For me, Netflix's "Jessica Jones" seemed a backward way of introducing Marvel's kick-ass hero, Luke Cage: that is, I thought Cage (damn it) should have had a series first. However, Michael Colter's presence in Jones' re-imagined world proved influential enough to grant him his own series, which Netflix premieres this Friday (9/30). Its arrival has many fans rejoicing, and I dare say, I'm now included in that avid crowd.
As with other Netflix shows, "Luke Cage'"s cast is most impressive. In addition to Colter, there's Mahershala Ali as nightclub-owner/villain, Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes; Alfre Woodard as Cottonmouth's politician cousin, Mariah Dillard; Theo Rossi as slick baddie "Shades" Alvarez; Simone Missick as Misty Knight, a moral-based detective partnered with Frank Whaley's tough and cynical Rafael Scarfe. (Also, "Daredevil'"s Rosario Dawson will be visiting for a significant chunk of episodes.)
All thirteen episodes will be available for viewing on the first day of release, and as we witnessed in "Jessica Jones", Cage will be devoid of his '70s blaxploitation trimmings. However, the show's tone will still be action-oriented, though more in the atmospheric vein of M. Night Shyamalan's "Unbreakable": a formula also established in "Jessica Jones". Additionally, we're promised insight on how Cage's impenetrable skin came to be and watch him rise as a Harlem guardian.
The Cage series demonstrates how serious Netflix is in presenting a Marvel equivalent to CW's DC universe. There seems little doubt that "Luke Cage" will capture the same successful essence of Netflix's preceding superhero shows and somewhere down the line, cross permanently into them. (Let's not forget that "Jessica Jones: Season 2" and "Daredevil: Season 3"; as well as the "Punisher" and "Iron Fist" series are yet on the way, just itchin' for some two-fisted visitors.)