Everything You Need To Know About Iron Fist Before Season 2's Release
By Meg Downey on
Iron Fist is back again, and we're hopeful for Season 2.
Iron Fist Season 2 is almost here, as it's scheduled to arrive this Friday, September 7, on Netflix. And based on the episodes we've seen so far--more than half the season--it seems like a massive improvement over the terrible first season. You might even want to check it out, which is why we've put together this refresher course for what happened across Iron Fist Season 1, as well as The Defenders.
The Netflix MCU may pride itself in being about "street level" heroics versus its big screen counterparts' aliens and magic rocks and cosmic genocides--but that doesn't mean things in regular, everyday New York City don't get a little dicey from time to time. This is especially true when it comes to the world of Danny Rand, who brings his own level of crazy to the Defenders mix. He may not have bulletproof skin or the ability to lift cars, but the Iron Fist does his best to make literally fighting dragons work in a street level world, and that takes some work.
The Iron Fist story isn't necessarily complicated, but it's certainly got more moving parts--and a much broader scope--than your traditional Netflix Marvel story. Not only is Danny the product of an ancient, mystical civilization that hails from another dimension, he's also the wielder of a chi-based, kung fu-influenced weapon that's designed to destroy another ancient, mystical group of people who may or may not be puppeteering the entirety of New York's underworld from the shadows. The Iron Fist continuity and mythology weaves its way through nearly every Defender's life in one way or another, whether they're dealing with the nefarious Hand themselves like Daredevil, or just trying to keep their heads above water while duking it out against corrupt systems like Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
On top of all that, the bulk of Iron Fist's first season culminated into the Defenders miniseries, so that's even more you'll need to bring yourself up to speed on: the story of the "Black Sky" and the final battle against the Hand--things you'll probably want to know before you go wading back into the chaos.
All of this is to say, there's kind of a lot to keep track of here--and it's understandable if you're not caught up, considering most people thought Iron Fist Season 1 and Defenders were pretty bad.
So whether you binged that first season back when it was released, or you want to dive right in without ever having to put yourself through it, we're here for you. Here's your crash course in everything Iron Fist, and a rundown of exactly what you need to know and what you'll need to remember to hit the ground running When Iron Fist Season 2 releases on September 7.
1. Danny Rand
AKA the Iron Fist. Danny was a wealthy corporate heir from New York City when he and his parents were the victims of a mysterious plane crash over the Himalayas. Danny's mother and father were killed, but Danny was found alive by a pair of monks who brought him back to the secret and mystical city of K'un-Lun and saved his life.
In K'un-Lun, Danny was rigorously trained in martial arts until he was given the opportunity to complete a sacred trial--fighting a literal dragon named Shou Lao the Undying--to become K'un-Lun's protector, the Immortal Iron Fist. Danny succeeds in the challenge, becoming the first "outsider" to ever wield the power.
Unfortunately, Danny was also the first Iron Fist to ever abandon his "post" in K'un-Lun. He left the mystical city 15 years after he arrived, when the dimensional gate between it and the outside world was opened yet again, and returned to New York to unravel the mystery of his parents' deaths. Since then, he's been battling the Hand--a group of Illuminati-like gangsters who are the sworn enemies of K'un-Lun and the Iron Fist. During Season 1, Danny learned the Hand had played a part in his parents' murders and infested Rand Enterprises. During another of Netflix's Marvel series, Defenders, he teamed up with Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Matt Murdock to take them out.
2. Power Man and Iron Fist
Of all the Defenders, Danny has become closest with Luke, who he assisted with tracking down the source of a mysterious drug infiltrating Harlem in Luke Cage Season 2. Though they've yet to officially team up as a duo for more than this episode, the "Power Man & Iron Fist" dynamic is one with some real history in the comics, dating all the way back to the '70s.
Danny and Luke may not always see eye to eye, but following Defenders, they've grown to have a (somewhat grudging) mutual respect for one another. If anyone is going to show up to help Danny out of a bind now, it would definitely be Luke.
3. Rand Enterprises
Danny's family company and the source of his fortune, Rand Enterprises passed to the Meachums after the Rand family plane went down in the mountains. The crash was eventually revealed to be a plot made by the Hand in conjunction with Ward Meachum--a scheme Danny uncovers upon his return to the city.
Rand works in chemical distribution, especially in pharmaceuticals, where they help produce and market various components for medications and designer drugs. They have a long history of profiteering off of the desperate and the needy--a habit Danny attempts to stop much to the frustration of the board of directors--and their factories have been caught up in numerous lawsuits for dangerous conditions and lethal side effects.
4. The Hand
An ancient and mysterious cabal of immortal ninjas and assassins, The Hand is a many armed, shadowy illuminati with their fingers in any number of doomsday schemes. Introduced in the Netflix MCU back in Daredevil, the Hand seems to be everywhere and nowhere at once--including embedded deep within Rand Industries itself.
Led by the enigmatic Madam Gao, the Hand has been using Rand to make and distribute an artificial and highly addictive heroin, effectively to destabilize New York and pave the way for their next big move--the resurrection of the "Black Sky," an ultimate weapon they could use to rule the world.
