TV Review: Marvel’s Luke Cage (Netflix)

Netflix spotlights the next member of Marvel’s Defenders Luke Cage has finally made it to the screen. Fan have been waiting forever for this. Since 2003, there was a lot […]

Netflix spotlights the next member of Marvel’s Defenders

Luke Cage has finally made it to the screen. Fan have been waiting forever for this. Since 2003, there was a lot of talk about bringing Cage to a different medium, and it’s great to finally see him headline his own series. Thanks to Netflix, I was able to take a look at the first seven episodes.

Mike Colter reprises the role of Luke Cage that he started in the Jessica Jones series. We pick up the story many months later. Luke is trying to keep a low profile by sweeping up hair in a barbershop in Harlem. But pretty soon he realizes that with his gifts of unbreakable skin and super strength, it’s up to him to clean up Harlem.

The show is extremely well done. The tone is a little different from Jessica Jones. While it’s the same character, it does seems a little different. I really like how well educated they make Cage seem. I’m not trying to know the character, but when he was created back in the 70’s, he was a sign of the times. But Colter does a great job playing the reluctant hero.

Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker gave the entire series a slight “Blaxploitation” feel to it. Honestly, I found that interesting, but it works here. Coker gets that Harlem is a character within itself. Music is also extremely important to Coker for driving this story.

The main villain of the series is Mahershala Ali as Cottonmouth. I have to admit, I truly don’t understand why he’s called that. Maybe I missed something. But still, Ali does a great job of this gangster, one of the many trying to fill the void Wilson Fisk left. The other villain of our piece is Alfre Woodard, who plays Black Mariah and cousin to Cottonmouth. Mariah is more of a political villain, then a straight gangster.

Simone Missick plays homicide detective Misty Knight. Misty is trying to get to the truth of who’s running things down in Harlem, as well as figuring out the mystery of Luke Cage. This is the problem with being a comic reader. In the comics, Misty has a bionic arm, so part of me keeps waiting to see this happen. If it does, it does. If it doesn’t it doesn’t.

Of course, tying in all the Netflix series together is Claire Temple, played by Rosario Dawson. Her role is great as always. She even offers to introduce Cage to a “lawyer down in Hell’s Kitchen!”

I truly liked what I saw, but I have to admit I’m really missing the character of D.W. Griffith. He’s been one of Cage’s best friends since Cage first appeared, so I kind of got used to him being around. But this is the Marvel Cinematic Universe and there are some changes.

One of the best things about this show that in the opening credits it actually says “Based on the Marvel Comics by Archie Goodwin, John Romita, Sr., George Tuska, and Roy Thomas.” Marvel hasn’t been giving the creators credit where credit is good, so it’s so nice to see this. Bravo Marvel for finnally doing the right thing.

With each of these individual series that come out, really makes me more excited for the Defenders series to start. Cage is just a great addition to the street level Marvel heroes.

Marvel’s Luke Cage premieres on September 30th, with all episodes available same day.

Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

About Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

An avid comic collector/reader for over 40 years and self-proclaimed professor of comicology, Brian original started up the site Pendragon's Post to share his voice. Well that voice has been shared, and evolved into The Fanboy Factor. Brian is an advocate for remembering comic roots, and that we don't forget what was created in the past, and encourage everyone to read it as well. When not swimming in geek culture, he can be seen corrupting..introducing his young son to comics, much to his wife's chagrin.