In the end, the second season wasn’t strong enough to keep the story moving forward. The show was inevitably canceled. Fans are now waiting to see if another version of the character will return to the MCU.