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It's safe to say that Iron Fist has been the most disappointing of the Marvel Netflix shows. There are plenty or factors that contribute to this (poor character motivations, bad pacing, boring lead character) but arguably the biggest bummer in the series was its refusal to indulge in the more fantastical elements of the Iron Fist mythology. True, budgetary restrictions play a factor in what they can and can't do, but Iron Fist rarely even used his Iron Fist. Check out this compilation of all the times Danny Rand lights up the Iron Fist.
In a 13 hour season, this YouTube compilation video shows that Danny Rand used the Iron Fist for roughly three minutes and 30 seconds. The show preferred to hold back on the superpowers during most fight scenes, focusing more on Danny's kung fu prowess (which, if we're being honest, is also not very good). Danny only whips out the Iron Fist for special occasions, using it in short spurts to end fights, shatter weapons/hands, and slide down elevator shafts. Some of the uses of this power are admittingly pretty cool -- such as Danny causing a mini-quake to knock everyone down -- but those moments are pretty far and few between.
While Iron Fist gets points from a production perspective for limiting the FX budget by never really showing much of Danny's time in K'un-Lun, that doesn't make it a very fun watch for fans. If you're going to watch a show about Iron Fist, you want to see mythical cities, glowing fists, and ripping the heart out of a freaking dragon; not just a pair of red eyes in a cave. Again, the budget of a Netflix show has some realistic limits, but there's a sense that Iron Fist is trying too hard to fit into the established grounded tone of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. There's a distinct lack of fun and energy that really makes the 13 episode season a bit of a slog.
We'll just have to see how Danny Rand does while under different management. The character will next appear in The Defenders, which will team Iron Fist up with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage in order to stop a plot from The Hand and Sigourney Weaver's villain. There's bound to be lots of opportunities for action and spectacle, so hopefully, Iron Fist can deliver on that front. Punching out Luke Cage with the Iron Fist is a pretty good start, I'd say.