Netflix’s version of Luke Cage, an iconic Marvel character, has received his own TV show. The first season dropped on the streaming service recently and it has been gaining a lot of attention.
Luke Cage is one of precious few TV shows that are tackling current affairs such as race. The one other show I can think of is Donald Glover’s Atlanta. Like Glover’s comedy/drama about the rap game, Luke Cage presents real and difficult issues in a digestible way.
It doesn’t feel like a show about race because it is taking place within the Marvel universe. The superhero genre is used as a back drop, it feels like you are watching that kind of show. However, in reality it is about the problems concerning race relations and violent crime on the streets.
With that being said, Luke Cage is not tough going by any stretch of the imagination. It is actually very fast paced and mostly upbeat. The quick tempo jazz music could be partly responsible for that. This contrasts greatly with the dower tone of A.K.A. Jessica Jones. This was where Mike Colter’s Luke Cage first appeared.
Luke Cage is far more interesting and charismatic in his solo series than his minor role in Jessica Jones. Personally I found the character rather one dimensional and bland in Jessica Jones. There is a lot more to him here.
Luke Cage is a very important character and I feel that his intelligence and charisma is key to its success. The character of Luke Cage is a role model to a lot of young men. His ability to take on many roles; show different sides to himself and know his values are what make him an inspiration.
There is something very retro about the show, particularly the locations. There are strange moments where you feel like you have stepped back in time, you are then snapped back into present day when someone mentions Instagram or Nicki Minaj.
There is also something very theatrical and stylised about it. At times the delivery of certain lines are deliberately over the top. A strange and theatrical moment is usually followed by a punctuation mark of sorts in the jazzy music. It gives it a B-movie vibe.
This version of Harlem is such a deep and unique microcosm that you forget that the story is taking place in the MCU. We get the occasional reference, reminding us that Luke Cage exists in the same universe as The Avengers.
It was really interesting to get a street perspective on the invasion of New York, or ‘The Incident’ as it is called here. The man selling footage of the invasion on the street corner talked about it with suspicion. It was a reminder that average people do not fully understand what went down. Perhaps these links to the wider cinematic universe add credence to the rumors that the Netflix characters could come into play in Infinity War.
I am only a few episodes into Luke Cage but as you can see, I already have a lot to say on it. I look forward to delving deeper into this story. For more entertainment and combat sports news, hit that subscribe button!