The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had some ups and downs as of late. The cancellation of Marvel’s Agent Carter and the pulling the plug on the upcoming Marvel’s Most Wanted. Cable television has become the domain of the DC television series with hits like Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. Marvel has found a safe haven in online with Netflix, starting with Daredevil the streaming service gained a massive following. The next big hit Jessica Jones stepped up onto the awards stage winning several awards. Now we get a whole other glimpse into the world of the heroes of New York with Marvel’s Luke Cage.
The series picks up sometime after the events of Jessica Jones. Luke, played by Mike Colter, is doing his best staying off the grid living in Harlem. He works jobs under the table staying off the books to avoid notice. Luke is swept into the path of Cottonmouth; played by Mahershala Ali, and politician Mariah Stokes, played by award winning actress Alfre Woodard. Both have a plan for Harlem but are the plans noble?
The series channels the elements of blaxploitation films of the seventies mixed with a soundtrack of modern rap. We get a good look into the past of Luke Cage and how he came to be an indestructible man taking on the crime in Harlem.
Netflix is able to do what many cable networks cannot do, show the gritty truth about being a hero in the world. Luke has to face racism, black on black crime, ghetto life and life in a prison in the deep south. The series like all the others has done an amazing job reimagining old campy villains into realistic villains. For example, Cottonmouth has risen from small time thug to a crime kingpin. While Mariah Stokes fills the shoes well of being a female villain, a politician who has family ties to crime.
This series is one I cannot wait to see a second season. But we will have to look forward to Iron Fist and The Defenders in the meantime.