Iron Fist Revealed!

I understand that Marvel Television in its ‘street-level’ heroes tends to seek a more grounded, realistic esthetic than those typically employed by Marvel Studios.

That probably has a lot to do with why of all the Defenders only one, Daredevil, has a costume (which is more in the vein of tactical armor than a costume, per se).

Jessica Jones and Luke Cage wear civilian clothes, as does Iron Fist (at least in the first season of his series).

And for awhile I thought that the latter in his civvies that might be a good decision, till I saw this image from the series.

 That’s Johnny Yang as an ‘Iron Fist’–which is less an individual than an honorific, though only one seems to exist in any given period of time–and he looks pretty awesome.

The way they muted the colors and gave the costume a very real-world feel works really well, and I would have been glad to see it in more detail.  It was technically in the series, though the footage of it was so (deliberately) blurry you couldn’t make heads or tails of it.

Maybe they kept it under wraps because Danny Rand (Finn Jones) in–hopefully The Defenders–tries to capture some of his lost history, and dons the costume as a result.

 

Fists of Mud

I have to admit, I’m a bit concerned.

None of the three series Marvel has produced for Netflix thus far (two seasons of Daredevil, one of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage) have been without criticism, but typically it’s muted by the heaps of praise they receive.

Regrettably that had not been the case with Marvel’s Iron Fist, which out of the box is getting some scathingly negative reviews, something that the prior three series didn’t have to deal with.

The Hollywood Reporter says: ‘the partnership between Marvel and Netflix was due a dud.’

Variety claims that ‘Not one element of this plodding piece works.  The action scenes lack spark, snap, and originality.’

Now keep in mind that’s just two reviews–there’s a thrid, but Twitter keeps crashing on me when I’m linking to it–but while I am sure that there will be many more positive reviews, it’s the tone of the negative ones that rankle.

Iron Fist Official Trailer

Marvel Studios was the first studio to create a interlinked series of movies– known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU–based upon preexisting properties (like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Hulk) that culminated in event movies (such as The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron) that featured all (or the bulk of) the characters introduced prior.  

Marvel Television?   A bit of a late bloomer.  Their first shows were Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, the latter of which lasted only one season.  

This is while DC Comics has made significant inroads into the television space with shows like Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends Of Tomorrow, with more on the way.  

Though a curious thing happened.  Marvel Television began developing Daredevil as a television series on Netflix and it did well enough to warrant a second season.  

Then came Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and most recently, Iron Fist

And since all the Marvel Television series were on Netflix, as opposed to regular television, there was less of a need to appeal to everyone so they possess a grittiness, an edge the Marvel movies can’t touch. 

Oddly enough, Marvel’s television arm seems to be employing a strategy that didn’t work too successfully for DC Entertainment on the big screen–which is building a more noir-ish world –but appears to be paying dividends on the small one. 

Iron Fist revolves around Danny Rand (Finn Jones) who reappeared after having vanished for over ten years to claim the company started by his parents, Rand Enterprises.

Though the people running Rand Enterprises have somehow become involved with the deadly Madame Gao, and she thinks Danny Rand needs to vanish again… 

Santa Clara Diet – Official Trailer

Netflix is hitting it out of the park as far as their work producing superhero-based action series is concerned (their pact wirh Marvel Television will soon introduce Iron Fist, The Punisher and The Defenders–though as far as Frank Castle goes, perhaps ‘reintroduce’ would be a better choice of words since he played a prominent role in Season two of Daredevil) though their horror offerings?  

Not too impressive.  We got two seasons of Hemlock Grove, which started out promisingly, then jumped the shark relatively quickly. 

Their latest entry has it’s tongue firmly in cheek as Sheila (Drew Barrymore) and Joel (Timothy Olyphant) play a couple that lets nothing–including Sheila being a zombie–get in the way of their love because the family that slays together, stays together. 

The trailer is hilarious, though what’s particularly novel is that–as opposed to being something to be shunned–their children seem to have adapted amazingly well to their mom’s altered state (it helps that she looks pretty healthy, minus the whole ‘no heartbeat’ thing.

The title is also particularly clever in that it not only refers to the often goofy diet fads that tend to emanate from the West Coast, but Sheila’s somewhat unique dietary requirements. 

Marvel Television & Netflix: Sound & Vision In Harmony

While Marvel Studios is doing some amazing things in the movie space, we sometimes forget that Marvel Television is making waves of their own on the small screen.

And while they have been doing solid work with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter arguably their strongest work so far has been the series that have have done with Netflix, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.

Along with a distinctive visual palate, each series is aurally unique was well, each evocative of different places and/or eras.   

Daredevil opening sequence

Jessica Jones opening sequence

Luke Cage opening sequence

Daredevil’s theme was composed by John Paesano, Jessica Jones’ by Sean Callery and Luke Cage’s by Ali Shaeed Muhammad and Adrian Younge.

At this point I can’t wait to see and hear what Iron Fist and The Punisher bring!

Marvel’s Iron Fist NYCC Teaser Trailer

If anyone had said that Marvel Television, when Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered on ABC a few years ago, that they would come to dominate superhero television I would have been hopeful, but wouldn’t have treated them too seriously.

Though having seen both seasons of Marvel’s Daredevil, as well as the first seasons of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, it’s apparent that they’re coming to dominate the television sphere as completely as Marvel Studios has done for superhero movies.

And their latest creation:  Marvel’s Iron Fist, which is going to lead into The Defenders

Marvel’s The Defenders – Teaser Trailer

For fans of Marvel Television and their work with Netflix, ComicCon 2016 is as close to nirvana as you’re likely to get because that’s where they premiered the teaser trailer for The Defenders, a street-level super team in the vein of the Avengers. 

They will consist of Daredevil (which has been renewed for a third season), Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

The trailer is less interesting for what it shows–which is next to nothing–than what it says about what the new show will be like tonally, which is very gritty and realistic.

When you take into account the two seasons of Daredevil and the single season of Jessica Jones already released, it should fit in quite nicely.