Iron Fist is getting ready to drop on Netflix, and unfortunately the buzz is not good. Granted, it’s possible that with lower expectations some of us will enjoy the series (because sometimes, with high expectations like Logan had, it’s hard to live up to the hype). Perhaps Iron Fist‘s presumed rocky start is the first pancake you throw away.
I am not the kind of fan who eagerly awaits for a series or brand to fail (like many have done with The Simpsons, which keeps on going strong, if you care or not). I’d love for everything Marvel does to succeed. But, for a brand that in the new century has had so many surprising hits, it was only a matter of time before there was a misfire. And instead of looking at it negatively, I’ll give it a positive spin and hope that they’ll look at went wrong with Iron Fist and work to correct it.
I don’t think the character himself is going to be sent to the cornfield any time soon. Marvel has had a masterful plan for their Netflix television series. From the surprising hit of Jessica Jones, to the “finally got it right” Daredevil, and to yet another surprising success with Luke Cage, Marvel has been playing the long game. And even if Iron Fist does not get the reception they were expecting, he and his three friends are going to be part of the team-up series, Defenders.
Most importantly, Marvel should be commended for taking a chance on these lesser known superheroes. Before these Netflix series, I’m sure if you were to ask people to list every superhero they can think of, Luke “Power Man” Cage and Iron Fist would not make that list. But now, for better or for worse, their names are out there.
Now remember, even when Iron Fist got his own comic book way back in the mid-1970s, it was a tough sell. Though he was a hit in the one-offs in the Marvel Premiere comics, his solo book did not do as well and didn’t even make it two years. But when Iron Fist was added to Luke Cage’s comic, which was also on shaky ground, a hit was born. The Heroes for Hire team changed Luke Cage’s solo book into Power Man and Iron Fist. Granted, this may not have been of Spider-Man caliber, but it was popular enough to last way over eight years.
So maybe the solution for Marvel Television and Netflix is to learn from their comic book past (and Marvel certainly does that much better than DC). Iron Fist may be better off teaming up with Luke Cage on a permanent basis. But since Luke Cage’s show is a success, do it the other way around this time. Have Luke join the Iron Fist show and change that to Power Man and Iron Fist.
But hey, for all we know there may still be some redeeming things in the Iron Fist solo show. Sad that it has been condemned before it’s been seen. And it will be interesting to see the chemistry of all of them together in Defenders. Or hey, maybe they’ll just have to start from scratch again with Iron Fist (it took them three times to get The Hulk right).
No matter what the future holds for Iron Fist, he is still a legend of classic comics. So let’s not forget that, and his cool dragon symbol, too.