Netflix’s new Marvel series, Maraiah, had a pretty solid start with the first five episodes essentially forming a nice bloc to watch in one sitting, these three episodes (well, two and a half, I’ll explain in a bit) accelerate the plot somewhat which makes some of the slower early character driven episodes make more sense. From here on there’s spoilers so be warned.
After having a building dropped on him and surviving, Luke has to deal with his position as Harlem’s Superman as he takes the fight to clean up it’s streets of Cottonmouth’s influence. In the meantime, detective Misty Knight’s partner is exposed as a bent cop in Cottonmouth’s pay, though when trying to bribe Cottonmouth for $100k to give him the hi-tech Justin Hammer weapons (you’ll recognise the name from Iron Man 2) ends up being shot. Though he manages to escape and find his way to Pop’s barber shop where he runs into Luke and Claire, Rosario Dawson’s character who provides the connective tissue between all of Marvel’s Netflix series.
They manage to get the evidence Misty needs to put Cottonmouth away, but lawyers manage to free him and he’s back on the streets to cause Luke more trouble, but now he also knows that Luke’s an escaped convict and threatens Luke to reveal this to the police unless Luke works for him. Luke refuses planning to go on the run, and meantime, Cottonmouth’s cousin Mariah (Afre Woodard) does something drastic, while Luke’s threatened by something spinning out of The Avengers.
And here’s where it ends for me this time round as Netflix had an outage during episode eight which left me in the lurch and by the time it came back on Match of the Day was on, and the football never stops…
As you may gather Luke Cage is reliant upon having a fair knowledge of the cinematic Marvel Universe. It doesn’t harm the series but I’m not unaware of continuity. Someone coming fresh to this may well be left scratching their heads at times which is a pity as although Luke Cage doesn’t (so far) hit the heights of Daredevil’s first season or Jessica Jones, it’s carving itself a distinct identity outwith of what we’ve become used to with Marvel’s superheroes. Whether it maintains that I’ll find out assuming Netflix doesn’t pull the plug on me again.