“What We Want to See in Marvel’s Luke Cage”

“Whatever you make of their feature film and network television output, Marvel have hardly put a foot wrong with their foray into various adult-oriented Netflix series, with both Daredevil and Jessica Jones being warmly received for their gritty depictions and darker action.

Luke Cage, an adaptation of the blaxploitation-inspired superhero created in the 1970s is the next offering from Netflix and Marvel. Cage will be the first black superhero since Blade to headline his own movie or TV series, so expectations are high for the character, perhaps unfairly so. Some have even pondered whether or not Mike Colter’s depiction of Cage in Jessica Jones really made him seem complex enough to carry his own series.

While all our fears might be proved groundless once the series is released (and let’s be honest, they probably will be), here is What We Want to See in Marvel’s Luke Cage.

Both Marvel Netflix series have followed a similar pattern: a super-powered individual with a colorful grab-bag of friends works tirelessly to take down an enigmatic, enormously powerful and manipulative man who wreaks a path of destruction through various innocent lives. This man will at times make you want to punch and/or hug them. After approximately 13 episodes, justice is served.

That’s not to say that Jessica Jones is a carbon copy of Daredevil; the two are leagues apart in so many ways it makes their similarities easy to ignore. Still, it’s time to see something different. The series still needs a villain, but this is the time to take things in a different direction. Kingpin was an untouchable crime boss, Kilgrave was a manipulative stalker with terrifying abilities, but both journeys thus far have revolved around bringing this person to justice. Luke Cage has the chance to tell a different story.

Make no mistake: we’re still getting all the grit of the previous stories. There’s still going to be a scene where Luke sits in a darkened room and has some super-angst about his super-powers and things he did in his super-past. In fact, we’re probably getting entire episodes of this.

Still, the entire focus of the series has to be on something other than Cage being tormented by a villain who he’ll eventually end up curb-stomping in the finale…”



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