Sometimes, when youve been waiting so long for a particular mode of entertainment to come into being, it becomes very difficult to cast dispersions upon it when it appears before you in all of its glory.
As a middle-aged man who grew up on comic books, yet lived most of his life without seeing much in the form of new properties or diversity on film or television, Netflix’s recent slate of Marvel-influenced characters and shows gave new life to television.
With the exception of Iron Fist, every character seems meticulously and expertly cast. From the most minor Hand ninja all the way up through Defender season ones casting of science fiction diva Sigourney Weaver as the mind behind The Hand, the characters are brought to life with gusto.
Charlie Cox is a perfect Daredevil, Krysten Ritter’s super cynical Jessica Jones is very entertaining and Colleen Wing is the best thing that ever came out of the first season of Iron Fist. People like to point out plot holes and dead end story threads, but I have to applaud everyone involved with these projects for being able to piece all the moving parts together as well as they did.
Blind ninja. Smart-ass detective. Bulletproof ex-con. Kung Fu billionaire. Marvel’s The Defenders centers on four outsider heroes that have to put aside their personal issues and come together when a villainous sect threatens to destroy New York City as we know it. The Netflix original series launches globally on August 18, 2017.
However, no work of art is perfect.
Though the imperfection of the leaning Tower of Pisa is part of the appeal, Id prefer not to look at my television sideways. Recently, I read a post on social media that mentioned how no one had a problem with Michael Colter’s Luke Cage getting his Mandingo on across three different shows, but would lambaste a black woman character with similar appetites.
Originally, my entire frame of reference about these characters came from the actual comic book. Almost by default, my mind began connecting the dots between the characters and an attempt at trying to predict whats going to happen.
Before I ever saw a single episode I knew that; Danny Rand and Luke Cage were best friends, Luke Cage never slept with Misty Knight, but Danny Rand once wanted to marry her. My original frame of reference for how these characters were related to one another is Power Man and Iron Fist #73, which featured a cameo from Rom: Space Knight.
First published in 1981, the book included Colleen Wing, Misty Knight, Power Man and Iron Fistand a super pimp named Solace, but thats neither here nor there.
What is pertinent is the relationships were laid out so plainly that even a second grader could track them. (Yes, I was that second grader) I remember reading it and seeing Danny react after he thought Rom had mistaken Knight for one of the wicked, sorcery-wielding aliens, The Dire Wraiths. I remember it appearing as if he had vaporized Misty Knight and how broken up about it Danny was.
Any-who, through time these characters have changed and grown a great deal within the illustrated medium. But with television comes the creative burden of making these characters fit into linear storylines, and fit with one another.
With Power Man aka Luke Cage, we have a character that was always alluded to as being something of a ladies man in the comic books. That is until Jessica Jones made him an honest man and had his superbaby, Danielle.
However, as far as Netflix is concerned, Luke Cage is technically a swinging single and can use his straw to stir whichever cup he pleases.
Chronologically, Jessica Jones was the first to partake, followed by the Misty Knight chronicles. Though it was alluded to in Luke Cage, Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), aka the Night Nurse, and Luke Cage finally let off some steam in Defenders.
Marvel’s The Defenders follows Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones). A quartet of singular heroes with one common goal – to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who realize they just might be stronger when teamed together.
Luke Cage, oh what foul names would be visited upon him if he wasnt portrayed by a handsome dude, and if this wasnt someones idea of a brother but an actual, living, breathing brother.
He’s a “hood”- based brother who beds an alcoholic white woman, a cop (a fine one, but still a cop) and now hes with his Latina nurse? Sorry for my lack of suspension of disbelief, but I know the ledge on this one, personally.
This mans world would be a ablaze with controversy in reality, and with social media. I guess comic books make everything look easy, even pimpin’.
Luckily, its only make believe.
Even though the relations in which hes engaging are between consenting adults, I hope that future teleplays never mention coffee types as sexual innuendo ever again. It gets played out in Defenders.
Not for any valiant reason other than that would just be some lame ass shit, and I certainly hope no goofy ass love triangle emerges, either. Though Misty Knight was once the love of Danny Rands life in the comic book, its going to take Shakespeare, Maya Angelou and Jack King Kirby to make me believe those two characters belong together on Netflix.
I guess, at least in this instance, being a middle age black male fan of comic book culture means that I get to be the Marvel fan thinking too much about the love life of an imaginary character brought to life by an actor, huh?
When do I get my infamous No Prize in the mail?