Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS ahead for Iron Fist season 2.
Iron Fist season 2 transformed the world of Danny Rand and Colleen Wing. It set up the major characters for some tremendous new character arcs, and even prepared the ground for a full-on collision between the new Iron Fist and Luke Cage, the “bulletproof black guy” who seems to be becoming a crime boss in Harlem.
Showrunner Raven Metzner took a smart approach. The show’s end wrapped up most of the major plot threads quite neatly – and then, in a surprising twist, he took us several months into the future. There, we saw a tantalizing glimpse of the world as it will come to be, with a surprising glimpse of new Iron Fist powers and the name-dropping of an important character in Marvel Comics lore, which essentially served as a teaser for the apparently inevitable Iron Fist season 3.
Related: Iron Fist Season 2: New & Returning Cast Guide
Here, we’ll take a deep-dive into the ending of Iron Fist season 2, and explore just what it sets up for the future of Marvel’s popular Netflix shows.
- This Page: Danny Rand’s Quest and the Secrets of the Iron Fist
- Page 2: Colleen Wing, the Immortal Iron Fist
- Page 3: Typhoid Mary’s Third Personality Is Coming
Danny Rand’s Quest Into Asia
The end of Iron Fist season 2 saw Danny Rand enter a new phase of his life. He had chosen to give up the Iron Fist, believing himself unworthy of it until he truly knew himself first. Amusingly enough, for Danny that desire to find himself meant heading off to Asia, on a quest to discover the history of the Iron Fist. As ever, Danny seemed blissfully unaware of the contradictions inherent in that.
Danny believes that the history of the Iron Fist conceals many secrets. During season 2, Davos successfully acquired the corpse of a previous Iron Fist from Asia, and Danny understandably wants to know just where that body came from. Even more curious, Davos used a mystical ceremony that claimed to be from the lost city of “Shambhala,” a mythical kingdom in Tibetan mythology. It’s an appropriate reference, given the legend of Shambhala was itself the inspiration for Marvel’s K’un-Lun in the first place; but it’s the first solid hint we’ve had that there are other “Lost Cities” out there in the MCU.
The “months later” scene revealed that, over the course of his quest, Danny will regain the power of the Iron Fist – and learn a few new tricks with it too, as in one scene where he charges its power into dual guns. He’ll also come across a significant name…
Related: Why Iron Fist’s Comic-Accurate Mask Looks So Weird
The Iron Fist Mythology is Changing Shape
The “months later” scene sees Danny and Ward attempting to track down the man who shipped the Iron Fist corpse to Davos – and, at this point in their quest, they know his name is Orson Randall. In the comics, Randall was Danny’s predecessor as the Iron Fist, who abandoned his duties and faked his own death. Randall is a fairly recent addition to the Iron Fist mythology, created by Ed Brubaker and David Aja back in 2013. It was Randall who told Danny about the existence of the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven, introducing the concept of the Immortal Weapons, the cities’ sacred defenders. It’s interesting to note that Randall’s trademark use of the Iron Fist power was by channeling it into dual pistols he carried – the same trick Danny uses in the mysterious flash-forward.
Season 2 added another element into the Iron Fist lore, with Colleen talking about the legendary “Pirate Queen of Pinghai Bay.” Although she believed that was a story her mother had made up, Danny recognized it as a reference to Wu Ao-Shi, the first woman to become an Iron Fist. Another of Brubaker’s character, Wu Ao-Shi was a young girl whose fiery temper and determined self-defense impressed Lei Kung the Thunderer. She became the Iron Fist, but left K’un-Lun to be with the man she loved. Danny believed Colleen was an ancestor of Wu Ao-Shi, and that this explained just how she was able to embrace a different path by the end of the season. Danny explicitly states that he wants to help Colleen uncover her family history, so we should expect this to be a major theme in Iron Fist season 3.
Page 2 of 3: Colleen Wing is the Immortal Iron Fist
Colleen Wing is the Immortal Iron Fist
When Danny first suggested Colleen should become the bearer of the Iron Fist, she resisted the idea. “Danny, you trained for years, you fought your friends, you fought a freakin’ mythical beast,” she argued. “You have problems controlling it, but who wouldn’t? You can’t just pawn it off on me because you don’t want it anymore.” It took a tragic death to persuade Colleen that she needed to “step up,” and by the end of the series she’d become the Iron Fist.
It’s difficult to say just what kind of Iron Fist Colleen will be. As she herself admitted to Misty, the experience has transformed her; she could sense the spirit of the dragon within her, and couldn’t quite work out where one began and the other ended. Danny referred to the dragon as a creature of primal rage, so presumably Colleen will struggle with self-control… but she’s no stranger to that, as she reminded Danny on occasion in season 2. The little evidence we have suggests that Colleen will be a more diplomatic Iron Fist, given a fascinating scene between Colleen and crime boss Mrs. Yang, in which they agree to a dangerous “balance.” Even taking that into account, though, the flash-forward reveals that she’s still willing to take to the streets as a vigilante.
