Luke Cage is exactly what the world needs right now, while being a disappointment as a show at the same time. Netflix’s newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe gives us more about the character introduced in Jessica Jones, following him while he’s staying under the radar in Harlem as he accepts his role as a hero. Mike Colter’s powerful performance as Cage makes the series, bringing a depth to the beloved character, and is joined by a powerful cast playing interesting allies and antagonists. Even the neighbourhood feels like a character, and it is supported by a wonderfully fitting soundtrack filled with ‘90’s hip hop beats.
However, the plot feels slow and lacks substance, and it appears that thirteen episodes might have been too much. The series starts with well-developed and thrilling antagonists, but when it switches to another enemy halfway through the series it all goes downhill. This new threat is underdeveloped, lacks the right back-story, and the grand finale is a huge letdown.
Yet the strong political commentary within the series shows why the world needs Luke: with a bulletproof black man as its main character and a predominantly non-white cast, the whole show reflects contemporary conflicts and debates, there’s no possibility of ignoring it. Luke Cage is holding a mirror to the world, and considering the people who went onto the internet calling the series ‘racist’ for its lack of white characters, it is more than necessary. Even with its many flaws, we need Luke Cage.