TV Show Review: Marvel’s Luke Cage

You know why everyone wants to be the king? Cause of the crown.

With the success of Daredevil and Jessica Jones on the Netflix platform, Marvel continues the momentum with Luke Cage. Delivering yet another exciting series that helps set-up Marvel’s Defenders on Netflix.

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Following the events of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage (Mike Colter), seeks solace in Harlem, working for Pop’s Barbershop. With Wilson Fisk out of the picture, there’s a struggle for power within the city’s underworld. Caught in the middle is our titular character Luke Cage, who will stop at nothing to save his city.


The Good

Luke Cage started it’s season incredibly strong (no pun intended). Though we’ve seen him before in Jessica Jones, this time around, we are given more about his character, from his past to his present psyche and how he’s coping with his abilities. Mike Colter as Luke Cage is perfect as he delivers a performance which has the perfect combination of strength, smarts and charisma.

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The supporting casts also take credit as far as the first-half of the series is concerned. Everyone has been impressive especially Mahershala Ali, who played Cornell Stokes or Cottonmouth. He played the character with believable bravado and to the series’ credit, it works. Alfre Woodard is also great as Mariah Dillard as she portrays a councilwoman who wants to make the city a better place, however with ties to the city’s underbelly, struggles to do so legally.

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Another excellent aspect of the show is the music, Luke Cage is magnificently scored as it’s able to pull you back to the old 70s blaxploitation movies while being able to mix with present time music. It’s a balance that’s handled really well and compliments the show’s overall theme.


The Bad

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Unfortunately Luke Cage, stumbles on it’s second half as new characters are introduced and the series goes full superhero mode and loses the subtlety that grasped you on the beginning. The new villains are over the top with their presence and line delivery and it derails the show completely.


Rating

Overall Luke Cage is still a fun show to watch, it’s got a good mixture of a superhero genre and drama and at times it is charming. The use of blaxploitation theme is well handled having just enough to engage it’s audience without pandering too much. Majority of the characters in Luke Cage are fascinating, the show does a great job juggling the different story arcs, even if some are more interesting than the others.

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Unfortunately the villains in the latter parts of the series didn’t work as well as Cottonmouth did but it did give Luke Cage a worthy physical adversary. The show does address the issue of cops shooting unarmed black men though it does it without feeling forced, it was a theme that’s handled really well and should be given notice to. Highly recommended for binging on Netflix.

Good Bad 4/5
  • Strong Main and Supporting Characters
  • Great Score
  • Mahershala Ali’s Cottonmouth
  • Villains in latter episodes
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