Iron Fist season 2 Comic-Con

Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Television, opened the Iron Fist season 2 panel at San Diego Comic-Con International with carefully crafted phrasing: “How do we top the martial arts from Season 1 in Season 2?” The question politely encapsulates a major criticism that many had with the first season of Iron Fist: the fighting (and the story) sucked.

Marvel and Netflix appear to have taken that criticism to heart. The series has benefited from a new showrunner, Raven Metzner, as well as the addition of Clayton Barber, a fight coordinator whose credits include Creed and Black Panther. In addition to the new behind-the-scenes players, the panel also included Finn Jones (Danny Rand), Jessica Henwick (Colleen Wing), Simone Missick (Misty Knight) and, as a surprise late addition to the event, Alice Eve, who is playing (wait for it…) Typhoid Mary.

The group, steered by Jeph’s bombastic interview style, provided an entertaining show. But the real stars of the panel were the exclusive clips Loeb shared of the season to come. Here is a run-down of the Iron Fist season 2 Comic-Con footage, with each clip working hard to convince Marvel fans to give Iron Fist another chance.

Danny is Much Better at Fighting!

Loeb teed off the first clip by asking the audience: “Is there anyone in the audience who would like to see Danny do his thing?” The audience cheered as the lights went down, and we all soon found out that Danny’s thing was fighting. In Chinatown.

The clip opens up on Danny in a hoodie and with a bandana over the bottom of his face staring down a truck. Two bad-looking dudes in the truck stare back at him, and we cut to Danny and the truck heading straight toward each other. Right before they hit, Danny steps to the side and punches the truck with a glowing fist. A bunch of fighting ensues, first with the two dudes in the truck and then with a whole bunch of other dudes who show up on the scene with machine guns.

And the fighting is good! It’s a significantly better than anything from the first season. Danny punches hard and fast and does twirly jump kicks that don’t seem physically possible. My first thought at the end of the clip was whether that was really Finn Jones under the hoodie doing all of the moves.

Loeb anticipated my thought. “Finn, that was you man!” he said as the lights came back up.

“That was me,” Finn confirmed. “Clayton worked all of us so hard, and he was meticulous in making sure that all the fights you see this season are all of us fighting.”

And everyone certainly fights! The next piece of footage brought Jessica Henwick into the action.

There’s Lots of Cool Fighting! Some of It Is In a Kitchen!

The next clip opens on Danny and Colleen in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant having very stern words with two not-so-nice looking dudes. Danny gets called away from the kitchen to talk to two people who just entered, and Colleen and the two bad dudes start fighting. And I mean really fighting – pots are thrown as well as butcher knives. Pretty much any dangerous-looking object (or pot) you can find in a commercial kitchen come into play, and it’s amazing.

Colleen and Misty (The Daughters of The Dragon) Kick Ass!

The fighting continues in the third clip, when a not-so-pleasant conversation Misty and Colleen are having with some very tough-looking women turns violent. The pair kicks some ass to punk rock music, with Misty dead-arming a woman off a motorcycle as the denouement. Did I mention Misty is one of my favorite Marvel characters?

We’re Not Just Gonna Fight in Chinatown, We’re Gonna Fight in K’un-Lun Too!

“The whole idea of K’un-Lun is something that really intrigued me,” Metzner explained before the fourth clip aired. “There are pieces of that mythology that would be really interesting to play with this season.”

And play with it they did. The scene starts with Danny and Davos (played by Sacha Dhawan) sitting on the floor and staring at each other intensely while chanting monks walk up to them. One of the monks informs us that Davos and Danny must fight until one yields or one of them dies, and that the winner will be the one to face the dragon Shou Lao and thus become the Iron Fist.

Before they fight, the monks put a yellow bandana over the head and eyes of Danny and Davos’ heads, a nice nod to Iron Fist’s comic book costume that will make many fans happy. The two are also connected by a long yellow scarf that ties them together. And then…they fight and it is awesome and the clip ends with both Davos and Danny in the air, fists up and about to punch the other one.

Alice Eve is Typhoid Mary and She Fights A Lot!

Before the fifth clip, Alice Eve joined the rest of the crew on the panel and, after a whole bunch of teasing, revealed that she was playing Typhoid Mary, an iconic Marvel villain that many thought would show up in Jessica Jones instead of here.

Typhoid Mary got her own fighting scene in this footage and goes head to head with Misty and Colleen and a fancy New York apartment. Like all the previous clips, the fighting was awesome. There was even a machete involved.

Davos is Back and His Fist Glows, Too!

The sixth and penultimate piece of footage started with a clip from Sacha Dhawan, who was unable to make it to San Diego in person. Dhawan teases that the next clip will show a secret he’s had to carry about his character Davos for over a year. We cut to Davos looking very tough and very badass in a nightclub. He has some very serious words with a criminal-looking dude in a business suit and then kicks some ass under the club’s strobe lights. But then something happens…his fist glows like Danny’s! Is he another Iron Fist? Tune into season 2 to find out.

Danny and Davos Really Got Into It in K’un-Lun

The panel ended with the most significant fight scene of all: the rest of Danny and Davos’ fight to see who becomes the Iron Fist. Marvel and Netflix saved the best for last here, and the fight is brutal and intense. The scene ends with one of the monks calling the fight for Danny, even though Davos is still alive and has not yielded. Danny walks out into the sun, his hand bloody and broken from the battle, ready to face the dragon and become the Iron Fist.

And that’s all the footage they showed, folks. The clips make a compelling case that this year’s Iron Fist will be better than the last. Even if these are the only fight scenes in the season, the show is already better than season 1, and they’ve convinced at least one person (me) to give the show another chance.

The second season of Iron Fist premieres on Netflix on September 7, 2018.

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