I’m super duper pumped about the recent addition to the “Phase 4” of Marvel’s cinematic universe, they’ll indeed be introducing none other than Shang Chi: The Master of Kung Fu to audiences around the globe! This really did kinda catch me by surprise, I mean who’d have ever thought Shang-Chi would get his own blockbuster film? I understand the Black Panther, as he’s easily in my opinion, one of Marvel’s most iconic, at least to any real collector of superhero comics. He’s a legend. However Shang-Chi (who as a kid I was a collector of his titles) is a pretty obscure character whom I never thought got enough credit. He’s been around though since the early 70’s and was Marvel’s direct reaction to the popularity of Bruce Lee.
Now in 2018 Shang-Chi once again has an advantage, as Marvel searches for it’s next big hit, cashing in at the box office on diversity in their movies, they’re aiming at lightning striking again with a movie that features an all Asian cast & director in a similar fashion as the Black Panther. I’d have been more impressed honestly if Marvel had introduced The Black Panther movie years before it’s release in 2018, but it seemed like they waited until the right time though to make as much money as possible with diversity being a hot topic. That being said better late than never for The Black Panther and now Shang-Chi I guess.
So being a fan of the greatest martial artist in the MCU I’m hoping they do indeed pull this one off and pull the character into the A-List category! What do we want from a “Master of Kung Fu” movie? Well how about the exact opposite of what we got from the Iron Fist series? This movie needs to bring on a superhuman kung fu spectacle unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Iron Fist was a giant disappointment, it’s terrible fight sequences/choreography, mixed with it’s ultra bland plot & unappealing lead character made for a truly tough series to sit that many hours through. Shang-Chi should be a full on action adventure movie, something like a mix up of Indiana Jones & Enter The Dragon but with the most insane martial arts battles put to screen, To pull this off they need someone who’s a true veteran to do the choreography/directing duties like Wilson Yip of the ‘Ip Man’ franchise or the legendary Sammo Hung. Continue reading
So the news just dropped that the Netflix Iron Fist series has officially been axed. I can’t say I’m sad about the news, but what I can say I’m sad about’s how badly they dropped the ball on what should have been a live action series that set a new bar for hyperactive kung fu mayhem. Not only did the series NOT deliver the impressive kung fu choreography I’d hoped for, but it was actually some of the most uninspired melee combat I’ve seen put to screen in quite some damn time. As I’ve said before, this show had the potential to feature Danny Rand as one of the best superhuman combatants (Let’s not forget about Shang Chi too) the world has ever seen. Rand should’ve been doing crazy ass stunts, breaking bones left n’ right and flexing his Iron Fist power on the bad guys like it was nobody’s goddamn business!
Instead we got a seriously weak ass plot, an annoying, whiny version of the character and some pretty pathetic action sequences. We never even got Iron Fist in his actual costume either, which in the end is a good thing cuz I don’t wanna watch some craptastic kung fu being performed by a dude wearing the classic IF duds. Add in some utterly forgettable villains and the supporting character of Colleen Wing being more bad ass and like-able than the series’ lead and you’ve got a major problem that finally caught up to leading to it’s ultimate demise. It actually blows my mind that some of these comic book adaptations can have such a hard time coming up with something fans would dig, Iron Fist should have been an easy sell. Somehow out of touch people in the industry always seem to think they know better than the fans? What gives with that these days?!
Anyway the good thing about the show being cancelled is that we don’t have to endure the torture of watching an epic character like Iron Fist being drug through the mud any more. Though it was a true utter failure, this actually frees things up somewhat for the superhero. Though it’s likely that we won’t see another season of the character, as reported we’ll maybe see Danny Rand making cameos in other Marvel Netflix shows, I think that it might eventually lead to a new Iron Fist altogether. Look how fast other properties get the reboot treatment-Spider-man, Fantastic Four, Hulk and most recently Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker. So why not Danny Rand?!
