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Iron Fist (non Spoiler reactions)

I know that Iron Fist has been getting a TON of bad press (casting, previews of the first 6 episodes, etc.).  But I watched the first episode and I have to say I quite enjoyed it.  It's the most "comic-booky" I think of all the Marvel Netflix series so far - as far as some hokey, but kind of fun dialogue, etc.  It's definitely the weakest of the the series released so far, but the first episode was good enough that I'd like to see where it goes.  The biggest issue I had was that the main character isn't as like-able as the others (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage).  He doesn't have the same Charisma...though, in all fairness, that could have something to do with the story and where it starts. I'm curious to see where the show goes from here. 


  • 13 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • The press has been almost universally bad across the board. Like, outside of the one actress, I haven't seen a shred of anything positive about the show.

    I was iffy about the show before the press anyway. Of course, I was before Jessica Jones as well, but it was so universally lauded that I watched and was pleasantly surprised. And having watched that, I was already invested in Luke Cage, which despite its weak finish was still excellent. This one just doesn't speak to me, though - never read the comic, never heard of the character before, etc.

    That said, since we pretty much like almost all of the same things, if you go through the show and you still think it's worth watching, I'll give it a shot.
  • I don't have a lot of time for tv, but I can honestly say that I'm completely let down by all of the most recent series.  I made it through Luke Cage, which I enjoyed to a limited extent--but I never finished Jessica Jones or Daredevil's second season.  I just can't stand the shows.  They're so dark, and they go out of their way to pretend that the Marvel universe doesn't exist.  It's like they're somehow the magical opposite of Agents of Shield--and are still bad.  I wish the Marvel shows were as good as the DC shows are.  
  • It's always interesting getting your perspective, because you (generally, unless I'm completely misreading your thoughts over the years) seem to love the Marvel comic characters as their comic iterations but are generally "meh" about their on-screen counterparts. Whereas you seem to be very anti-DC from the comics side, but pro DC television/movie side. I appreciate your perspective, even though I don't always understand it, because I tend to look at it differently.

    Is there a contractual reason they don't directly reference the larger Marvel universe? I know there's always subtle hints and whatnot to "events" but I wonder if it's done intentionally because it's a contract thing or because they're just trying to define themselves artistically on the outskirts of that universe on purpose.
  • I don't see myself as particularly pro or anti-anything--although I'm sure Corey might have a counterpoint to that.   :D  Also, this is a real rambler.

    I can only say what I feel.  The only character that I think I can honestly say that I ever really read any substantive amount of comics about is Spider-man.  I have a shitload of Spider-man comics, so I think I've earned the right to call myself a fan.  (Mind you, a true fan of anything is excited to get people in the fan club--never to shut people out.)  Having said that, I think I speak for a lot of us when I say I have Spider-man burnout.  I saw and bought all the Toby Maguire movies.  And yes, the third one is horrible.  I didn't see the Andrew Garfield ones.  Not out of any sort of loyalty to the Raimi versions, but because I felt no interest in seeing them.  And, another point here, not being interested in seeing something is hugely different from not liking something.  (The new Wonder Woman looks pretty awesome.  I do have a hangup in that I know that it's meant to tie-in to the JLA stuff, and I find Superman as boring as sand in a bag.  Batman kicks ass, though.  So why is he such a piece of shit in the new movies?  [Double caveat: From what I've read.])  And frankly, I don't give a shit about the new Tom Holland stuff.  The costume is kind of dumb, and the origin is weird.  The eyes are awesome, but nothing says they couldn't come up with some kind of other gimmick to make it work--ie Raimi's biological web-shooters.  I'm interested in the new Spider-man movie because I want to see Michael Keaton and some superhero teaming up.  Also, I have a small investment in the whole MCU thing, so I think I would enjoy seeing what else they throw together.  I mean, in just the trailer you've got Cap, the Hulk, etc.and they're not even in the movie.  It was very well done.  

    Blah blah blah.  I don't think I have much investment in the comic books themselves--I think the movies just provide me with an easier vehicle for immersion.  So I can be a fan of something, and then take the easy way out by seeing the movie.  Like, instead of buying a shitload of comics--I can just pay ten bucks and sit with my friends and automatically be a part of it.  I know nothing of Hulk or Thor, but I can see the movies and say, "Oh yeah, okay, awesome!"  Same goes for the tv shows.  Moonknight, huh?  He's like insane white Batman with multiple personalities.  Okay, I'd watch that.  

