Warning! This article consists of nothing but Iron Fist Season 2 spoilers! We have a spoiler free review here if you prefer.
Another day, another Marvel Netflix series packed with Marvel Comics and MCU references. That’s good, right? It also helps that Iron Fist Season 2 is a big improvement over its first season, and finally starts bringing in some elements of the comic book lore that fans have been clamoring for from the start.
So here’s how this works…I’ve tried to catch all the cool Marvel references in Iron Fist Season 2, but there’s only so much I can do. Let me know anything I missed down in the comments, or hit me up on Twitter. If your catch checks out, I’ll update this with it. Together, we can make the most complete guide to Marvel Easter Eggs in Iron Fist Season 2 out there!
“While rival gangs battle for the soul of New York, Danny and Colleen cross paths with an old acquaintance. Joy embarks on a new adventure.”
– The title of this episode, “The Fury of Iron Fist” is taken right from the first appearance of Danny Rand, in Marvel Premiere #15. In that respect, it’s kind of a statement of intent about how this show wants to go back to square one and right the wrongs of its first season.
– The first shot of the episode, opening on that yin yang, plays into the entire season’s theme of “balance.” You’ll see how that all plays out going forward. Also, it’s green, which is, of course, the color most associated with Danny Rand’s comic book costume.
– I couldn’t help but note the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles parallels in The Defenders (which I still swear were intentional), but the low key truck heist happening here is like the kind of thing you would use to introduce the Foot Clan in a new live action movie. I swear, that will be my last TMNT reference in this piece. But more appropriately there is a slight Marvel Comics reference here…
A good chunk of this season is (loosely) based on stuff from Iron Fist #14-15 and Marvel Team-Up #63-64 (from 1977). Specifically for this episode, though, Iron Fist #15 opens with Danny stopping a truck heist in an alley. Granted, it had little to do with any of this, but still. This may or may not be a coincidence.
– Danny’s half-assed costume is kinda fun. First of all, it maintains the appropriate yellow and green aesthetic. But I have to appreciate the Mortal Kombat-esque Scorpion/Sub Zero mask he’s wearing. This show needs more Mortal Kombat vibes, damn it!
– There’s a gang war brewing between the Hatchets and the Golden Tigers. The Tigers actually appeared in 1976’s Iron Fist #8. They ummm…they weren’t like the more low key gang we get on the show.
– As you can probably guess, Mary is a significant character from the comics, but I don’t want to spoil things just yet for folks who haven’t made it all the way through the series. But if you want to know…I have something for you here.
– Joy Meachum working with Davos here is kind of a nod to her early comic appearances, where the character was particularly motivated by her resentment for Danny Rand. It’s a lot more interesting on this show than it ever was in the comics.
– By the way, if you want to know a little more about the history of Davos (beware of spoilers), you can read more right here.
– I don’t believe any of the kid gang members (whose names include BB, Chain, and Rhyno) are Marvel Comics characters, but please feel free to correct me if I’ve missed something!
– The restaurant fight at the end takes place in the Silver Lotus, which was namechecked in Uncanny X-Men: First Class #4, where Jean Grey, Storm, Colleen Wing, and Misty Knight all show up. Believe it or not, there are tons of X-Men connections throughout Iron Fist’s history, not the least of which being that Colleen Wing and Jean Grey were roommates for a time.
“Danny and Colleen strike to broke a badly needed peace. Ward crashes his sister’s auction, and Joy plays matchmaker – with a twist.”
– It’s true, folks absolutely do Tai Chi in Columbus Park. Oh, but wait…that’s not the coolest thing about this episode.
– The fight between Danny and Davos in the K’un-Lun flashback is terrific, and obviously, this is the closest we’ve seen to the traditional Iron Fist (and Steel Serpent) mask since the black and white footage briefly glimpsed in season one. We have more details about the ceremonial significance of the masks right here.
There’s a key difference, though. In the comics, Davos didn’t fight Danny for the right to face Shou-Lao, he fought Wendell Rand, Danny’s father. All of that would be too weird/annoying/confusing for this show anyway, and it makes sense that they’ve made Danny and Davos essentially brothers.
