So Marvel’s Iron Fist has come and gone. If you liked it, good for you. If you didn’t, rest assured that you are not alone. But no matter the Rotten Tomatoes score or how much play the show is getting on Netflix, Iron Fist succeeded at one thing: telling the story of Danny Rand (Finn Jones) and his homecoming to New York. While the age of the interconnected universe demands shows like Iron Fist end with cliffhangers that make way for shows like, oh say, The Defenders, wouldn’t it be neat if a superhero property was left one and done?
Most of the Marvel/Netflix joints have been renewed. Daredevil is on for a third year while Luke Cage and Jessica Jones are up for sophomore seasons. Only those close to Marvel know if Iron Fist will be renewed, but let’s hope those calling the shots make the right choice: Danny Rand, based on the trajectory of his story, is done. If Iron Fist insists on its boring world of corporate power struggles, and not in K’un-Lun, or that Danny Rand punched a goddamn dragon to get superpowers and made the mind-boggingly dumb decision to not show that happen, then there’s no need for Danny to keep crawling midtown for the Hand.
The story of the Iron Fist, as fans argued surrounding Finn Jones’s casting, is about “outsiders,” even though that never felt true except for whenever Danny muttered, “I’m an outsider.” Well, that story has now been told. The only logical thing the show can do next after The Defenders is for Danny to return to K’un-Lun as he intended. But the obsession over “realism” in the Netflix-verse means that’s probably never going to happen. Unless Danny is suddenly picked by Tony Stark to join his New Avengers, Danny could actually kick back and enjoy that Rand Corp. money all the way through Infinity War.
Just because Iron Fist shouldn’t have a second season doesn’t mean Danny should disappear. Danny is a suitable supporting character, who is free to chi-punch dudes in Daredevil or Luke Cage. It’d be neat if Daredevil mimicked the Ed Brubaker run from circa 2006, where Matt Murdock was on the run from the Superhuman Registration Act, forcing Danny Rand to become Daredevil in his place.
It’d be even neater if Marvel and Netflix went for a straight-up Heroes for Hire series co-starring Mike Colter as his unbearably likable Luke Cage. There are way more fun adventures to be had with Danny and Luke as the Heroes for Hire, because it perfectly fits the gritty, street-level scope the Netflix shows are so adamant about sticking to.
Iron Fist has always been a character at odds with his own concept. Coming from such a mystical, supernatural origin, it felt bizarre that Danny would use his gifts to fight drug dealers. (Hydra and the Hand should always be his opponents.) There’s plenty of storylines from Iron Fist comics the TV show could plausibly adapt. But unless going to K’un-Lun is an option for the Immortal Weapons tournament, then a second season is unnecessary.