“Luke Cage” Pilot Review

Oscar Flores, Copy Editor

After “Daredevil” season 2, the good folks of Marvel Studios gave us a small look at their upcoming Netflix show, “Luke Cage”.  After months of anticipation and two trailers later, the show finally released on Sept. 30.


When I first delved into the pilot episode, there was a clear difference right away.  There was an immediate contrast in tone from the two previous shows, “Jessica Jones”  and “Daredevil”.  Granted, the show takes place in Harlem, New York – a different location than the past two shows – but it was a nice change from the dark and ominous tone that Hell’s Kitchen, New York calls for.


The trend continues with the humor that is layered throughout the episode.  It is subtle humor that fits in line with not just the tone, but the relationship that is built with the characters.  The humor is not forced; instead, it is used at the right moments and when it is called for.


Mike Colter, who portrays the main character in the show, really embodies this character of Luke Cage and gives him life all the while maintaining the character consistent to how he was portrayed in “Jessica Jones”.  We also get a tease of Simone Missick’s character, Misty Knight.

While we don’t see as much of her character throughout the episode, we do see the type of relationship that blossoms between Colter’s and Missick’s character.  It starts off as a mutual interest between the two of them, but as events transpire, we start seeing hints towards what their relationship could possibly become.


More supporting characters consist of Mahershala Ali’s, Cornell Stokes AKA “Cottonmouth” and Frankie Faison’s, Pop.  Faison’s character is the one that really grounds Colter’s Luke Cage, and is that one that nudges him towards becoming the hero that Harlem deserves.  Ali’s “Cottonmouth” acts as the Kingpin of Harlem and shows the brutality that comes along with that title.


The action remains as brutal as the past Marvel shows.  The action sequences are not as choreographed as the ones seen in “Daredevil”  but they are just as graphic.  The few scenes that we see of this action shows bones breaking and blood spatter all around.


The show, as expected from the cinematography in Netflix’s past shows, really shines.  Instead of going for neutral colors, “Luke Cage” instead strives to highlight more vibrant colors like red, green, and especially yellow.  The focus on using these colors heavily add a new layer of meaning, tone, and mystery when the time is called for.


Overall, this episode was great.  It successfully introduces us to the characters and setting of this show while providing one hour of quality entertainment.  It includes many teases to what will transpire in the upcoming episodes and I am excited to see what comes next.