was cursed from the get-go when I began the long journey on the road to bingeing Marvel’s Luke Cage. About two episodes in a suffered from a case of the “can’t be arseds” and I went nearly a whole month before I had the energy to finish the series.
As with any MCU film or show. I felt an excitement and a deep interest in how this show was going to progress the large tapestry that makes up the franchise. However, I wasn;t crazy with the character of Luke Cage after seeing the tepid performance in Marvel’s Jessica Jones. by Mike Colter. I wasn’t really sure that it was the right character to invest a whole show in. Cage’s character was a little lacking and his powers only really made for a stock superhero character with strength and invulnerability. In the canon of marvel superheroes to realize into live action, I wasn’t sure Luke Cage was the right one. Then I persevered with the show, and I learned some things.
The merit of the show the doesn’t come from the same place as its cinematic cousins. Where the Avengers deals word killing aliens and omnipotent galactic menaces. Its focus is set on the struggle that the normal people of Harlem face in spite of the shifting climate of their world. Whether or not we have earth’s mightiest heroes, there is still crime, and the wrong doings of normal people. This is where the point of Luke Cage comes.
The biggest standout feature for me was the visual and audio style of the show. Heavily inspired by the blacksploitation genre of the seventies, Marvel’s Luke Cage was a stylish series filled with a character that sets it apart from the other entries into the MCU. that being said. Had this show not been in the MCU, it would have been hard to discern any unique character from it at all. As a viewer show isn’t really into the crime/gangland genres, I didn’t really Identify with any of the characters. The urban attitudes didn’t really give me anything other than what I have watched already. So there were many moments when the style outweighed the substance.
What was not wasted on me was the relevance and sincerity behind some of the issues raised in the show. Never before has a show about a bulletproof black man in a hoody been more poignant and relevant. (Aside from its origin in the height of the blaxploitation era.) It’s fair to say that it was a catharsis for people to watch the tides turn in the favour of the people on the streets who want a hero of their own.
Narratively speaking, Luke Cage acted adequately as an origin story ad the eponymous hero. Although, it didn’t do much in terms of establishing the connections between the other Netflix shows that are essentially waiting for their next turn in the spotlight. There was the appearance of the faithful super-nurse Claire Temple played by Rosario Dawson who becomes Luke girlfriend after she supports him during his war with Cottonmouth. Temple Also makes appearances in Jessica Jones and Daredevil Where she provides them with similar support despite her desire for a normal life. It’s fair to say her run-ins with the future Defenders will no doubt be the glue that makes them find each other. In terms of Luke Cage, She is the only link that seems to keep in in the loop. That and his brief relationship with Jessica jones (which is never mentioned in the show.)
Of course, I would recommend that you watch this show. It’s a sincere story of a black man’s struggle. Fair enough it relies heavily on black culture to convey it’s style and is very stock in terms of being crime series. But that’s just my personal taste. If that’s your thing, then I think you will enjoy the superhero twist. I also think that it’s necessary to enjoy all the shows before the upcoming Defenders crossover show.