The second season of Marvel and Netflix production Iron Fist has seen a 38% improvement over its inaugural season on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, giving the series the biggest-ever sophomore bump on the review aggregating site, Rotten Tomatoes reports.
Iron Fist punched up a still-rotten 52% for season two, up from the lowly 19% earned by its first season. That 19% is still the second lowest of any Marvel Cinematic Universe production, behind only Inhumans’ 12%.
The series, centered around kung fu student and vigilante crimefighter Danny Rand (Finn Jones), comes in ahead of shows like Hannibal, which jumped from 72% in its first season to 100% for season two, and Breaking Bad, ranking seventh on the list, which jumped from 81% to 100% between its premiere and sophomore seasons.
David Betancourt of the Washington Post praises the “markedly better” season two as “a swift counterpunch to last year’s weak debut, especially praising a strong supporting cast and newcomer villain Typhoid Mary (alice Eve).
Danette Chavez of AV Club argues Iron Fist’s “lead character doesn’t deserve top billing, and maybe never will,” calling Jones’ superhero “the least interesting part” of the series. Chavez also praises the supporting ensemble cast, namely Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) and Misty Knight (Simone Missick).
Another rotten review comes from Matt Zoller Seitz of Vulture, who writes the newest run of episodes are “an improvement on Iron Fist season one in the way that stubbing your toe is an improvement over jamming your finger in a car door.”
Seitz writes a joy-draining Iron Fist season two doesn’t gain momentum until its midway point, and is weighed down by “poorly written conversations between mostly flat characters” and only “marginally better” fight scenes than season one.
Eve’s “unnerving” Typhoid Mary also earns praise, a rare standout of praise in an otherwise scathing review that says Iron Fist “still feels like a show in search of an urgent reason to exist, beyond the obligation to serve as one part of an intellectual property quintet that periodically intersects for team-up mini-series.”
All episodes of Iron Fist seasons one and two are now available for streaming on Netflix.