Luke Cage is one of the best series on Netflix right now. With extraordinary hip-hop tunes, outstanding action sequences, and a beautiful presentation of Harlem’s blackness, Luke Cage is a show about one of the most badass black superheroes.
After a failed experiment during his time in prison, Carl Lucas was given super strength and unbreakable skin. He later becomes a fugitive and moves to Harlem to rebuild himself under the name of Luke Cage. Luke swims through life low-key while sweeping at the neighborhood safe zone, Pops’ Barbershop, and washing dishes at local night club, Harlem’s Paradise. The trouble going on behind the scenes, however, finds Luke battling for Harlem and facing his past.
Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, the owner of Harlem’s Paradise, illegally deals arms. He allies himself with his cousin, Mariah Dillard, a mayoral candidate for Harlem. He agrees to fund her mayoral run to make Harlem “black again,” a propaganda push to bring the black artists back to the forefront.
I was a fan of Mariah, she has this ability to keep up a strong political presence in Harlem while attempting to hold her stature in the community, but it doesn’t mean she can’t do a little clean up. I thought Cottonmouth, however, was a lukewarm villain. His motives were off-putting and his build up was nearly for nothing. My predictability meter topped off; every move he made was shifty and easy to predict.
Although Luke was initially unaware of Cottonmouth and Mariah’s schemes, he soon catches on and wishes to put a stop to Cottonmouth once and for all. He must stay low-key, however. Carl Lucas was wrongfully placed into Seagate prison, but once he discovered his powers he escaped and has no plans of returning.
Mike Colter wraps us up in Luke Cage. He executes a cool, confident character who’s smooth and solid. My favorite thing about Luke’s character is his confidence; no matter what situation he’s in he holds a rock-steady demeanor. Luke doesn’t describe himself as a hero, adding a tinge of humbleness to him. Either way, he definitely knows how to scoop up several women in the series.
Which brings me to one of my favorite characters of the show, Misty Knight. Misty is a detective for the NYPD with a headstrong attitude and a knack for the work she does. She is so gifted that she envisions what happened at the scene before she arrived. After having “coffee,” the shows innuendo for sex, with Luke, Misty initially serves as somewhat of a rival to Luke, trying hard to align herself with her police duties. As the series progresses, however, Misty finds herself closer to Luke’s side of true justice.
Another prominent character in the series is Claire, who was first seen in Netflix’s Daredevil series. Introduced a little later than a lot of the characters, Claire finds herself offering aid to Luke. Claire is a hospital nurse from downtown NYC who has helped both Daredevil and Luke Cage when they were in trouble. While on her adventures with Luke, she encourages him to do what he thinks is right, no matter what the law says. She represents an angel on Luke’s shoulder.
While Daredevil is still one of Marvel’s strongest shows, Luke Cage lives up to the hype of the Superhero Television craze. While we sit back and enjoy these shows, once Defenders comes out next year, we’ll all be saying “Sweet Christmas!”
– Leo Rydel
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