Nevertheless, that fight was ended the same way, with a victorious Rand…but only after Davos refuses to yield. In the comics it’s Yu-Ti, the August Personage in Jade who stops the fight, while here, it’s Davos’ father, Lei Kung, the Thunderer.
– Mary’s return in this episode, particularly her moment in the bathroom, is another major reference to her Marvel Comics counterpart. It’s a visual cue. You probably know what I mean by now, right? Well, just in case, here it is again.
– By the way, that coffee shop? That’s where the original X-Men used to hang out. There are so many weird X-Men/Iron Fist connections everywhere!
– The title of this episode comes from Iron Fist #3 (1976).
“In an effort to ease the tension between Ward and Joy, Danny and Colleen switch gears and host a dinner party. Mary delivers a warning.”
– This episode’s title is taken from Power Man and Iron Fist #99.
– Very little happens in this episode, let alone anything overtly Marvel related. I don’t know of any Marvel significance to names like “Sophia Rios.” If I’m wrong, you know how to correct me.
– “Someone called Walker” is another big clue to Mary’s Marvel identity.
On the bright side, this episode spends more time on the mundanity of superheroics, and it’s something that I really enjoy. As much as I love Spider-Man: Homecoming, I really wish the MCU would give us a live action Spider-Man TV series that gives us more of things like Danny scrubbing blood out of his clothes in the bathroom sink and that low key crime watch lab he has set up in the living room. Give me that but with Peter Parker!
Anyway, I digress. On to the next episode…
“Joy’s interrogation of Mary takes a turn. Misty gives Danny an earful. Ward extends an olive branch. Davos makes a crucial discovery.”
– Alice Eve’s Mary performance here is reminiscent of the footage of old Manson Family members. There’s an eerie detachment that I think is really effective for her character, who, I think by now you have probably figured out, is Typhoid Mary.
Mary is primarily known as a Daredevil villain, and she first appeared in Daredevil #254 (1988) by Ann Nocenti and John Romita, Jr. She has always been a tragic, unpredictable character, and has even flirted with being something of an anti-hero in recent years. Now that all this is out in the open, I guess I can safely say you can click on this brief history of Typhoid Mary.
– The Crane Sisters are tricky. They seem to know some mystical tattoo techniques, and we have had references to the Crane Mother throughout Daredevil, the first season of Iron Fist, and The Defenders (Madame Gao is the closest we have come to the comic book Crane Mother so far), but on the other hand…they’re not quite there, are they? Still, it’s an interesting choice for the name.
– The Crane Sisters are working a spell from the nasty ass removed tattoo of an old Iron Fist corpse. Any time this show starts playing with the legacy of previous Iron Fists, we’re in for good stuff. According to Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, and David Aja’s absolutely essential The Immortal Iron Fist comic (seriously, you need to read it), Danny is the 66th person to carry the mantle of the Iron Fist.
– Davos stealing Danny’s power comes from the Iron Fist #14 (which also happens to be the first appearance of Sabretooth), #15 (the final issue of that series before he moved in with Luke Cage), and Marvel Team-Up #63 and #64 (which featured Spider-Man). It’s a very loose adaptation, but an adaptation nonetheless!
In those comics, Davos just kind of chi-vampires the Iron Fist power away from Danny. It’s a lot less involved (and a lot less interesting) than it is here. Also note that Davos already had a serpent brand on his chest in the comics, he wasn’t given it by the Crane Sisters.
– I don’t need to introduce Misty Knight to any of you, right? No? Good.
– While that fight at the end is supposed to take place in an MTA subway station, presumably one on New York’s Lower East Side, I am pretty damn sure that it’s actually the 33rd Street PATH Train station, on the side the Hoboken train departs from.
– This episode’s title is taken from Iron Fist #13
“There’s a new Iron Fist in town, and he’s itching to make his presence felt. Meanwhile, Ward calls in a favor, and Joy considers her options.”
– The stuff with Davos’ mother in this episode is great…but I don’t know if we’ve ever met Davos’ mother in the comics? Can somebody let me know, please?
