Marvel and Netflix’s most recent series, Luke Cage, has been out less than a month but has already got fans questioning – is Luke Cage better than Daredevil and Jessica Jones? Both of Cage’s superhero predecessors were both hugely impressive and entertaining as they brought a completely new look to how we view the Marvel franchise on screen. Mike Colter had a huge job representing one of the most iconic black superheroes in comic book history, and despite heavy competition from past seasons, he did a superb job portraying the famous Hero for Hire.
This article is very heavy on spoilers, so, if you haven’t started the new season of Luke Cage yet, I recommend that you come back later and definitely have a read of my “5 Things We Already Know Before Watching Luke Cage” article before you start your Netflix binge!
Was Luke Cage a better hero than Matt Murdoch or Jessica Jones?
In many ways, yes! I found myself disliking Matt Murdoch more and more during season 2 of Daredevil where he constantly let down his close friends Foggy Nelson and Karen Page, simply to help Elektra further her fight against The Hand. I felt with Luke Cage I was completely invested in what he was fighting for, I wasn’t too happy with the death of Pops, but that is what inevitably fuelled the rest of the action. I never fell out with Luke and felt completely behind him the whole way. An awesome performance by Mike Colter.
Was the Luke Cage villain better than Fisk, Punisher or Kilgrave?
Firstly, we need to pluralise ‘villain’ as there was plenty of bad guys lurking around Harlem for Luke Cage to deal with! I’d say we had four villains in total, notably Diamondback, Cottonmouth, Mariah, and Shades. Unfortunately, none of them really reached the same level of badassery that was achieved by the likes of The Punisher or Fisk, although when fighting against a bulletproof, indestructible man, violence isn’t always going to be the answer. Since they were considerably overpowered by Cage, the villains had to resort to more lucrative means.
Because of this, I think this made Mariah, played by Alfre Woodard, the most interesting villain. Unlike the others, I felt we saw her grow into her character and develop more than characters such as Kilgrave, who began his series already established. The murder of Mariah’s cousin, Cornell Stokes, was when her true colours shone through. Her violence alongside her political actions made her a true foe for Cage and the police to deal with. I do love Daredevil battling hundreds of ninjas, but I’m glad that this series stayed away from endless comic book violence.
What was the best aspect of Luke Cage?
Above all, the strong sense of culture and community is what made Luke Cage just as good as Daredevil and Jessica Jones. The amount of thought and detailing that went into the creation of the spirit of Harlem is what made it feel so rich throughout. The classy soundtrack (which I’ve included at the end of this blog post) is a fantastic set of tracks, which really bring the TV show to life. I’ve never understood the ethos and character of a setting as much as I did with the representation of Harlem in Luke Cage.
Who was the best character in Luke Cage?
That’s an incredibly tough question! As well Luke Cage, Mariah Dillard, and regular Claire Temple (who was more badass this season that ever before), Misty Knight has to be one of my new favourite characters. She was both super intuitive and just as kick-ass when it mattered. She survived a few close scrapes during the season and I’m glad that she miraculously made it through it!
To conclude, I think Luke Cage was just as good if not better than Daredevil and Jessica Jones. It did lack a certain bit of threat from some less imposing villains, but at the same time, there are a wealth of strong characters to keep the plotline ticking. The exploration into such a rich culture was also highly enjoyable. With Iron Fist and The Defenders on the horizon, I’m looking forward to whatever is coming next.
What did you think of Luke Cage? Was it the best series yet? How did it compare to Daredevil and Jessica Jones? Let me know what you think in the comments!