By: Sam Martini ~Staff Writer~
Following the events of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage is the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe television show to come out of Netflix. It follows the titular character, who has picked up a few jobs in Harlem to rebuild his life until his past meets up with him, making him fight for his loved ones and the people of Harlem.
The various performances throughout the show are amazing. Mike Colter returns as the title character and gives a fantastic performance while staying true to his comic book counterpart.
Having grown through the events in Jessica Jones, Colter gives us a great reluctance to move on from his past and through the present and moving on from his wife.
Truly, the best performances are given by the women of the cast. Simone Missick and Alfre Woodard really anchor the cast and bring more to the show.
Missick plays Misty Knight, a police detective who grew up in Harlem and longs to clean its streets from the reoccurring gang violence. She ends up getting mixed into Luke Cage’s struggle but sticks to her guns and stays on the side of the law. Missick provides a great sense of right and wrong as she struggles to find out the truth of Harlem.
On the other side of the moral spectrum is Woodard’s Mariah Dillard, a politician descended from one of the biggest crime families of Harlem. She longs to bring Harlem back to the renaissance, but behind it all she has different motives.
Woodard gives a fantastic twofaced performance that leaves you guessing about what she actually believes and where she sides on the moral line.
Of the various villains in Luke Cage, my personal favorite is Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, played by Mahershala Ali. Cottonmouth is the cousin of Mariah Dillard who provides her funding through various gang dealings while constructing his own crime empire. Ali does a great job of portraying the villain, giving him a sort of power and providing the intensity to keep it. While the character has a turn in the middle of the series, you end up feeling for him and wanting more of that tragedy.
Not only are the characters great, but the setting is fantastically illustrated.
Harlem plays just as big a role as Luke Cage, providing an engaging surrounding for the characters and bringing to life the rich history that exists in Harlem today.
With this being the latest of the Marvel Netflix shows, I cannot wait to see what comes next. Luke Cage is a great series that will leave you wanting more and excited for the next character they bring to this universe.
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