– This is fun, Misty identifies a 616 police radio call as a “possible suspect with abilities.” 616 is the dimensional numerical designation of the main comic book Marvel Universe.
– Davos’ red fist mirrors how it was depicted in those comics stories I mentioned above, too.
– This episode’s title is taken from Marvel Premiere #16, the second Danny Rand adventure. That is where the similarities to that comic end, though!
Iron Fist Season 2 Episode 6: The Dragon Dies at Dawn
“Misty and Colleen’s trip to the tattoo parlor turns painful – but not for them. As Davos crosses names off his list, Mary makes Danny an offer.”
– This episode, in many ways, feels like a backdoor pilot for that Misty/Colleen Daughters of the Dragon series everyone is clamoring for. I would watch the hell out of it, and so would you. Overall, this season has done a great job of making the cast feel more like a proper ensemble. If they want to turn this into straight up Heroes For Hire down the road, I’d be here for it.
Seriously, that fight in the tattoo parlor is terrifically badass. On the other hand, the idea of “reversing the ritual” is less so. This is more important, though…
– The Crane Sisters explicitly define Davos’ tattoo as “a serpent,” and that they had to use their steel needles to give it to him. This is probably the closest we’ll ever get to having Davos identified as the Steel Serpent on this show, but I’ll take it!
I’m still not sure what to make of the Crane Sisters. Are they mystical in nature? Are they any kind of offshoot (official or otherwise) of the Order of the Crane Mother? If someone sees something I missed, please let me know, because this feels like a little bit of a missed opportunity.
– A beaten, de-powered Danny being treated in an apartment by someone who really wants nothing to do with all the superhero craziness, is a scene mirrored in the pages of Iron Fist #15.
– “The Dragon Dies at Dawn” was the name of the story that first appeared in Iron Fist #9 (1976). And yes, this one prominently features the Golden Tigers!
Iron Fist Season 2 Episode 7: Morning of the Mindstorm
“As Danny steps up his training, Davos ramps up recruitment. Ward falls prey to old demons and Misty butts heads with a captain.”
Davos’ “this city has failed you” made me think briefly of Oliver Queen’s “you have failed this city” from early seasons of Arrow.
– “Morning of the Mindstorm” was the title of an Iron Fist adventure from Marvel Premiere #25. Ummm…Angar the Screamer (who showed up on Agents of SHIELD of all places) was the villain.
Iron Fist Season 2 Episode 8: Citadel on the Edge of Vengeance
“Joy offers Davos tips on appealing to the masses, Danny begins to understand his limits, and Mary seeks the truth about her past.”
– Mary’s origin story is significantly different from what we get in the comics (where she was a former prostitute who was accidentally harmed during an incident with Daredevil). Instead, here she did serious military work in Sokovia, which you will recognize from Captain America: Civil War.
Also note that in addition to everything else, comics Mary is a mutant with pyrokinetic abilities. We won’t be seeing that here.
As it turns out, there are more than “two” Marys here. Comic book Mary has as many as four personalities, but the main ones are Typhoid Mary, Bloody Mary, and ummm…”regular” Mary, I guess.
We get hints here that Mary could be something of an antihero in future appearances in this universe, which is something I am totally down with. It fits with the character’s comic roots, too.
– I know I swore I was done with making TMNT references, but Davos rounding up disillusioned youth to be his army feels a lot like Shredder from the first (and still amazing and perfect) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
– It appears that his chi helps his leg heal faster, something that Colleen remarks on, and something he helped her out with in season one. Maybe this is something we’ll get more of down the road.
– This episode’s title was taken from Marvel Premiere #17.
Iron Fist Season 2 Episode 9: War Without End
“Facing a life-changing decision, Danny and Colleen debate their next move. Meanwhile, Davos’ contempt for Mercy grows stronger.”
– Turk Barrett makes his obligatory appearance in this episode! I look forward to Turk showing up more than any other Marvel cameo these days. Yes, that includes Stan Lee.
– Later on, Ward says of his encounter with Turk that he bought the guns “in a van, down by the river,” which is a reference to that great Chris Farley skit, back in the days when Saturday Night Live was actually funny.
