TV series review: Luke Cage S1

Sometimes it seems that Marvel accounts for 80-90% of the media I consume. I see all their movies and I watch a good number of their TV shows, with the latter being particularly impressive given how little TV I actually manage to find the time to watch. Still, I have a healthy appetite for what their producing and I have to say, their TV series just keep getting better and better. The first series of Luke Cage is possibly the best one yet.

Marvel Vault artwork for Luke Cage – Season One of the Netflix Version looks a lot cooler. Image credit: Flickr user resrez

Those who have already seen Jessica Jones will recognise the titular character as Jones’s sometime boyfriend. A troubled man, grieving for his late wife, Cage has super strength and seems to be almost entirely invulnerable, physically. In this series we get to learn a lot more about his background; where he came from, how he got his powers and his reasons for showing up now, in Harlem.

The first thing that struck me about the series was the score. The music is beautiful from start to finish, even the opening credits theme (something that usually gets on my nerves). If someone made the soundtrack to my life, I’d want it to be this, but I’d be nowhere near cool enough to deserve it.

Then there’s the story. While the last few Marvel series that I’ve watched have been almost disturbingly dark, with scenes I found difficult to watch, this one keeps up the dark but makes it somehow more believable. There are more ordinary people with ordinary ambitions and lives, trying to get by without the additional complications presented by people with superpowers and the super villains they attract.

Mike Colter is fantastic as Cage and I was pleased to see Rosario Dawson back as Claire Temple, a character I’m loving more and more as we see her cropping up again and again. That said, it’s a totally solid cast with the acting sometimes terrifyingly good – the only possible weak point was Erik LaRay Harvey’s portrayal of Diamondback, which I found a little over the top compared to Mahershala Ali’s Cottonmouth, but perhaps that’s just me.

Either way, the characters are fun, the backstories are intriguing and watching the writers rise to the challenge of creating genuine, believable peril for a supposedly invulnerable hero is very enjoyable. More, please.


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