    So, a sidestep for DC.  I know even less about DC comics than I do Marvel comics.  I could've just as easily picked up a Batman comics instead of a Spider-man comic long ago, but that didn't happen.  I think we can all agree that while each company has a load of characters, there are probably a top five or ten characters that represent the brand well.  Superman, Batman, Spider-man, Wolverine, etc.  Speaking of X-men, haven't seen any of those, not interested.  Out of everyone slated for the JLA movie, I find only Batman interesting.  And the movie version of Batman is decidedly different from the comic book version that I think I enjoy.  I really liked the Nolan Batman movies that I saw, and I'm disappointed that they went more of a DKR angle with Affleck.  Maybe it would make more sense if I saw the Superman movie.  Now the tv shows...this is an easy one.  I have no investment in any of them.  But if I accidentally turn the CW on, there is the Flash, in his costume, doing superhero stuff, with other superheroes.  Bam, fucking comics right there.  And they have fun with it.  I think they just did an entire musical episode with some kind of evil musician villain.  I don't know who anyone is, or why I should care, but I'd watch that.  Instant hook.  And they have a bunch of superhero shows, and sometimes they cross over.  It seems like that's how things should be done.  And even though I think it's a lost opportunity to have all the main characters on TV be different from the main characters in the movies--at least DC straight-out said, "They're different universes, you can enjoy them both, and who knows what happens in the multiverse?"

    The Marvel shows are a crapsack.  Agents of Shield is SO BAD.  It has had its moments--the best being when they fought Hydra and fucking Samuel L Jackson was on the show right out of Captain America: Winter Soldier.  But I haven't even watched this past season.  Everything they do is the most shameless petty pandering to the movies, they go out of their way to tie into them.  But, they do it in the most passive aggressive avoiding way.  You would think an episode all about Asgard and the Asgardians/Dark Elves invading earth would be awesome--but no, it turned out that the Agents were actually just sent to clean up the garbage following the battle.  They talked about Thor, no Thor showed up.  Every damn episode is that way.  MY FRIEND CAPTAIN AMERICA ALWAYS SAYS THIS.  Except he's never said that, not in the movies, not in the comics, and not ever.  You're just name dropping him again.  Agent Carter, of which I actually had watched every single episode of, was worse.  WE CAN'T LISTEN TO HER, SHE'S A GIRL.  WELL, FUNNY, THE DAME SAVED THE DAY AGAIN.  BETTER WE TAKE CREDIT FOR IT.  HA HA HA.  The writing was so bad.  

    Counterpoint: The first Daredevil series was awesome.  He's a bit more physically vulnerable, and while the no-costume gimmick was annoying at built to the epic crescendo with Kingpin.  I don't always like that he was made sympathetic--there's nothing wrong with hating an evil bad guy.  Jessica Jones: I've tried to watch this show twice.  I just can't.  PTSD from rape, and the show just keeps going on about rape.  I just can't watch it.  What came next, DD2?  I made it pretty far, but it just keeps getting darker.  I started out loving the Punisher's massacres, but then quickly was just tired of it.  I don't know how long I made it, but I just got tired of it.  I found Luke Cage very Tarentino-esque.  I enjoyed that.  I disliked the weird final showdown with the power armor.  Rosario Dawson's character is never boring in these shows.  Foggy, of course, should be in everything.  Hell, he makes me want to give DD2 another chance.  And Sigourney Weaver in Defenders?  Okay!

    But seriously, "The Incident"???  Can you not fucking say that aliens invaded the planet, though a hole in NYC, and the Avengers showed up and kicked their asses?  Whenever it's a blue moon on a Thursday, someone on these shows will say something like, "If only I had a magic hammer" and then the show acts like we should congratulate it for its cleverness.  It's so weird.  Like I said before, Agents of Shield kisses its own ass to reference the movies with fake props and falls flat.  The Netflix stuff hardly ever does, and then acts like it should be rewarded when it accidentally references someone's third cousin.  Give me a She-Hulk show with Mark Ruffalo guest starring in two episodes that's a law procedural, and also a show where She-Hulk beats the shit out of someone using a car.  Hell, it would take about ten minutes to photo-shop Iron Man just flying by in background of some Daredevil episode.  Or have Spider-man show up in Hell's Kitchen.  Iron Fist tell him to get out.  Easy.  

