Tag Archives: defenders

TV Review – Marvel and Netflix’s Luke Cage


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Luke Cage broke the norms of television drama and all I could say was ‘SWEET CHRISTMAS!!’

Marvel has been killing it with his Netflix’s deal. The characters and the larger than life setting that they have created with their shows have been simply incredible. Marvel has stopped making just superhero shows; these are some great television shows.

While Luke Cage continues the trend of superb characterization, storytelling, villains, and developing a setting as part of the cast that breathes and lives like rest of the characters. It does an important job and introduces one of Marvel’s foremost Black heroes to the limelight. The idea is followed by a series of fascinating characters and a compelling story.

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Luke Cage delivers an incredibly strong season (no pun intended). Though we’ve met him earlier in Jessica Jones, this time, we get to know more of him and his backstory. Mike Colter as Luke Cage is perfect as he delivers a performance which has the perfect combination of strength, smarts and charisma.

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Wilson Fisk in Daredevil was a loveable bad guy. Luke Cage takes this to a new level with introducing just not one villain but a series of bad guys trying to make his life hell. All these characters are interconnected to each other and trying to make Luke Cage’s life hell. The first half of the show is ruled by Cottonmouth and his nefarious agenda that makes him believe is for a greater good for Harlem’s betterment. Played by Mahershala Ali, he fills the role with his energy and style making it look like he was born to play him. His posture, his voice, and everything about the character was so utterly villainous. There are times when you’ll find yourself sometimes cheering for Cottonmouth.

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Alfre Woodard is also great as Mariah Dillard as she portrays a councilwoman who wants to make the city a better place, however with ties to the city’s underbelly, struggles to do so legally.

Diamondback as a villain, disappoints at times. His role feels like a forcefully injected one in the show. Although his dialogues are brilliantly handled, Diamondback’s misguided understanding of the Bible and his twisted mindset made him especially volatile. I particularly loved Hernan “Shades” Cortes (played by Theo Rossi). He was such a smooth talker and his smile so disarming. He actually looks and feels like a menace and someone who’ll always be a step ahead of you, hero or villain.

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Another excellent aspect of the show is the music, Luke Cage is magnificently scored as it’s able to pull you back to the old 70s while being able to mix with new age reggae music. This balance is maintained very well and it actually compliments the show’s overall theme.

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The show is set deep in the streets of Harlem, a city with a rich music and artistic history, and a strong Black history. The show plays into that and brings out Black culture in beautiful ways. Harlem itself is portrayed as a character on the show. You can feel the locale’s aura, the vibe and how it breathes and feels as the show proceeds. Luke’s relationship with the people of Harlem is a big part of the series; one moment they blame him for Stokes’ men robbing them, the next, they praise his speech at the church during Pops’ funeral.

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Pop’s Barbershop plays a pivotal role on the show. Pop himself becomes a walking history of Harlem and a respectable figure among the youth while paving a path for Luke’s journey. I wonder if his barbershop will be used for the heroes for hire office in defenders or if it will be reshaped by Luke Cage and will be made operational again.

Misty Knight (played by Simone Missick) adds value to the show in terms of residents of Harlem. She represents the long list of Marvel’s strong female characters. Her character development is handled very well and her connection to Luke Cage fleshes out as the show proceeds.

While Luke Cage doesn’t come up close to the level that Daredevil season 1 set but it is somewhere close. I am totally excited for Defenders and the Netflix show paves path in a very subtle way.

Overall rating – 8 out of 10.

Review – Marvel & Netflix’s Jessica Jones: Season 1


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After massive success of Marvel’s Daredevil, Jessica Jones was their second collaboration with Netflix. Based on Brian Michael Bendis’ much acclaimed run Alias, Jessica Jones follows a story of an ex crime fighting vigilante running from her dark past.

The show had a very impressive starcast with Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, ex Doctor Who alumnus, David Tennant as villainous Killgrave and Mike Colter as Luke Cage.

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Jessica Jones arrived in times when TV was already cluttered with 8 TV shows based on comic books and superheroes. Most of these TV shows were made to target a specific genre of audience. Jessica Jones, although was not. The show aimed to showcase a more mature side of Marvel Universe did the same with brilliance and style and brought something unique to the table

Jessica Jones is very different than any superhero shows that have ever existed on TV. If Daredevil set a mythology for Hell’s Kitchen, then Jessica Jones was aimed more on a personal story. The strong noir flavour and an adult-orientated take on the comicbook genre was something that made it way mature than expected. There are raw sex scenes, brutal violence and lots of swearing. It also deals with adult themes such as murder, rape and child abuse. These issues are handled in a very compelling way and the storyline is powered by intelligent dark humour.

After a failed stint at superheroics led her to suffer from PTSD, she retired and became a private investigator, using her powers (super-strength, super-stamina and super-leaping) to solve mysteries.  She comes across liars, cheaters, addicts and murders on a daily basis and is now using her powers to enhance her detective skills.

Krysten Ritter has looks of an anime character, her brooding eyes, jet black hair makes her a look like a character who was born to play this role. Her compelling performance as an ex superhero suffering with PTSD and trauma and her being a whiskey-swilling, foul-mouthed and hot-tempered “mess of a woman” and Ritter plays the role in a very brilliant way. Like most of the Marvel characters Jessica Jones is an epitome of imperfection, she is a mess. Her life told in flashbacks. She’s one of those people saying that everybody that she cares about ends up hurt or dead. She is so broken that she doesn’t even care about fixing things for a long time, like the windows of her office.