The "Black Sky" turned out to be Elektra Natchios, ex-girlfriend of Matt Murdock. The final showdown between she and Danny took place in Defenders in a battle that left Murdock assumed dead, Misty Knight without an arm, and the Hand in pieces.
One of the "Seven Cities of Heaven" in the comics, K'un-Lun is a mystical, extradimensional city that only appears on the mortal plane every fifteen years. Following his family's plane crash, Danny was found and taken in by a set of monks from K'un-Lun, where he was subsequently raised.
The Iron Fist is K'un-Lun's legendary protector, a power passed down from generation to generation of K'un-Lun's finest warriors. To wield the Fist, a hopeful must face the trial of Shou-Lao the Undying, an actual literal dragon who lives within the city's walls.
6. Colleen Wing
A master martial artist and owner of her own dojo, Colleen was one of the first people in New York Danny believed he could trust after his return. Things got intense between them pretty quickly, blossoming into a sort of on-again-off-again romance that became incredibly complicated when it was revealed that Colleen had been secretly part of the Hand all along.
Luckily, that didn't make her evil. Colleen's part of the hand was, she believed, a humanitarian effort--an argument she was happily able to make until her former sensei, a man named Bakuto, betrayed her. With her eyes opened to the truth, she joined Danny in his quest to destroy the Hand. They mostly succeeded in Defenders, which picked up right where Iron Fist Season 1 left off: the two of them setting out to track down the Hand and get real answers, no matter the cost. Colleen ended up forging a close bond with Misty Knight through Defenders, which they're set to continue as the Daughters of the Dragon in Iron Fist Season 2.
7. Ward Meachum
Danny's childhood friend/bully and the son of his father's business partner, Ward Meachum took over Rand Industries following the deaths of both the Rand family and his father Harold.
However, Harold had secretly made a deal with the Hand to cure him of his terminal cancer with the caveat that he would remain publicly and legally deceased. Harold remained confined to a secret penthouse apartment with only his son knowing he was actually alive. This meant even in his position of power, Ward was still kept on a short leash by his dad--a man whose approval Ward could never seem to win.
Ward's story throughout Season 1 had its fair share of twists and turns, pivoting from diabolical corporate sabotage to tainted heroin usage (no, really), ultimately to a form of semi-altruism in trying to save his sister from their megalomaniacal father and ultimately help Danny. Sort of. The jury is still out on whether or not Ward is actually turning over a new leaf or just trying to save himself.
8. Joy Meachum
Ward's sister and friend of Danny, Joy spent her adult life not knowing her father or brother's secret dealings with the Hand until Danny's return ultimately set those dominos toppling down. Although she is in theory a much kinder and more empathetic person than her brother, Joy takes far more naturally to her father's ruthless business practices, and promptly found herself caught in his web, despite Ward's warnings.
Her dealings with the Hand and her father nearly cost her her life, but Danny and Colleen were able to save her. Unfortunately, despite the rescue, Joy decided that Danny was largely responsible for her family's downfall and began arranging with his enemies to plan his "removal" from the situation.
9. Harold Meachum
Danny's father's business partner and a puppet for the Hand, Harold sold his soul for the chance to survive his terminal cancer and live forever. He spent years puppeteering his son from the shadows while the world believed him to be dead, all while frantically working to make the moves the Hand requested of him.
Harold's deal with the hand involved functional immortality, the ability to return from death (if slightly altered) even when mortally wounded. This came in handy when he was "assassinated" by his son, Ward, who realized just what a monster his father had become. Harold came back to life even less human than he had been before and set his sights on manipulating Joy.
Danny's best friend from K'un-Lun, Davos is a devout believer in his homeland's traditions and the sacred duties of the Iron Fist. He leaves the city in an attempt to find Danny, who he believes abandoned his post, and encourage him to return--or, failing that, to brutally exterminate the Hand no questions asked. Davos believes Danny to be unfit as Iron Fist because he has allowed his own personal grief and feelings to consume him and distract him from his mission, something that ultimately reveals Davos's deep seated jealousy for Danny overcoming the trial of Shou-Lou.
Davos firmly believes that the Iron Fist was his birthright and that Danny has done nothing but corrupt the legacy of K'un-Lun by using its powers for his own personal quest for revenge. He and Joy Meachum end up conspiring with one another to bring Danny down as the dust of Season 1 starts to settle.
11. Misty Knight
Misty has been a fixture of the Netflix MCU in shows like Luke Cage and Defenders as a detective based out of Harlem. She became involved with the conflict between the Hand and New York's superheroes in Defenders, where she lost her arm in the final battle while fighting alongside Colleen Wing. Danny helped fund Misty's recovery in a Rand Industries hospital.
In Luke Cage Season 2, Misty was fitted with a high tech prosthetic arm. She later began training with Colleen in martial arts.
Misty will be joining forces with Colleen in Iron Fist Season 2 to help Danny face off against Davos.