    I think you and I (meaning Matt) come from exactly the same perspective on comic book movies--but just have a few years seperating us.  I started reading comics, like, 20 years ago.  For you,  I think, maybe, you take me a little too seriously because I've read a few more comics than you.  Don't buy it.  We're on the same page.  For me, I get to argue with you about this stuff, and I LOVE IT.

    Next up, we'll get you bagging your miniatures for sure!!!

    Okay, I spent way too long on this.  Looking forward to posting again.  
  • Also, I absolutely love having Corey's DC perspective on everything.  It's like having a biologist and a chemist talk about two sides of the same thing--we get the best possible perspective because we look at it in two different ways.  Like wings vs. pizza, or doughnuts vs. muffins.  
  • Oh, also, Marvel has given many reasons why a deeper integration between the movies and tv shows doesn't work--but most don't hold water.  The biggest one is usually, "Production for a movie takes years, production for a television show, weeks."  One person (sorry no references right now) at least trotted out "well of course they're not connected" and was pretty much pilloried for it.  

    Again, in summary, this is what I want to see:

  • Actually, I'd often just assumed you didn't enjoy TV/movie versions of things because they strayed from some past ideal you'd built in your head. These are all good reasons why you dislike those shows that have nothing to do with the comics. I definitely agree on the shortcomings with the Netflix shows to a degree but I did generally love them all (though DD1 and Luke Cage were my favorites).

    My main gripes with the Netflix shows: the seasons are 3-5 episodes too long and they killed Ben Urich far too soon. And Electra was not great. And pretty much every villain pales before Donofrio's Kingpin. Except for Cottonmouth, who died far too soon.

    I still don't get how you've only read Spider-Man but have almost encyclopedic knowledge of comic story lines that are peripheral to the Spider-Man stories, like FF or X-Men. You've described the FF as fun and campy as a direct opposite of the most recent movie yet you've never read FF? Just always wondered where you'd developed the depth of knowledge of the characters and their specific comic book personas yet haven't read the books.

    You need to watch the most recent three X-Men movies. And Logan, I guess, since everyone's gushing over it. If you can forgive continuity differences from the comics, I think you'd be somewhat entertained by the X-Men movies.

    "American Gods" in just over a month! I cannot wait to dissect that with you!
  • Still looking for someone other than Mike to at least marginally enjoy Iron Fist. Reviewers keep dropping turds all over it.
  • Cottonmouth was a fucking great character, and the fact that he died at all was a refreshing twist.  I didn't like that Black Mariah was so quickly replaced by Diamondback.  Shades just blew my mind.  And I loved Fish, and the reappearance of Turk.  I totally agree that the pacing on the Netflix shows is too slow.  

    I'm afraid to watch Iron Fist, since I've missed the last three/four series, you know?

    I never read X-men, so I don't have any continuity concerns there.  And since I haven't seen any other X-men movies outside of the original three, I don't have any movie continuity issues, either.  I can totally see Logan or whatever with a clean palate.  

    And I still don't think I know very much about comics.  Though I appreciate the compliment on the encyclopedic knowledge.  I don't know, I wouldn't honestly say that you have an encyclopedic knowledge of football, right?  And while, like, the Raiders are your favorite team--you know a bit about all the other teams, and even enough to talk about basketball, too?  And you can even make comments about famous individuals from other franchises, like David Beckham or Pele?  And you're also really smart about baseball, and can talk at length about the Reds...but you can also talk about the Cubs, and players on lots of other teams?  And you know who was recently injured, and who has great prospects for the upcoming season?  That's a lot of questions...but...maybe it's like that?  I don't know.  What do you call that?  Maybe it's like that.  :D

    And someone needs to but a lid on that Iron Fist actor guy.  He's drawing enough bad press on his own making up those weird excuses.
  • I'm confused. I mean, DC doesn't have a movie universe right? I mean there were the awesome Nolan Batman movies, but that was stand alone. DC has only made TV for CW in recent years.  ;) :D :D ;) :bz
  • And Agents of SHIELD is awesome. (admittedly I'm a season and a half behind). Fun characters, unapologetic about what it is, the references aren't as constant or bad as implied, and actually fit - I mean Coulson is a fanboy even in the movie, of course he is going to name drop all he can.  

  • I still haven't seen the Netflix ones beyond DD season 1, but I don't mind the darkness. It is nice that they don't have the same feel or gran scope of the movies. In the same way I am glad that Arrow and Flash have a completely different feel, despite being the same universe (haven't seen Supergirl yet).
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