A reboot in this case, in the form of a movie would be exactly what I’d love to come to fruition, one that takes an entirely new approach. I’d love to see Iron Fist portrayed by someone who’s got the real skills and choreographed by someone who’s ready to knock kung fu fan’s socks off. I’d posted before how the Iron Fist action sequences should have been something more like Tony Jaa’s stunning performance in “The Protector”, for one second imagine Tony had a cool Iron Fist costume on in this scene:
So Yeah I’m glad Iron Fist is over for now, bummed they fucked it up so bad, but hey eventually someone who knows how to make excellent kung fu action on screen AND provide a compelling story for the character WILL indeed come along to give Rand some redemption, at least for now we can hope for that. Now at least I don’t have to sit through another 10 hours of mediocre / subpar Netflix “superhero” programming…..
I’d been curious for a while what was going to happen to everybody’s least favorite Netflix dud superhero series ‘Iron Fist’. Well turns out we’re going to get a sequel to one of the most boring superhero adventures I’ve ever seen! Yeah, Iron Fist season one was truly a challenge to sit through, how the hell they were able to make a superhuman kung fu master with a glowing fist a bore is beyond me. So they’re gonna give this shit another whirl and the fact that they haven’t given up on it all together leads me to believe that they just MUST have some sort of redemption coming for our spoiled lil’ slightly annoying millionaire Danny Rand. Filming is set to begin soon and we’ve even got a new Iron Fist Season 2 promo pic!
I’ll check out the first episode when it hits BUT if things don’t get awesome within the span of that single episode I’m out!! There’s not much revealed thus far except that it’s rumored the incredibly lame “Steel Serpent” will return (whoopdeedoo) and that also the other villain will be a character called Tanya Parker, who’ll become a female assassin character from the pages of Marvel comics. In order for Iron Fist to capture anyone’s attention anymore on Netflix a few things need to happen.
FIRST, As I mentioned earlier the first episode of season two has got to be fucking amazing. Period. If it starts off with some boring ass plot with Danny “Bland” Rand involved in some corporate BS at Rand Enterprises that no one gives a damn about it’s over. They need to start off with a big bang in episode one doing something we haven’t seen before in any of the Marvel Netflix stuff and they need to do it damn quick! No more boring ass shit like this please:
SECOND, the action better be off the rails this time around! I really couldn’t believe just how terrible the martial arts were executed in the first season. For a show who’s main character is a superhuman martial arts prodigy we got some serious boring ass, terribly executed, bland action sequences. This show needs to set the superhuman kung fu dial to eleven and bring us the most insane action sequences we’ve seen on the small screen. They should be taking notes on past movies from the likes of Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan & Tony Jaa, they need to watch ‘The Raid’ the night before filming. Seriously, it’s time to go the distance with Netflix Marvel, they’ve got the budget, so bring in a real kung fu choreographer and amp up the kung fu to crazy new heights. That alone will bring in the fans. A true spectacle is what this show needs badly. Check out this clip and seriously imagine Danny Rand doing some shit like this:
THIRD, I have a truly wild ‘n crazy idea Marvel…..PUT IRON FIST IN HIS DAMN COSTUME! Geezus, Marvel has got a lot to learn, when doing a show about a superhero, don’t be afraid to feature said superhero and his villains in their damn costumes from the comic book! What an idea huh?!!! Danny Rand was pretty damn boring in season one, make the dude a bit more compelling in season two and on top of that, I have an idea what might make him even more interesting-his fucking costume!!! The character will become so much more than some boring rich spoiled white dude if you give him his superhero duds. Even just adding the mask to his look generates a ton of excitement, imagine for a moment a new Netflix Batman series, but in it, Batman doesn’t wear a costume, it’s just Bruce Wayne running around town beating up bad guys in a Lexus he calls “The Batmobile”….are people gonna dig that?
LASTLY, tell a better story, the first season was fucking painful. Waaaay to long. Cut his show down to six or eight episodes tops. Give us a short, sweet action packed kung fu adventure. No more board room meetings and plots involving his lames ass corporation. Go to interesting places, leave the city behind even, I’m kinda tired of the setting of all these shows in New York, It’s getting sorta played out at this point. Let’s see some fantastical shit go down, as his character allows for things to go off the rails a bit more than say Jessica Jones, Cage & Daredevil. This shit isn’t rocket science, watch a couple rad kung flicks to see what will make this show work!!!
