Luke Cage has been on Netflix for less than a week and has already made a statement…by supposedly crashing the streaming service for hours due to its popularity, among many other things. Let’s discuss those other things.
The show follows the Marvel super hero as he attempts to clean up what has happened to Harlem and stop the snakes in the grass. Luke Cage is an ex-convict who underwent an experiment while incarcerated that has turned him into a super strong, super shield. You may have also seen him in Netflix’s Marvel series Jessica Jones.
Cage’s solo series is not about fighting other super powered humans though, it is about showing exactly what black America is and exposing how it became that way. In an America where African-Americans are often feared and being murdered for no reason, Cage is the ultimate right of those wrongs. Cage has stated the signature hoodie he wears is an homage to Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who was shot and killed for “looking suspicious” to a white man with a gun. Cage is a statement from black America, saying “America did this to us, so here we are.”
Luke Cage‘s Harlem is full of black characters fighting for power. It shows the idea that needing power and needing to be thought of in a certain way and having to act a certain way has been imposed on them by a white society. Cottonmouth is a gangster fighting to be respected by being rough and tough. Diamondback is the bastard son that feels he needs to destroy his half-brother to finally be recognized. And Mariah, Cottonmouth’s cousin, feels she needs to act a certain way because white America told her to. Mariah eventually ends up with the crown, being the queen of Harlem and the new Renaissance.
Cage tries to clean up Harlem and stop the gangsters and corruption by the government and cops. He aims to change what white America has created: the run down neighborhoods, the need for gangs/power, and fear of the black man from the white community holding them down. Cage faces many setbacks throughout, but is always willing to push forward.