The Hero of Harlem

Luke Cage season 1 gets off to a slow start, but it has great characters to play with. Luke is a bit reluctant to be a hero since he's an escaped convict, but he wants to do the right thing. Misty is a tough cop with a great storyline of her own (and a kind of painful basketball sequence). On the other side you have a pair of cousins trying to take over Harlem from different angles. Cottonmouth is a captivating villain, though maybe a little too similar to Fisk in Daredevil. Mariah is terrifying because she presents a professional public face that hides a true monster.

Things come to a head with a mid-season shake-up that changes the power dynamics of the villains. It's really shocking what happens, but unfortunately the show never quite recovers. The new big bad, Diamondback, doesn't feel like he's from the same show and we have to watch him chew up the rest of the episodes. The season ends with a showdown that doesn't feel as epic or important as it should. Still, Luke is a great character and I love how Harlem has a personality and community feel that we don't get in the other shows. Luke is the hero of Harlem. He lives with them, he stand up for them, and they in return stand up for him.

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