Luke Cage – Harlem’s Superman

It’s no secret that Marvel’s Netflix shows are good. But just how good is what continues to surprise.

Daredevil changed the game for superhero television. Essentially improving on everything that Arrow delivered in it’s first season—down to origin relating flashback sequences—Daredevil proved that superheroes could be at their darkest and still be that shining light of hope we want them to be.

Jessica Jones, however, was an entirely different ball game, delving deeper into the darkness of the tortured human psyche than most people would expect from what could be confused for another superhero show. Nevertheless, it ended on a positive note that sought to remind us that not all heroes are that way by choice.

Enter Luke Cage. Man, for a show where the guy doesn’t get into costume, it’s amazing how much this feels like a superhero show compared to the likes of Daredevil and Arrow. Sure, the other two have costumes and whatnot, but Luke Cage takes heroism to an all-new front.

Keeping up with Luke following the events of Jessica Jones (don’t worry, short of a few references and one character, the show stands independently of its predecessors), this series actually has more in common with Daredevil.

Pitting a man of the streets against those who would seem to corrupt it for their own gain is certainly not a new concept, but Luke Cage steers clear of tropes and even delivers something different from Daredevil.

Although very obvious parallels can be drawn between the two (and even their villains, Cottonmouth and Kingpin), the writers for Luke Cage go the extra mile to differentiate the pacing of the two shows as much as possible. The most significant being that while Daredevil’s deep dark secret simply was being Daredevil, Luke Cage’s a man with an actual past that’s distinctively separate from his present day journey… until it comes looking for him.

While the writing for most of the Marvel-Netflix shows have been sharp, dialogue takes a backseat here as the powerful soundtrack steals the spotlight.

From live musical performances by the original artistes to a brilliant selection of songs that pretty much date the history of Black-American and Hip-Hop culture, Luke Cage not only keeps your fist pumping with raw, brutal action living up to Daredevil’s sequences, but also your head nodding in time with the beats that set the rhythm of the series.

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