A character piece at heart, Luke Cage prioritizes smaller, more intimate moments that turn pleasantries into payoffs and ultimately make for a more sophisticated, more focused series. Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker, a former journalist, cuts into Cage with an almost surgical care, pulling out pieces of him we didn’t get to see when he first busted onto the scene in last year’s incredible Jessica Jones.
While he’s not the most powerful or the most interesting character in Marvel’s pantheon of tightly-clothed heroes, Luke Cage possesses a vulnerability that transforms him from a simple, musclebound ex-con to a dynamic, empathetic character we can all get behind. Luckily, Mike Colter comes to the role pre-equipped; his crowd-pleasing turn on Jessica Jones helped him (and his viewers) grow accustomed to his performance. Now, with his warm-up finished, Colter can approach his character with fewer restrictions and less restraint.
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If Jessica Jones tackled the how, then Luke Cage answers the why. You’d think an impenetrable powerhouse would be a tough nut to crack, but Coker approaches the series with all the tools required to do just that. His creative decisions suggest a deep understanding of Cage’s character that proves to be as impressive as it is needed; the Harlem hunk isn’t a character with whom casual fans are incredibly familiar, but Coker remedies this. He makes his love for Cage abundantly clear, ensuring that viewers come away from the series with a better grasp of his inner machinations and motivations.
The pages ahead will attempt to list the best, most shocking moments from Marvel’s newest hit. I say “attempt” because it wasn’t easy picking a mere seven moments from such a phenomenal series. Regardless of whether or not you agree though, I hope you at least enjoy.