Related: Daughters of the Dragon Should Be Marvel’s Next Netflix Show
As we saw in the flash-forward, Danny isn’t the only one who’ll come up with new tricks. When Colleen draws her family sword, she channels her Chi through it, and the entire blade glows with the white power of her Iron Fist. This may suggest Danny and Colleen have been communicating, and that the ability to channel Chi through an object has been shared between them. Alternatively, it’s quite possible that Colleen has discovered this on her own. The fact that Colleen doesn’t really need to use the Iron Fist in that scene hints that she may be feeling the same addictive pull that Danny struggled with.
The idea of legacy is essentially baked into the Iron Fist concept; it’s a title that’s been passed down through the generations. TV shows tend to be a little more conservative, relying on illusory change in order to drive the drama. This is a surprisingly bold move on Marvel’s part, and it makes the Iron Fist legacy – the past and future of the Immortal Iron Fists – a central part of the next season.
Power Man Versus Iron Fist
It’s strongly implied that Colleen will cameo in Luke Cage season 3 – as a potential opponent for Harlem’s newest crime boss. There’s a brief scene in which Misty tells Colleen she’s concerned about the path Luke is now walking down. She suggests that she may call for Colleen’s help, especially as Colleen now has “one of the few weapons that might make a dent in that man.“
Finn Jones’s cameo in Luke Cage season 2 was one of the highlights of that show, but it will be fascinating to see how the dynamic between Colleen and Luke works out now she actually has the power to knock him down. Luke Cage season 3 is seeming increasingly evocative of Daredevil’s “Shadowland” arc, in which the Man Without Fear became a crime boss, ostensibly to build a peace, but became corrupted. His heroes and friends then allied together in order to defeat and redeem him.
Page 3 of 3: Typhoid Mary and Davos
The Future of Typhoid Mary
Iron Fist season 2 introduced viewers to one of Marvel’s most beloved villains, Typhoid Mary. Created as a Daredevil villain by Ann Nocenti and John Romita, Jr., back in 1988, Typhoid Mary is a dangerous assassin who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder. This season, we met two of her alters: the polite and loving Mary, and the militarily-efficient Walker. But comic book readers knew there was a third – Bloody Mary, a violent serial killer. As the series came to a close, Walker realized there was an unaccounted-for period in her life, one associated with a brutal series of murders. A psychologist suggested that there may be a third alter, and the idea clearly chilled Walker to the bone. She had no idea what this alter’s triggers were, how many times it had emerged, or what it had done. She’d assumed all her blackouts were periods when Mary was in control, but now she faced the terrifying prospect that another persona had been taking charge at times over the years. Most chilling of all, this alter has apparently concealed itself for all this time, suggesting a dangerous degree of awareness and manipulation.
Walker is determined to learn the truth about her third alter, and she’s forcibly recruited Joy Meachum to help. The interesting question, though, is whether Walker’s quest will continue in a future series of Iron Fist or Daredevil. Typhoid Mary is traditionally a Daredevil foe, after all, and it would be thrilling to see Alice Eve play opposite Charlie Cox.
Related: First Daredevil Season 3 Footage Revealed In Iron Fist Post-Credits Scene
Is Davos Really Gone For Good?
Davos may have been defeated, but that doesn’t mean his story is over. The power of the Iron Fist seems to be almost addictive, and he’s had enough of a taste to want more. It’s important to note that, in the “months later” tease, we see both Danny and Colleen wielding the power of the Iron Fist at the same time. Should news of that reach Davos, he’d no doubt be very interested indeed. He clearly has better connections than Danny, given he was able to track down the necessary rituals to steal the Iron Fist in the first place.
Iron Fist season 2 introduced viewers to the Crane Sisters, three beautiful women who helped Davos gain the power of the Iron Fist. In the comics, the Crane Sisters are the daughters of the Crane Mother, ruler of one of the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven. Davos forged an alliance with the Crane Mother against K’un-Lun, even leading a Hydra invasion of his former home. Given season 3 looks set to explore the heritage of the Iron Fist, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Crane Sisters return in a more significant role, presumably acting as Davos’s allies.
Iron Fist season 2 was an unusually bold series, daring to turn Danny Rand’s world upside-down and institute what will hopefully be real, lasting change. As such, it sets up a new dynamic in which it is Colleen Wing who is the defender of New York, not Danny Rand. That changes every one of the core relationships; Colleen never trusted Mary, for example, and isn’t as close to Luke Cage as Danny. Meanwhile, the third season also looks set to explore the history of the Iron Fist – and potentially, through that, to introduce some other “lost cities.”
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2018-09-08 01:09:03 – Thomas Bacon