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Every good comic book film/show is good because of that memorable villain who overshadows everything and gives the titular hero a run for their money. David Tennant plays the show’s big bad Kilgrave, who has the power to control the minds of other people. His persona is based in a way that before he appears on the screen you are already feeling his presence. As Kilgrave he brings a creepy charisma that compels you to hate him. His sick sense of humor makes you laugh. Tennant gives a truly sinister performance but adds enough subtle layers of humanity for you to have a shred of sympathy for him.

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As well as an outstanding heroine and villain combo, the show boasts great supporting characters. Carrie-Ann Moss’ (The Matrix) ruthless lawyer Jeri, Eka Darville’s (Empire) drug addict Malcom and Erin Moriarty’s(True Detective)  Kilgrave-victim Hope are all fascinating characters. So too is radio host Trish (Rachael Taylor), who shares a brilliant best-friend relationship with Jessica.

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And Mike Colter’s effortless portrayal of Luke Cage, who has red-hot chemistry with Jessica, will have you eagerly anticipating his own show in 2016. His presence adds a soul to what otherwise could have been a dark brooding war between hero and the antagonist. Luke’s presence humanizes Jessica and tells her that she is not alone in as a super powered in this world. There are moments between Luke and Jessica will take your breath away. Small doses of romance between them makes this show worth watching

Another brilliant addition to Marvel universe is Wil Traval’s cop Will Simpson, who has a very interesting arc. He plays officer Will Simpson who is actually Nuke in the comics. Jessica Jones goes through his origin story and how he changes from a charming ladykiller cop to a twisted supersoldier.

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At times and atleast in 3 episodes you feel like being forced to watch things that are just for the sake of adding extra episodes. But once it gains pace there is no stop. Daredevil and Jessica Jones have both been awesome, and hopefully Marvel’s other Netflix shows, Luke Cage and Iron Fist are equally just as good, before the team up Avengers-style in The Defenders.

Rating 9/10

 

Top 10 Superhero Teams


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We all know that there’s a lot of Superhero Super Teams formed in the whole comic universe, but ever wonder which one is arguably the strongest? Better? The answer to that is no, no one is better than the rest of them, there all doing the same thing over and over again, they are just simply saving the world from terror , but it is up to you to rank them as your own.

Superhero Teams have been an incredibly large part of the superhero genre. Since of the inception of the first superhero team, The Justice League of America, comic fans have loved the interaction of their favorite heroes fighting evil. The following list based on fans pick for the top ten superhero teams. Each of the groups below takes into account the different incarnations and variations of those said teams, such as the Ultimate line of comics.

Here is a list of the TOP 10 superhero teams that was voted by fans in my opinion
1 – X-MEN
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The X-Men came about at a time of great strife and have long mirrored many of society’s issues about fearing those that are different then the rest of us. The X-Men take the top of the list due to many reasons. They have long been one of the most popular comics in history and have spawned a mountain of, “X-Titles.” Multiple cartoons, TV series, and now movies have made The X-Men a juggernaut in the world of comics.
2 –Justice League of America (JLA)
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The Justice League of America is comprised of the top superheroes of the DC universe. With a roster full of A-list powerhouses, the JLA is arguably the toughest superhero team in existence. The JLA has been a huge part of the DC universe and has been widely popular since its inception.
3 – Fantastic Four
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The Fantastic Four is the first of the superhero teams to bring about a real humanness to the genre. With real world problems surfacing in the comic, this first, “family” of superheroes has been an incredible force in comics. Movies, cartoons, and more make the FF not number four, but three.
4 – Avengers
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The Avengers assemble in position number four. There have been many different incarnations of the Avengers, such as the West Coast and Great Lakes avengers. With the latest comics The Ultimates and the New Avengers, The Avengers have rocketed to new heights. A movie is in the works based on The Ultimates and when it does, The Avengers will be knocking on the doors of numbers one through three.
5 – Teen Titans
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The Teen Titans have had a rocky past, but presently, they are enjoying great success. A hugely popular cartoon has made the Teen Titans a smash hit with younger audiences and the comic has had an impressive run on the charts and with comic book fans.

6 – Guardians of The Galaxy

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Guardians of the Galaxy has gone through a number of changes and is one of the most amazing teams of dysfunctional characters in comics. The current series lead by Star Lord is an amazing team with foul mouthed Rocket Raccoon, kind Groot, feared assasin Gamora and deadly Drax. Guardians of the galaxy has been part of some of the most popular cosmic adventures and has a cult following among Marvel fans.

7 – Justice Society of America (JSA)
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The Justice Society of America has recently seen a rebirth into the world of comics. With a group of superheroes thought of as has beens and second stringers, the JSA have quickly shown that it has what it takes in the world of comics. We can also thank the JSA for being the first superhero team comic book. The success that JSA had early on spurred on the other comic companies to follow suit. Thanks JSA.
8 –  League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen broke the boundaries of what is a “superhero team.” Comprised of some of the most popular characters in literature. The series was brought to us by superstar writer Alan Moore. Although they haven’t been around a long time and the book has been plagued with issues between Moore and DC, it is still a great comic book team.
9 –  The Defenders
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The power cosmic, magic, brute strength and more make up this team equivalent to the superhero odd couple. The Defenders have a great history behind them and the latest incarnation of this superhero team has been widely accepted by fans. The Defenders are a rising star in the world of superhero teams.
10 – The Authority
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The Authority are one of the few superhero teams not from the big two, (Marvel and DC) but Wildstorm Publishing company, to make it onto the list. Although their might may have waned in recent years, The Authority is still ranked high on the list for how it has pushed the boundaries of comic books. The Authority is ultra violent, politically charged, and boasted the first openly gay couple. These items make The Authority controversial, talked about, and one of the top superhero teams of all time.