Luke Cage review

Luke+Cage+may+have+super+powers%2C+but+many+can+relate+to+him.
Luke Cage may have super powers, but many can relate to him.

Luke Cage may have super powers, but many can relate to him.

Luke Cage may have super powers, but many can relate to him.

Russell St. George, Features Editor

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Netflix’s Luke Cage brings together what Marvel does best in both its movie slate and its streaming series; they have created a relatable hero with the intrigue and strength of the Hulk and the emotional depth of Daredevil.

 

Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter, has the added appeal of timeliness, as a black man stands up for what’s right, amid a cultural shift in American history as racial tensions are high and the “black lives matter” movement gains ground.

 

After being introduced in Netflix’s Jessica Jones, Luke has left Hell’s Kitchen for Harlem where he works multiple jobs and stays on the low, though his barbershop boss, named Pop, inspires him to do the right thing and use his bulletproof skin and insurmountable strength to be a hero. 

 

The plot develops as local gangster Cornell Stokes, also known as Cottonmouth, ruffles some feathers after a gun deal goes south, and a lot of his power and energy goes toward covering up to help his politician cousin Mariah Dillard, who is working to keep Harlem a strong and ambitious African-American community.

 

While keeping black culture as a high point in this series, executive producer Cheo Hodari Coker keeps most of the story focused on the hero Luke Cage.  A cool part of the show is the African American singers and jazz artists that make appearances in the villain Cottonmouth’s club. Artists such as Raphael Saadiq and Faith Evans have musical cameos. 

The success of the show will ultimately come down to Colter’s performance and complete immersion of his role, as he becomes the good guy hero Marvel fans enjoy. Besides being quite the physical and strong specimen, he has an emotional depth that adds a sense of humanity to his burly presence. The women all want him, and the men don’t want to get in a fight with him.

Colter is lucky to have such an incredible supporting characters and roles; Cottonmouth and councilwoman Mariah Dillard give dimension and intrigue to their complex antagonistic roles. And Simone Missick plays the complex character of Misty Knight, a NYPD detective who is both Luke’s love interest and the person trying to put him behind bars.

 

Cage is arguably one of Marvel’s best TV series yet because of his relatable nature and depth, and the sense that his powers are not so far out there, making him seem incredibly real.

 

 

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