Luke Cage is the latest TV show in Marvel’s plan to world domination erm I mean Cinematic Universe, what Luke Cage brings to the Television universe is a whole lot of the same stuff. But also a whole lot of new and unique ideas.
I’ve never read a Luke Cage comic in my life, so first of all kudos to the show runners, I was fully invested in this show, it did take a while though. I am however really enjoying what Marvel are doing with their television projects. I didn’t watch Jessica Jones, but it seems like the whole universe is in New York, whereas Daredevil happens mostly in Hell’s Kitchen, Luke Cage takes place in Harlem and other urban neighborhoods. Because of Marvel’s commitments to their TV universe, it feels more like a comic book than any of the movies. Each episode is like an issue. I said in my Daredevil season 2 review, that TV is where superheroes get true justice. They connect this show to Daredevil through the Rosario Dawson character. It feels like a comic book, characters walk in and out to other worlds organically.
Luke Cage presents a unique opportunity to tell the story of the streets, because if the protagonist’s skin color, and that’s sort of an issue and an advantage in my eyes. I think everytime a superhero story tries to ‘say’ something, it robs a lot of the fun from the project. There are many allegories and mirrors to the racial climate of America, one of them is this image of Luke’s hoodie filled with holes, definitely a commentary on the cop abuse. However I believe the show runners understood this problem and make the LUKE CAGE character undeniably interesting, and it’s all balanced on Mike Colter’s broad shoulders. The man has charisma, charm and just the right amount of brooding, did I mention the guy looks like a badass.
He flexes more than his actual muscles throughout the show, his acting muscles as well in the crow jewel of this season, episode 4. Where we get access to his backstory and the time he spent in jail. It’s an hour long episode but it feels like I sat through hours worth of information. He’s that effective. Across from Colter, the antagonist of this show, is Cottonmouth a pretty boring villain, the same cannot be said about the performance and the charisma that actor Mahershala Ali carries, I love how off the wall he is, like a time bomb a second away from exploding and how randomly he laughs after an act of violence. There’s another villain named Diamondback, who’s the flipped version of Cottonmouth, they fail to capitalize on a major storyline with him however, it involves the framing of Luke Cage.
As I said earlier. This series has something to say, the creator’s are big fans of The Wire, which I recently finished reviewing. Many actors from the Wire appear here as well. Like Kima, Avon Barksdale’s lawyer and so forth. My issue stems with how they try to blend two different storytelling aspects. There are hints of blacksploitation films, the musical score is pure blaxploitation, which makes it unique and memorable. It just doesn’t mesh well with the commentary it’s pushing. The reason I love Daredevil is because the show is just about the superheroes and their ethics and morals. You can’t have fun when you got something to say. Same reason I love Batman Begins, it focuses on the hero, I still love the sequels but they became about the government, patriot act and Occupy Wall Street.
Luke Cage suffers through the same problems, it’s not as fun because there’s a sort of agenda being pushed. Not that I have an issue with it. But mainstream media’s covering enough of police brutality and the black lives matter protests and all.
Luke Cage has it’s issues with it’s storytelling technique, that being the sprawl imitating The Wire and far too many characters, lame characters as well, such as Shades and Misty. However the main character of Luke Cage is given a very tough and liberating journey, and the woman of my dreams, not the actress but the character Rosario Dawson plays, Claire is so gosh darned incredible and real. That’s the type of woman young girls should look up to. The best non super female character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe no question.
Plus the cinematography is pretty neat, very colorful with saturated colors and deep dark hues.
I enjoyed this show, I must say that 13 episodes is too much, Narcos has the perfect season length of 10 episodes,there will have to be significant changes for me to get heavily invested in season 2. That’s for later, like Luke Cage would say this first season was Sweet Christmas.