Just finished watching Marvel’s Luke Cage. The show was fun to watch and is a great addition to the MCU. Many criticized the show for being too ‘black’ but considering the hero and the setting; the whole thing was just fine. Think of it as another Eddie Murphy film without much of the humor. Mike Colter did great as Luke Cage, fresh from his adventure with Jessica Jones. There was also some fine performances from the rest of the cast such as veteran Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard, Mahershala Ali as Cottonmouth and Simone Missick as Misty Knight.
The series also introduced viewers to other Marvel characters, mainly Misty Knight. Other notable comic book characters include villains Diamondback and Cottonmouth. There are several Diamondback characters in the Marvel Universe and the one featured here was the first. The second was a female named Rachel Leighton who had relations with Steve Rogers in the comics. Cottonmouth was reimagined as a gangster without powers, and the same goes for Diamondback who gained artificial powers using a suit that somewhat matches the comic book costume. The suit’s technology seems similar to the Centipede program used by HYDRA in Agents of SHIELD. Now, this show addresses some complaints about connections to the mainstream MCU. It has more mentions of the New York ‘incident’ than what was given in Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Diamondback’s weapons that can harm Luke Cage are directly connected to the Chitauri invasion. There are also mentions of the events in Jessica Jones and the appearance of Claire Temple, who now has a bigger role, directly connects the two shows as well as several Easter eggs and nods for comic fans to spot.
But then again, the lack of connection becomes apparent when an incident in the show involving Cage, a super-powered individual, and a Harlem councilman held hostage should have at least attracted the attention of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Spider-Man or any low-key Avenger who still works with Stark. The same thing was with Daredevil Season 2 when The Hand put a hospital under siege. I was expecting Jessica Jones or Luke Cage to jump in to protect Claire Temple.
But overall, Luke Cage is a good show. It got slow at times like in Jessica Jones, but we get to see Luke display his powers often. In a show full of gangsters with guns, the show gets expensive with hoodies. What’s also great about the show is the music. Luke Cage takes a page from Guardians of the Galaxy by mixing the show with a great soundtrack with plenty of African-American artists, thanks to its Harlem Paradise club set.
After Luke Cage comes Iron Fist which will be shown next year. Fans are abuzz with the show’s recently released trailer. Iron Fist generated a bit of controversy due to casting concerns since it’s a story of a Caucasian man running around New York doing martial arts. Iron Fist was conceived in a time when there wasn’t much racial enlightenment within the entertainment industry. There’s really not much improvement considering casting choices within Dr. Strange, Ghost in the Shell, Dragonball Evolution, The Last Airbender and Exodus: Gods and Kings. But Iron Fist’s story is viable. A white man getting lost in the Himalayas and later doing Kung Fu? Why Not? And since that was the premise for Iron Fist, changing him into an Asian American kind of diminishes what makes the character unique. Given it’s a martial arts series, the show could feature Marvel’s genuine Asian martial arts hero, Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu. Unfortunately, he didn’t appear in the trailer. But who did appear in the trailer, is a familiar Marvel character, Colleen Wing. Her name also appears near the end of the Luke Cage series. Rumor has it that Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson will appear in a cameo or a small role in the series since he is a big fan and that he’s been promised by Jeph Loeb. Now that is what we’d call connected.
One of the most notable updates in Marvel’s TV universe so far is the inclusion of Sigourney Weaver as an antagonist in the upcoming Defenders series that brings together the MCU Netflix heroes which would be the biggest in-universe crossover in TV history, if you don’t count those Power Rangers specials. Back to Sigourney Weaver, they have yet to disclose who her character will be but she may have some ties with The Hand. Speculation is rife among fans as to who she will be. She could be any of the following female characters besides Elektra to be connected with The Hand– Erynys, Lady Bullseye, Lady Gorgon, Typhoid Mary and Viper; or an entirely original behind-the-scenes political character. The latter doesn’t seem likely for this versatile yet sci-fi-typecast actress.
And lastly, Jessica Jones will return after the events of The Defenders. There are no plots as of yet according to showrunner Melissa Rosenberg. What happens in Season Two will depend on the outcome of the TV crossover but one thing is certain, according to her, Jessica will still be messed up despite getting her revenge on Killgrave. The thing about trauma is that even if the cause is resolved, the trauma often stays and that’s what makes Jones a compelling character among the other Marvel heroes that work in the sun. So after Luke Cage and Iron Fist, it will be exciting to see what’s in store for us in The Defenders. It would be great to see Kristen Ritter’s pretty face again in a new production.