Why couldn’t Henwick be the star of “Iron Fist”? Or another actor of Asian descent? After all, part of what made “Jessica Jones” and “Luke Cage” stand out were the distinct identities and concerns their protagonists carried into battle. Imagine an “Iron Fist” in which an Asian actor with a great deal of presence and real fighting chops (which Jones lacks) plays a man trying to reclaim his business empire from a group of white characters who don’t trust him and underestimate his skills. Those kinds of social, political, and moral clashes among specific characters and cultures could have amped up the drama — assuming the episodes didn’t take forever to establish relationships and dilemmas.
Even if you can put aside issues of cultural appropriation — and the ham-fisted “Iron Fist” doesn’t make that easy, given that it feeds its yoga-bro lead character a series of inert lines about Shaolin wisdom and Buddhist teachings — this superhero drama just feels inessential.