Netflix is never ceasing to amaze us with its original television series coming out year after year. For Marvel partnering with Netflix, this is no exception; with the latter’s acquisition by Disney years back, the brand of Marvel has skyrocketed to new levels. Spanning from novels, comics, toys, games, films (an obvious one) and television with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. and Agent Carter being some of the first to grace our televisions weekly, has been both critically negative and but also positively received by many with some exceptional cameos and foreshadowing of the films.
So when Netflix first came out with Daredevil back in 2015, the series shocked everyone with its very adult themes and (finally) a darker tone to the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen and Marvel Universe as a whole. With the television series’ critical success Netflix saw this as an opportunity to make their own MCU for television while still sharing the same universe with the films as well. After Daredevil’s success we saw the introduction of Jessica Jones, a former superhero now turned private detective; this was Luke Cage’s first appearance. Now finally we have our third television series installment in our Netflix-Marvel Universe: Luke Cage.
Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter, is a human mutate (in other comics he is experimented on like Wolverine) that portrays unbreakable skin, accelerated healing and superhuman strength; in the Netflix series, Cage is experimented on that give him these abilities and becomes a fugitive of the law and returns to Harlem, his home, only to be forced to confront his past and keep those that he loves dearly safe from harm and organized crime, namely Cage’s nemesis Cottonmouth, who plagues the city throughout the series.
Here we are in the final months of 2016, with still another Marvel film to go, Netflix finally released Luke Cage for us just last week and it couldn’t have gone any better. Mike Colter playing as the titular Luke Cage shows both the mentality, physicality and emotion that is shown by the character in the comics and more; the narrative of the story, acting from the cast and the overall backdrop to a darker world that somewhat mirror’s to today’s life on the streets for our younger generation unfortunately: the easy access to guns and the selling of drugs in an attempt to make a quick buck that ultimately opens their lives to the inner workings of the criminal syndicate in an intimate way. When this series is not contributing to the backdrop of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is paying homage to the struggles of African-Americans in our country for the last thirty years and more.
Luke Cage is probably the best written Netflix-Marvel series to date and highly recommended; it is only whetting our appetite for the forthcoming Defenders series that will feature all of our titular characters that Netflix has debuted in such a fashion; however we still have Neflix’s Iron Fist still to come and then the Punisher to feature after the Defenders. Netflix has us reeling for more folks and I can say with confidence that, so far, they haven’t disappointed us yet.