Marvel and Netflix have done it again! They have been able to create another property that has a completely unique feeling than anything that has come before. But does that unique style make Luke Cage better or worse than those others?
With all of Harlem bearing witness, Luke takes on the fight of his life in hopes of emerging as the defender his city needs.
Who is Luke Cage?
Luke Cage is a marvel comics character that has existed since 1972. He originally went by the alias Power Man. He still uses that name every so often, but usually he just goes by Luke Cage.
His powers include having impenetrable skin, superhuman strength, and an accelerated healing factor. Even with all that, he still can be hurt in numerous different ways. Most commonly he is beat so hard that he gets internal injuries. This has already been shown in the Netflix show Jessica Jones. During one episode he was shot in the head with a shotgun at point blank range. The concussive force messed up his skull and brain and he had to receive medical attention.
Each Marvel-Netflix share the trait of being darker than their feature film counterparts. Although they have this one thing in common, each has a different flavor. Daredevil shares themes from martial arts movies and courtroom dramas. Jessica Jones is a noir film straight out of the 50s. Now Luke Cage is a blaxploitation film. It borrows heavily from those kinds of films of the 70s. From the use of music to the language the characters use. And speaking of language, Luke Cage doesn’t hold back. Most hard language, like f-bomb are completely absent. However, to capture the flavor of the culture, the n-word is used very prominently.
The music is probably the best part of Luke Cage. Each episode has a musical guest. This allows a perfect backdrop for the episode. It feels like an album that brings you on a journey along with the episodes. In addition to the musical guests, the 70s background music almost never stops. These give the show a unique feel and represents who Luke Cage is.
Give it 3 Episodes
The entire show feels like a BET drama. For many this could be a huge draw that finally bring them into the Marvel Universe. However, for others this could be the thing that keeps them away. Just like Daredevil and Jessica Jones it takes a few episodes to completely grasp the feeling of the show. After about three you will know exactly what you are in for. So give it about three episodes. If it doesn’t grab you and isn’t your style, then no problem. If by the third episode you want to know how the fourth turns out, then you are in for a wild ride.
Jessica Jones was criticized for not being as action packed as Daredevil. The problem was that everyone was expecting another show like Daredevil. Jessica Jones was exactly what it needed to be.
Now that Luke Cage is here, I’ve been hearing much of the same criticism. While I do agree to some extent, Luke Cage isn’t meant to be filled with action. Instead, it’s supposed to show the journey of a bulletproof black man going from nothing to a superhero. Although action could have livened it up a little, it wasn’t needed.
Like all Marvel-Netflix series, Luke Cage suffers from being a bit too long. The show would have benefited at being 10 episodes rather than 13. There are some episodes that easily could have been trimmed to tighten up the story telling.
Luke Cage isn’t my favorite Marvel-Netflix series. It probably is even my least favorite. But that’s like saying it’s an “A-” rather than an “A.” I really did enjoy my time watching it even though it didn’t connect with me on the same level. While it may not be many people’s style, it has enough story and character to be well worth your time.