By Sam Brussell
“Sweet Christmas” said as smooth as ever by the giant, kind, smooth, cool bulletproof man Luke Cage, who was played to perfection once again by Mike Colter in Netflix‘s “Luke Cage.“ Serving as a supporting character in “Jessica Jones,“ Luke Cage finally steps into the spotlight for his own solo outing. Along with Luke Cage comes a new setting and atmosphere, we say bye-bye to Hell’s Kitchen for 13 episodes and check in on Marvel‘s take on the streets of Harlem.
Set a few months after the events of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage has taken refuge within the streets of Harlem working at a local barbershop. Not wanting his abilities to be discovered, Luke simply want to be left the hell alone. But in most cases, heroes don’t usually get what they want as trouble is always lurking around. This time trouble is in the form of politician Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard) and her crime boss cousin, Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes (Mahershala Ali). Acting as Harlem’s king of crime, Cornell has a calm demeanor about him that makes him keep his cool but once you cross him he doesn’t take to that lightly and will become extremely aggressive toward people. He allows for people to fear him with little doubt in their head and is pretty much Harlem’s version of the Kingpin. When Cottenmouth hits Luke where it matters most, the bulletproof man has no choice but to hit Cottenmouth where it hurts the most in order to protect Harlem.
Nowadays, shows tackle on a number of social issues such as feminism, race, and law enforcement. Many shows such as “Jessica Jones” and “Game of Thrones” have tacked these topics numerous times. But after watching Luke Cage, it has become in my mind the best t show of 2016 to tackle the social issues of today. The show doesn’t try to hit you on the head with all of the social issues they present you but give audiences enough to give cause to pause and think about the message this show is trying to display to the audiences.
The cast in Luke Cage alone is enough to praise this show; while the whole cast did a grade A job there were certainly a few stand outs from the cast such as Mahershala Ali for his role as Cottenmouth, Mike Colter as Luke Cage who brings a sense a cool and slickness to Cage along with being indestructible. Another stand out of mine was Theo Rossi as Shades. Though he didn’t have a lot to do for the role I do love the subtleness that he brought to the character in which he was quiet but deadly. Another huge piece of that Marvel has going for it are the strong women leads and Luke Cage has plenty of those to go around from Simone Missick as Det. Misty Knight to Rosario Dawson who has the biggest part as Claire Temple in the MCU Netflix shows since “Daredevil” season 1.
While it does take a while for the show to build up in the first few episodes; by episode 3 and 4 you are engaged and ready to go for the ride. “Luke Cage” is out right now on Netflix.