Post Show Recaps

Marvel’s Luke Cage | Season 1 Episodes 1 – 3 Recap

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Sweet Christmas! It’s time to dig into Marvel’s Luke Cage, the latest Netflix series set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, following on the heels of Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Josh Wigler (@roundhoward) and Kevin Mahadeo (@kevmahadeo) are back together talking about Netflix’s view of the Marvel pantheon, dissecting Luke Cage three episodes at a time.

In their first of five planned podcasts, Josh and Kevin dig into the first three episodes of Luke Cage, establishing the heroes and villains of this new series, the increasingly alarming trend of what happens when actors from The Wire pop up in Marvel shows (no pun intended), the music of the series, and more.

Send your questions and comments for episodes four, five and six by hitting up Josh and Kevin on Twitter, or through the feedback form.

Check out the Gang Starr songs the first three episodes are named after:

1. Moment of Truth:

2. Code of the Streets:

3. Who’s Gonna Take the Weight?:

  • Linus Wesley

    Great stuff! It’s always fun to hear you guys talking about these shows. For my own Luke Cage coverage I read his first hundred or so comics and think there’s a lot of fun things from that to talk about so I’ll just mention a few things about stuff you guys talked about.

    Claire Temple for example was the love interest for Luke in the original Hero for Hire comics. As you might know, the writers of the Daredevil show wanted to use the Night Nurse character but I think she was potentially going to be associated with the Doctor Strange movie so they had to change it. So they found this other female doctor character who hadn’t appeared in any comic books for over thirty years and made Claire be their own Night Nurse. Her character in the comics didn’t have much of a personality and everything on the tv show, from the characters and dynamics to the story, is of course very different, but it’s still interesting to note that’s what the Claire character was first created for.

    I watched a lot of blaxploitation movies to in research for the show, and one movie called Black Caesar features a barber shop scene that has to have inspired at least the one scene in Luke Cage where Cottonmouth gets a shave. In the movie, the roles are reversed, with the menacing assassin protagonist threatening the guy getting a shave.

    Mariah, called Black Mariah in the comics, was a morbidly obese gang leader who talked in a very racist-seeming accent. Her whole deal was to have her goons use their stolen ambulance to pick up dead bodies before the real ambulance got to the scene, and then they would rob the bodies of everything they had in their pockets. Let’s just say it’s a good thing that there nothing about that character except for her name that made it onto the show.

    Both Misty and Scarfe are characters from the Iron Fist comics but got to stick around after Luke and Danny joined forces. Scarfe was their police contact friend, an archetype I feel like you saw in a lot of these comics back then. He was always a good guy in those comics so it hurt me to see his betrayal on the show, but I think it makes sense from the story they’ve crafted. According to the creator of the Misty Knight character, she was inspired the blaxploitation/martial arts movie Black Belt Jones, and her looks were based on female blaxploitation icon Pam Grier. Quentin Tarantino is a big fan of that genre, so I don’t think he’s been inspired by Luke Cage and Misty Knight as much as by the movies that also inspired these characters. The first issue of Hero for Hire came out the year after Shaft premiered and became a huge hit.

    The purple dressed Cottonmouth Josh saw doing a google image searched is a completely different character, a Captain America villain I believe. The Cottonmouth from Luke Cage only appeared in a couple issues and was a gangster boss who wore a green snake skin-like suit. The costume designer for the tv show actually got him a dark green three-piece suit in reference to this, which I had to go back and look at in the first episode since it looks almost black. But I think it’s super cool that they pay that much attention to detail. The Cottonmouth in the comics is responsible for one of my favorite comic book panels

    Love Juicey as Shades. That character in the comics one time got himself some special glasses that could shoot lasers like Cyclops. Don’t think we should ever expect that on the show! I’m looking forward to the next podcast!

  • Curtis Davis

    Are we gonna get the next episode any time soon guys? You want us to watch along with you, but this pace is killing me.

  • I just finished the first four episodes of Luke Cage, so I just listened to this podcast yesterday. It was great! Thus far, I’ve really enjoyed the show and the way that it doesn’t focus so much on action. It’s a lived-in setting, and Colter’s stoic performance works. I was really upset when Pop was shot (though I worry think it would happen later). I’m hoping the episodes can keep up the momentum as it heads to the mid-point where some Marvel series have struggled.

  • Banglayna

    Complete disservice to this show to recap 3 episodes at time, 10x better than Jessica Jones

  • Hornacek

    More than once Josh said that Luke Cage was one of the main characters in Jessica Jones, and I have to disagree – he was a supporting character at best. Yes, we knew that he was going to have his own show, but he only appeared in the first four (?) episodes, then disappeared for most of the series, only returning for the last couple (?) of episodes. He was good on that show, but he was not a main character.

    Josh also said that there were no references to the JJ series. In the exposition dump at the start of the first episodes, Luke mentions being shot under his chin with a shotgun, and JJ is mentioned, although she is described as “a rebound chick”.

  • Hornacek

    As far as Jessica Jones being Luke’s OTP (One True Pairing), Luke and JJ only became a couple early in the 21st century. Luke had been around for 30 years before then and had other relationships. His relationship with JJ is the current status quo in the comics, but it is no means the main and only relationship he has had. She is a very recent addition to his life.