IRON FIST had a rocky start with Netflix. A universally panned first season gave way to an improved second season. Netflix just canceled IRON FIST Season 3. IRON FIST canceled??? What does this mean? What can we hope to see from these characters? Will we see the dangling plot threads of Season 2 come to fruition? An IRON FIST canceled post-mortem breakdown may help us see what went wrong, and what may yet still happen with the characters and the series.

What Happened?

IRON FIST Canceled
The major players of both seasons (l to r): Colleen Wing, Daniel Rand, Joy Meachum, and Ward Meachum. Courtesy of Netflix and Marvel Entertainment.

IRON FIST season one was the most poorly received Marvel Netflix shows. Danny was a petulant child. He never moved on from being an orphan, and somehow earned the powers of Iron Fist. Also, the show emphasized the boardroom drama of Danny fighting for control over Rand Enterprises. Making a character who is about kung fu fights and dynamic action from characters who wear suits and go to meetings is a surefire way to kill enthusiasm.

A Promising Second Season of IRON FIST?

The second season marked a major course correction. A more mature Danny tries to deal with the power of the Fist, and his need to use it. It’s an addiction, he can’t stop going out to beat on people and inanimate objects. Finn Jones’ martial arts skills also improved, which helped make for believable action. There’s also a greater emphasis on the supporting cast. The Meachums had a deadly sibling rivalry that tested familial bonds.

Davos, the main villain, was excellently characterized. He’s similar to Baron Mordo in DOCTOR STRANGE, two men who see things in black and white only, with no forgiveness or leniency. The most important developments were the ascendancy of Colleen Wing, the revelations about her family history, and her connection to the legacy of Iron Fist.

IRON FIST Canceled
Colleen embraced her destiny… but what about her future? Courtesy of Netflix and Marvel Entertainment.

If there’s any possible motivator for the cancellation, it’s low viewings. It’s only been a month, but Netflix users tend to binge watch shows upon release. If Netflix’s viewership numbers were low, they could justifiably cut the show. Netflix doesn’t release these numbers, so we can only speculate at what viewership was like. Thus, we see Iron Fist canceled, but they left a lot of dangling plot threads.

What Could Have Been

IRON FIST canceled
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Iron Fist Season 2 set up plenty of plot threads for the next season, mainly by delving deeper into the Iron Fist lore. The season was heavily influenced by Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker’s IMMORTAL IRON FIST series, which explored the Pirate Queen of Pinghai Bay, as well as name-dropping former Iron Fist Orson Randall.

The idea that Colleen is a descendant of one of the Ancient Iron Fists was intriguing. The cliffhanger ending with Danny was even more exciting, how did he get his powers back? How did he learn to use the chi guns? What does Danny know about Orson? A season 3 exploring the lore of the Iron Fist further, with Orson Randall, would have improved the series further. Like Danny, Orson was an outsider who became the Iron Fist. He could’ve mentored Danny, and possible even Colleen.

IRON FIST had a serious misstep in Season 1 when they tried to make it a corporate drama with a kung fu action subplot. That was not the direction to go with a character like Danny. Embracing Danny’s curiosity in the legacy of the Fist would have been interesting. Having Danny progressively improving over the course of each season as a kung-fu warrior and as an orphan who has lost everything, would have been much more interesting. Season 2 was a step in the right direction, but with IRON FIST canceled, there’s no payoff for that progress.

What Might Be

IRON FIST canceled
Might we get a Daughters of the Dragon show? Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

While Iron Fist is canceled, hope isn’t lost. While the original Netflix statement says that there are no plans for a new show, Danny could still make future appearances. The most obvious answer would be in the Luke Cage series. Also, Netflix may have backed away from doing more DEFENDERS series, but there’s a chance they could do another mega-crossover event. A Daughters of the Dragon spin-off series would also be exciting, but unlikely given the Netflix statement.

The other alternative would be Disney’s over-the-top streaming service, which is supposedly debuting next year. The service already has a Loki series and a Scarlet Witch series set for the network. Iron Fist could return, and continue to make cameos on Netflix TV. We could see IRON FIST Season 3, or even IRON FISTS, a show that deals with the legacy of the Iron Fist, that features Orson Randall, Danny, and Colleen. All of this is possible, especially if fans demand it. Disney will want new content for their service, to make sure they get new subscribers.

Iron Fist Canceled… But There Is Hope

IRON FIST canceled
What happens to Danny now? Will we see him again? Courtesy of Netflix and Marvel Entertainment.

Despite the rocky start, Iron Fist had potential. Tying into the lore was a good start, and introducing some of the other elements from the Fraction-Brubaker run probably would have improved things. There’s no telling how that’d go now, but there’s hope.

Cancellations of series we enjoy are always disappointing, but in this day and age, it doesn’t mean the end. Fan favorite series like The Expanse get picked up by other services, and Netflix did say we’d continue to see Danny in the Netflix Marvel shows. If fans are vocal enough, we might even see Disney put him on their streaming service. Like, actor, Finn Jones said,

“with every end, is a new beginning.”

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