Comics Creators

The Iron Fist TV thread! Spoilers abound!


I feel this is very current and very talked about and should have a thread to itself.

So curious how this plays out.

I haven’t watched the last couple of Marvel shows, but I wonder what about this one makes people bump against it.



I09 is calling it Marvel’s first failure. I haven’t read the reviews, but after Luke Cage being meh (from ep 6 on) I’m not that hopeful. My only experience with Iron Fist was Fraction and Brubakers run, though.
Iron fist review


The showrunner is the guy who was in charge of the awful last few seasons of Dexter, which was a red flag from the start for me.

I’m also a lot less familiar with Finn Jones than I was with Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, or Mike Colter. He was completely unmemorable on Game of Thrones.

I might watch the series eventually, but not until I’ve watched some of the good TV shows I have in my queue.


I still haven’t made it through most of Luke Cage, but the slew of negative early reviews for Iron Fist were disappointing as I was quite looking forward to the Defenders team-up miniseries.

It’s a shame as I do feel like there is a good Iron Fist live-action adaptation to be made, but I wonder whether it’s the kind of thing that needs a movie budget to do it justice - I’d love a big martial-arts fantasy movie with some of the more fantastical Iron Fist stuff in it. But with the budget restrictions of Marvel’s Netflix stuff I think there’s a risk of losing some of what makes Iron Fist an appealing character (unlike Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Cage, where their grounded nature is part of the appeal - and cheaper to film!).


No one is allowed to make me sad in this thread if this show ends up sucking.


I love the character. I still can’t wait to see this. It has (hopefully not had) the potential to be one of the best shows so far if adapted in the way the source material deserves. I’m reserving all judgement until I’ve seen it. Until then I’m considering all reviews FAKE NEWS!


What little I’ve seen of the Marvel shows I haven’t been impressed with. This looks to be the worst of a bad lot by far.


What have you watched so far?

I thought Daredevil season one was very good, season two was very patchy (the Punisher stuff at the start was very good, the rest of it less so), and Jessica Jones was ok but a bit dull and repetitive. Luke Cage I’m still not very far into at all, and Agents of SHIELD I stopped watching ages ago as I didn’t think it was very good.

So really, as far as Marvel TV goes, I think it’s only the first season and a half of Daredevil that I’d hold up as very good - but I did have hopes that Iron Fist would be in that vein.


I’m going to do this radical new thing the kids are trying - I’m going to watch Iron Fist when it comes out and decide if I like it.


It’s a fair point, but if anything I think the reviews around these Marvel Netflix shows usually tend to overstate how good they are, so the very negative reaction to Iron Fist has me a little concerned that it’s not going to be much cop.


My take on the Marvel shows:

Daredevil S1: Pretty bad except for the hallway fight and the Kingpin performance, which kept me involved to the end.

JJ S1: The first three episodes were incredible but once the Purple Man appeared it started sliding downhill and the last half was a slog.

Daredevil S2: I stopped watching after the scene where they tortured the Punisher’s dog, in episode 4 maybe? Some people think Superman frowning is too dark but doggie torture is awesome…I would say I am the opposite and dog torture is the line for me, especially in a superhero show.

Luke Cage S1: When this debuted I had a friend staying with me who is an African American woman who is a huge geek and loves all things where nerd culture and black culture intersect. After the first episode she said “wow this is terrible.” I agreed. That was all we watched.

In general, I think these things are pretty awful and could use tighter writing and a much bigger budget. Which is unfortunate is these are some of my favorite characters. I obviously won’t be watching one frame of Iron Fist.

More broadly I do wonder if Netflix feels it’s worth it. I haven’t heard much mainstream buzz about these shows since JJ was first released, and Netflix seems to have turned their attention to bigger fish since. I thought Runaways going to Hulu was odd too.


I actually preferred Daredevil season 2. I think it was the best one at avoiding their usual issue of not enough story for the 13 episodes.

Stylistically they are all pretty good and well directed and acted but they really spin their wheels. Jessica Jones was like the worst 1970s Doctor Who serials where they get caught and escape every other episode to stretch the thing out and provide a cliffhanger.

