I both liked and didn’t like “Luke Cage”. I like Cage himself, and some of his supporting characters like Pops and Claire. Cottonmouth and his relationship to Cage seemed unnecessary with everything else that they had done up to that point (last few episodes). Giving Cottonmouth a bodysuit that could match Cage’s strength seemed kind of lame. I liked how Cage got support from all sorts of men in his community when the police were looking for him and so many men were wearing shirts riddled with holes. I didn’t like how the special effects always relied on him punching holes in walls, lifting up a few heavy items, and getting his shirts ruined by being riddled and ripped from bullets. They relied on this way too much. The politics of Cage and Harlem were of interest, and seedy, and lively. The colors for the series were brightly garish with lots of deep tones and they had a specific visual style with lots of earth tones and evening scenes that helped set the series and give it a visual panache…but they overshadowed the story (or, the story just wasn’t strong enough to keep up with them?) and the story got off to too slow a start. I was getting bored and not into it until episode 4 (I think) when they went back to Cage in Seagate prison and showed his devolution into a fight club convict. It got better at this point but still took too long to develop. So I have mixed feelings about season 1.
I watched this before I watched season 1 of “Jessica Jones”. They introduced Luke in that series and ultimately I thought they presented him more solidly than did his own self-titled series (then again “Jessica Jones” season 1 was fantastic and chilling from a psychological and character perspective). I’m hoping for more grit and more spfx from season 2. In the comics Cage was a Blaxploitation hero and low rent for a long time but dude got his due in the 2000s. I’m glad that Netflix and Marvel gave this street level hero his own TV series I just wish they had gone for it more and hope they still give him his due. Great character. 3.5 stars.