– Note that when Danny has Davos at a disadvantage, he doesn’t pull a Man of Steel and snap his enemy’s neck. (ahem)
– So…that mysterious box? That is a big, big deal. The Pirate Queen of Pinghai Bay was Wu Ao-Shi, the first woman to ever hold the mantle of the Iron Fist. This story was told in Immortal Iron Fist #7, part of that amazing Ed Brubaker/Matt Fraction era of the comic. Read it, you fools!
– “War Without End” was the name of the story from Power Man & Iron Fist #83.
Iron Fist Season 2 Episode 10: A Duel of Iron
“In the season finale, Iron Fists collide as the fate of New York City hangs in the balance.”
– Mary is singing the lyrics to The Mamas & the Papas “Monday Monday” while she waits to shoot at Davos. The Mamas & the Papas were known for singing in four part harmony. This is probably a hint that there are FOUR Mary personalities, not three, and I have to wonder if in her head she’s actually harmonizing with her other alters.
It’s a great detail. I really love it. It happened in the comics, too!
– Even without costumes, something as simple as Danny Rand and Colleen Wing fighting Steel Serpent and Typhoid Mary is such a perfect, perfect Marvel Comics moment (and a terrific action scene, to boot!).
– The idea that Colleen might be a descendant of Wu Ao-Shi I believe is invented for this show, but I’m not complaining.
– In the comics, Davos loses the Iron Fist power when it actually consumes him, because he basically wasn’t pure enough/self-controlled enough to actually contain it. That doesn’t happen here, which is a little less poetic, but does allow him to return with less mystical interference in the future.
– Misty says she might “bling out” her next arm. She has been known to sport a gold arm in the comics, so…
– Misty’s “Knight…Wing” joke isn’t about Dick Grayson. In the comics, the Daughters of the Dragon operated under the cover of the NightWing Restorations business.
– Misty references the end of Luke Cage Season 2, where Luke was setting himself up as the new Godfather of Harlem. The third season of that show can’t get here fast enough.
– It’s interesting that Danny and Colleen have broken up, as they were never really romantically linked in the main Marvel Universe. Instead, Danny was involved with Misty Knight for years. Although it’s hard to see TV Misty falling for Danny’s very specific character. But Adil on Twitter kindly pointed out that in Marvel’s Ultimate universe (which is a big inspiration for the MCU), Danny and Colleen are married with a child!
– Mary using Joy to climb the social ladder could potentially get her closer to Wilson Fisk (assuming he ever gets out of jail and reclaims his former glory…which seems almost inevitable for Daredevil Season 3). Since Mary is primarily a Daredevil villain, and has been romantically linked to Fisk in the past, this could be a great way to get her out into the wider Marvel Netflix universe. The writers and Alice Eve did great work with this character all around.
– While Colleen has never been the Iron Fist in the comics, her being able to channel the power of the Iron Fist into her sword is something that comes from the legend of Wu Ao-Shi, who could do it with arrows, which also leads into…
– Orson Randall is apparently still alive. Randall was the Iron Fist from 1915-1933, a World War I vet, opium addict, and relic of the past, Orson could channel his chi into a pair of guns. Danny is wearing Randall’s belt and guns here. That two-gun aesthetic not only plays into some fun John Woo fantasies, but given the time period Randall operated in, is kinda reminiscent of The Shadow, who was known for his twin 45s. Randall, like Wu Ao-Shi and lots of the other cool stuff on this show, first appeared in the pages of Brubaker/Fraction/Aja’s The Immortal Iron Fist, too.
The Ernst Erskine name mentioned with the scroll earlier in the season is no relation to Dr. Abraham Erskine (of Captain America: The First Avenger fame), but rather Orson Randall’s biographer/chronicler of his adventures.
– “A Duel of Iron” was the title of the story from Iron Fist #1…and it actually had to do with Danny Rand scuffling with Iron Man!
There’s a lot more to break down about the ending of this series, and it’s too much for just this article. You can read more about the Iron Fist Season 2 finale ending right here!