If Iron Fist keeps getting bad reviews I’ll just skip it, it’s not the end of the world. As a comics fan I don’t feel duty bound to watch everything. In truth despite being one for over 30 years I have never read more than the Brubaker/Faction run of Iron First. It’s hardly a great commitment to the source material.

There’s too much I haven’t watched that gets great notices, I’ll try those instead.


It also starred the actor who cured me of my lifelong love for Dr. Who.

(OK, that is it for negative posts from me today! I am sure the Iron Fist show will be as wryly funny as the comic while also moving at a brisk pace and having kung fu scenes worthy of the best Jet Li and Jackie Chan movies…I just personally will not watch)


You guys are making me sad and its not even out yet.



“Nah na na na na na na nah, I can’t hear you!”


Clarke Peters was never in Doctor Who…


I watched half of season 1 DD and unfortunately all of JJ. DD season 2 holds no interest for me and neither does Luke Cage (the show, not the character).
I love IF; loved the Power Man and Iron Fist series from the 80s when it came out and have been a fan since. But this just looks bad.
I don’t begrudge anyone for liking it when it comes out and actually hope I’m wrong and it’s fantastic. Just doesn’t look like that will be the case.


Technically, everything is good. Or actually literally everything is good. If you’re inclined to like something, you probably will. In fact, I’d say if you are inclined to like everything, you’d probably be a very happy person in general.

I suppose it’s really the nature of criticism, but no matter how many movies (or whatever) a critic has seen, it’s only going to be their point of view in the review. The pretense is that there is an objective good or bad but that is usually something completely arbitrary and only derived from whatever movies or shows that they’ve seen and liked before.

Look at this line from a review of John Carpenter’s THE THING when it came out.

In science fiction magazine Starlog, critic Alan Spencer wrote, “John Carpenter’s The Thing smells, and smells pretty bad. It has no pace, sloppy continuity, zero humor, bland characters on top of being totally devoid of either warmth or humanity […] It’s my contention that John Carpenter was never meant to direct a science-fiction horror movie. Here’s some things he’d be better suited to direct: traffic accidents, train wrecks and public floggings.

Much of that movie’s reception was down to the fact that there really hadn’t been a horror film like it before. Even when reviews for really original movies are positive, they usually miss what eventually makes the movies beloved later on.


I think Marvel have it pretty tough and are held to a higher standard.

Coming from the movies, which are pretty much excellent, I believe there was a higher expectation for the TV shows. Increased budgets, access to better writers and actors, and a big investment for Netflix - one of those sets of shows that will make the company a global player in original content. I think everyone thought this was an opportunity to deliver something new, exciting, something that would compete with the very best TV ever offered.

Except TV is hard. Most shows are terrible and don’t get past a first season. It’s a special magic that hasn’t been figured out - not in the same way that most blockbusters seem to have a formula that works for them and there’s fewer slops than before. It’s clear TV is super heavily influenced by the showrunner - the difference between Daredevil seasons 1 & 2 are stark. Other poor decisions like the often quoted ‘too many episodes’ or ‘poor special effects’ have really hurt the brand. And yet most shows have those same issues. Breaking Bad had a few clunker episodes. Game of Thrones has occasional obvious budget restraining scenes. And first seasons are typically the worst of a TV series, everyone figuring out how to make the property sing. Even the current superhero TV series are mostly campy rubbish that we just accept because our standards are lower.

Netflix got what they wanted from the Marvel deal (subscribers) but will be bothered now that they’ll not see the long term benefits (keeping subscribers). They have to compete with the very best - they can’t get away with being just like normal TV. Same way Starz, Showtime and HBO can’t get away with it. If you want to compete with your own pricing model you have to be better than everyone else. It’s not fair but it’s what it is. This I think is a lesson most indie comics don’t understand.

Iron Fist is probably just ok. But given our expectations that’s a disaster for Marvel & Netflix. And their bed is made, there’s no way to save these shows as the audience is lost and won’t return - like what happened with Agents of Shield.

It’s a tough business if you have to deliver the highest quality just to play. But that’s where Marvel put themselves.


As I said in the Marvel TV thread: I don’t trust critics, especially with comic book related properties.

I’m going to watch the whole thing myself and then decide if I like it.