Luke Cage, season 1

The show hit the nail on the head when they said there’s something liberating about watching a bullet proof black man be the hero. Especially in Harlem. Especially in Harlem while the police are shooting at him. Especially in Harlem while the police are shooting at him, in today’s America.

For a show based on a comic from the 70s, it’s so topical, it’s gone meta.

And although the lead character of Luke is a super-powered, lovely, literature quoting and ludicrously hot black man (the all-important three Ls), he’s oddly the most boring character in the show. This said a lot because he’s boring by no means.

Forget irritating additions like Daredevil’s Foggy and everyone on Jessica Jones, the beauty of Luke Cage is that – for the first time in Marvel’s adventure into TV land – I have a cast who are three dimensional and compelling. I love watching all of them. This achievement is a combination of great writing being gifted to brilliant actors.

Simone Missick as Misty Knight is my find of the season. Her face is wondrously expressive without venturing into Telenovella territory. And how the hell did they get Alfre Woodard?!? That woman is an infinitely watchable miracle.

All but one of the cast is black which, like the rest of the show, says so much. There are knowing nods to structural racism. There’s less than subtle shout-outs to 70s blaxploitation. There’s commentary on family bonds in every form. And while all that’s good, that’s not the reason why you watch Luke Cage.

You watch Luke Cage because it’s fun.

In this comic book world of pensive Supermen and mentally tormented Batmen, it’s wonderful to know that someone finally remembered to stop taking themselves so seriously and that good action-drama need not be over dramatic.


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