What do you think would make Iron Fist an interesting show? Am I way off base here or what? At this point I think I’d rather watch this Iron Fist fan film! Way better kung fu action-seriously.
Black Panther is clearly all the rage at the box office and it’s crazy that he wasn’t introduced sooner to the Marvel cinematic universe. We had to wait roughly 10 years for his solo flick since the MCU kicked off, maybe Marvel was strategically timing his arrival with current trends in the news and social media? Whatever the case thinking about the gigantic monetary success of ‘The Panther’ I’m certain people over at Disney/Marvel are scheming what characters will be the next smash sensation and I’m certain they’re considering just how the racial background of them might help bring in the big bucks once again. Let’s face it, the white dude superhero can clearly get a little stale sometimes. So who’re the top contenders that Marvel might introduce to the moviegoing public? Here’s my predictions and hopes:
Shang Chi: The Master of Kung Fu
Shang Chi is clearly at the top of the list when I think about what Marvel might have planned next after the success of The Black Panther. It seems like Marvel and Disney are pretty concerned about their Chinese audience when it comes to releasing new movies as they can make a ton of money there. So if they play their cards right perhaps the legendary Master of Kung Fu could woo audiences in the USA and abroad? I think so, imagine a Marvel Kung Fu flick done right with crazy over the top superhuman martial arts action on the big screen. They could achieve what they should have with Iron Fist and give everyone the action extravaganza they craved for the Netflix character. I’d love to see him come to life on the big screen, he’s a true classic character that deserves more respect..
There are certain comic book covers that just pop right off the page at you when you see ’em & Master of Kung Fu #75 is one ’em! This cool cover way back from 1979 shows again just how damn good of an artist the master Mike Zeck is! This one shows Shang-Chi doing battle with a giant fish man that looks straight out of an H.P. Lovecraft story. I love the simplicity of some covers and this one gets straight to the point with an amazing underwater struggle facing the Master of Kung Fu. There are some truly jaw dropping covers in the Master of Kung Fu comic book back catalogue & Zeck’s done a great deal of them, ah those good ol’ days…
Marvel Comics Presents was a cool anthology series from 1988 that really kickstarted the first Wolverine solo series that same year. This started one of my favorite eras of the character where he took the nickname “Patch” and hung out on the mythical island of Madripoor for some truly grand adventure.
Marvel Comics Presents #1 features the start of the ‘Save The Tiger’ storyline, which is pretty awesome and has some great artwork by John Buscema and features Wolverine going up against the classic Shang-Chi villain Razorfirst. The series featured four, eight page stories from four different superheroes Wolverine remaining at the forefront for most of it’s run.
This particular cover was always a favorite of mine, features some awesome artwork by Walt Simonson and has Wolverine, Shang-Chi, a gigantic Man-Thing and the Silver Surfer. It’s a full cover front and back. What a great cast and an epic cover from a great era!
For the record I’d like to say that Luke Cage was yet another job well done for the Netflix Marvel universe. I wasn’t quite as addicted to it as I hoped I would be, I think maybe the first season of Daredevil was probably the best in my opinion. I do think though when I came to that conclusion it’s likely because it felt the most like a comic book. We got Daredevil in his costume (though I still think they could have done a better job with the DD costume)) while Jessica Jones and Luke Cage appearance wise kept the whole street clothes thing in check. It worked for them because let’s face it the tiara & big yellow blouse-y shirt just get up wouldn’t have been a look many people in 2016 would have been too thrilled with. I found Luke Cage to be super solid action drama a bit light on the whole superhero vibe which is fine because it does work for the medium but hey I think giving these guys a few more colorful villains to tangle with might be exactly what the show is missing.
I’m not certain why everything thus far has to look so “real world” on these shows, I mean the Marvel movies are incredibly colorful for the most part. So far the Netflix shows do have way better developed villains than in the movies. However I’d like to see some full on super villains eventually enter the scene. Imagine how tense things could get if we got someone perhaps like Tombstone to enter the scene and accurately keep his larger than life comic book appearance? Continue reading