I still don’t have Netflix.
I know most of my audience are probably already aware of the next phase of the internet division of the Marvel Cinematic TV Netflix Universe, but for any who missed it, it’s the trailer for Luke Cage (because I guess we don’t call him Power Man anymore), part of Netflix’s wave of “street level” Marvel heroes. Previously we had Daredevil and Cage’s current comic wife (although we know how marriage goes in superhero comics these days) Jessica Jones and Iron Fist is still waiting for his turn.
Luke Cage, the first “Hero For Hire”, was created to cash in on “Blaxsploitation” films but managed to get out of that and find his own place when that movie fad went away. So how does he translate to modern film?
He didn’t say “Sweet Christmas” once. I blame Brian Michael Bendis!
The Netflix has been more on the dark side than its movie or television brethren, but not as dark as DC’s usual stuff. Underneath the flasher situations that Iron Man and Captain America have dealt with is a darker side of New York, or at least that’s what Netflix would rather do despite the lighter tones of the MCU doing better than the darker, more serious DC. Why do you think they’re pushing the lighter elements of Justice League? Because lighter elements didn’t exist until this and that one scene in the Wonder Woman movie with Etta Candy.
On its own merits, however, I do like the general concept. Luke gets superpowers by force and is angry for it. That’s no surprise. So the series seems to be about coming to terms with what happened to him and a responsibility to his neighborhood and friends. (Race isn’t a factor since the villain is black as well, which goes against the Blaxsploitation roots but with current race relations they may have made the right decision.
One thing I wish we saw was more of what he can do. They focused a lot on his being bulletproof and that once scene where he didn’t even notice the punch, but this is “TV”. Throwing a man through a window doesn’t denote super strength like it would in real life. (I fell into a window off my bike once because I was an idiot, and even punched one as a kid not realizing I could break it, and in both cases they didn’t shatter like that.)
What I’d really like, though, is for these shows to air on TV at some point, preferably a station I have because we can’t afford the highest tier stations at the moment, much less Netflix. Or maybe offer the show free for a day. Hulu has shows that don’t need a subscription to watch, even some originals, but Netflix and Amazon haven’t even considered those. So I’ll have to hear from you guys if this show is as good as fans have said about Daredevil and Jessica’s series. So far the MCU has a good track record, though.