Review: Luke Cage (Season 1 – 2016) **Spoiler Free**

Mike Colter as Luke Cage
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Luke Cage Comparison - Netflix vs Comic

Luke Cage Comparison – Netflix vs Comic

Luke Cage is the latest series in a line of Netflix/Marvel adaptations leading us up to The Defenders mini-series due to air in 2018.

It follows Luke Cage (Mike Colter) after the events of the Jessica Jones series from last year, where we were first introduced to his character.

Now living in Harlem after fleeing Hell’s Kitchen in the final episode of Jessica Jones, we follow the story of Luke Cage coming out of his quiet life in the shadows to become the street level hero that Harlem needs.

So who is Luke Cage? Luke Cage is an ex-convict previously known as Carl Lucas and is on the run after escaping prison for crimes he didn’t commit. While in prison he was the subject of underhand experiments which gave him his bulletproof skin and immense physical strength.

Now living in Harlem, New York, Luke is trying to keep his head down and get on with his life without drawing too much attention to himself. After an explosive start to the series, Luke is thrown back in to the limelight as Harlem’s hero while he tries to battle corrupt politicians, gang lords and a blast from the past.

If, like me, you’re not too familiar with the back story of Luke Cage’s character, this 13 episode series takes the time to revisit his past via flashbacks throughout regular episodes as well as nearly a whole episode at Seagate Prison dedicated to showing us where Luke came from and what made him the man he is today.

While we’ve already been introduced to Luke Cage in Jessica Jones Season 1, this gives us a more complex look into the character and the morals that he stands for as well as his conflicting personality of wanting to stay out of the limelight while also doing the right thing at the same time.

Luke Cage is complimented by characters of  Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali), Misty Knight (Simone Missick), Shades (Theo Rossi), Diamondback (Erik LaRay Harvey), Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard) and Netflix/Marvel regular, Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson). However the series is ultimately supported by the backdrop of Harlem itself and the soundtrack highlights the culture of this area.

As with any release from Marvel, Luke Cage has Easter Eggs galore referencing both the other Netflix/Marvel series (past and future) along with the MCU as a whole. Whether that be the picture of Stan Lee on an Anti-Crime poster, the use of Hammer Technology (Iron Man 2), mentions of ‘The Incident’ (The Avengers) or Claire’s mentioning of the other Netflix cast (Daredevil & Jessica Jones), there are plenty there to pick up on for any media and MCU geeks like myself.

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Luke Cage

Overall, Luke Cage is a really rewarding series to watch that touches on modern political, social and moral issues, while still having the same dark and gritty edge that we’re now accustomed to from the Netflix/Marvel shows. It runs parallel on the MCU timeline to Daredevil Season 2 which is evident from wounds received by Claire in one series carrying across to the other.

If you’re a fan of Daredevil Season 1 & 2, along with Jessica Jones, you’d be silly not to give this a watch. It gives the perfect build-up towards The Defenders mini-series that is due to start filming shortly, if it hasn’t already done so. The ending is left suitably open to bring at least 2 members of The Defenders together and personally, I can’t wait!

If you’ve seen Luke Cage, please let me know what you thought of the series in the comments below, or feel free to tweet me via @8dayssooner. Also, if you enjoyed reading this please share using the below buttons.

Mike x

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