I just finished binge watching episodes 1-3 of Marvel’s newest Netflix series, Luke Cage, and I wanted to get my thoughts out there as soon as I finished the 3rd episode…because DAMN (swear jar).
Now don’t expect me to comment on the accuracy or influence of black culture represented in this show. Simply not my place or what I do. I will, however, talk about the characters, story, action and acting.
Let me start off by saying that Marvel has a pretty good track record with Netflix series. Dare Devil sparked our geeky interest with clever dialogue, outstanding choreography, and gritty drama. Next came Jessica Jones. It’s no surprise many were disappointed by the first season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones. This was mainly due to a lack of character arcs and an anticlimactic ending. But when I heard about the prospect of Luke Cage coming to my geeky little world, I couldn’t help be feel giddy!
I will start off by saying that the action has it’s ups and downs. At times I love seeing how they portray Luke Cage’s (played by Mike Colter) super human ability during a fight, but there are moments when the action fights feel slow and clunky. Maybe I have been spoiled by Dare Devil’s action sequences, but the heart wants what the hear wants. But hey, the action still makes me smile!
Let’s talk a little about characters. Just in case you didn’t know, Luke Cage is based on a Marvel Comics super hero who also goes by the name of Power Man. I won’t get into his background because that might be spoiler territory. But it is safe to tell you his power is unbreakable skin with superhuman strength. Mike Colter portrays Luke Cage with a cool style that makes you feel for him instantly. He clearly is a man with internal struggles, a complicated past, a need to move “always forward” and truly powerful. And Colter is HUGE! So you definetly get the ‘Power Man’ vibe.
Colter’s cool likeable character is perfectly complemented with the wanna-be-cool villain Cornell Stokes, played by Mahershala Ali. The Stokes character is one of my favorite types of villains. He is a cunning, hot headed alpha type personality with a mean streak but just when you think you have him figured out…SURPRISE! I am looking forward to more one-on-one interactions between Stokes and Cage.
There’s plenty of talent in this show but I do want to take the opportunity to address two that surprised me purely due to their character chemistry. The Police Detectives Misty Knight and Scarfe (played by Simone Missick and Frank Whaley, respectively) have left me wanting more with them in it. There is nothing revolutionary about this partnership from a character review. Knight is a by the book, justice seeking cop that was born and raised in Harlem. Her partner (Det. Scarfe) is a little older, more flexible with the rules and you can smell a little dirt & blood under his nails. This is not what impressed me. What got my attention was their back and forth banter that simply ignores gender and race discussions. When I hear them talk to each other, they are not tiptoeing around touchy issues; they simply address each other like old pals. I found this refreshing because there was no message needed here, just fun witty banter. And… if you couldn’t infer from my tone earlier, I think this will lead into a crucial plot point in later episodes (que the dramatic music).
To wrap this up, the show starts of slow (like most new show must do to introduce you to the new world) but it picks up quick! Clearly my decision isn’t final with 10 episodes left, but I am feeling good about this one. Definitely dive in to this world if you are a fan of action, dark gritty stories and solid characters from the Marvel Universe.