For anyone who has been following me for a while, you know that I’m far behind the curve on most movies, TV shows, and music.
This is no different.
I’m in the process of watching Iron Fist on Netflix, and I’m pretty close to the end.
Let’s start with this: I’m not going to argue that the show is good by most objective measures. I understand why people are disappointed.
But I’ll also say this: I’m really enjoying the show a lot.
I’ll grant that I’m an amazing sucker for martial arts movies and shows, and personally, I’m willing to forgive a lot if two people are fighting with swords. What can I say?
As I’ve been thinking about this, I’ve realized I like the show because to me, it really feels like they’ve brought a comic book to life. Of the Netflix marvel shows that I’ve seen, this is the first to do so, and I’m grateful for that.
It seems to me that most of our best, more critically-acclaimed comic adaptations of the past decade have done something amazing. They’ve made comics more lifelike. I think specifically of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and Daredevil (the netflix series). When watching those movies you really begin to think that just maybe, these events are on the outer fringes of possibility.
This is a tremendous achievement, and I love all the examples above.
But comics are about imagination, too.
I think no one got this better than Joss Whedon when he did his Avengers movies. He understood that as much as he had to create lifelike characters, superheroes require a higher level of suspension of disbelief. Hawkeye states it bluntly to the Scarlet Witch in Avenger 2.
“The city is flying. We’re fighting a city full of robots. And I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes any sense.”
This to me, is the heart of comics. They allow our imagination to roam in ways we don’t usually allow ourselves to, and why I’ve enjoyed Iron Fist. He can punch through walls and burn poison out of a body!
It’s not to say the show couldn’t have been done better. Yes, that’s true.
But watching Iron Fist allows me to step out of reality for a while and enjoy myself, and I’m grateful for that.
Also, there’s sword fights.