Season one of Luke Cage is still one of my favorite seasons of any Marvel shows. This was my second time seeing it and I appreciate what was done so much more than I did the first time. While I wasn’t aware of it during my first watch through, but I recognized the blaxploitation influences and they used those well. That knowledge even helped change my mind on how the season ended.
The cast is simply fantastic. Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Simone Missick, Theo Rossi, Erik LaRay Harvey, Rosario Dawson, Alfre Woodard, and Frank Whaley star. Mike Colter is incredibly charismatic, and you feel that he actually cares about Harlem. Mahershala Ali is so incredibly charismatic as the lead antagonist for the first half of the season. There’s a problem after his character dies, where they add two to replace him. Both Erik LaRay Harvey and Alfre Woodard take those roles. Woodard is underutilized in the role, but her character does evolve into what she becomes in the second season. Theo Rossi is surprisingly sinister in his role. There are moments where he switches between nervous to sinister with ease. Simone Missick is fantastic, and you switch between cheering for her and being frustrated by her. Rosario Dawson was used the most in any of the Marvel shows yet.
The writers and directors of the season did an amazing job. The story felt good even when it was obvious when it had to be stretched out to fit the episode length that Netflix had seemingly mandated when it was originally released. The story felt relevant to now, which says more about how society stays the same, as when it was released. This is also the Marvel show that has music play the biggest part in it, with performances being integrated into the episodes. That along with the music by Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad help solidify the feel of the season.
Luke Cage season one is a fantastic season that shows its influences well. The main thing I have to deal with next is some of the worst stuff that Marvel had released. The next two things are incredibly underwhelming, even though I really wanted to like both of them. Luke Cage season one is the last of the flat-out homeruns from the Netflix and Marvel partnership. You can stream Luke Cage on Disney +. I give Luke Cage season one 10 barbershop chairs out of 10.