i'm not gonna say iron fist is the best netflix show, its definitely not. i dont like it, in fact, i think every netflix show is terrible (except for jessica jones. its truly the only one that has absolutely NO FLAWS to me, while i couldn't even finish season 1 of daredevil, took 3 months to finish luke cage and only really like iron fist because of the characters), but luke cage was BEYOND awful. they did luke dirty. i love him, he's one of my comic faves, but the show is... argh.
I’m not gonna lie. Luke Cage has flaws (as all the Netflix shows do). But I disagree with anyone who calls it “Beyond awful” and also doesn’t bother to explain what was so “awful” about it.
While Jessica Jones may have been well written, its blatant antiblackness is something that knocks a lot of points off for me. The treatment of Malcolm was disturbing, the fact that Jessica Jones managed to get her freedom from Kilgrave’s control by murdering Reva (a Black woman) was in terrible taste, Jessica’s blatant abuse of Luke Cage made me hate their relationship. And the abuse Jessica heaves towards Like is obvious, from stalking him, manipulating him, lying to him, and entering into a sexual relationship without revealing her hand in Reva’s murder was unnecessary. There is no conceivable way they can be a healthy couple in this canon, and trying to force them to be would be a huge disservice to both the characters.
Now, as for Luke Cage (as both the character and the show) it’s my favorite Netflix/Marvel show, despite its flaws (the killing of Cottonmouth, the lack of development for Diamondback, the blatant colorism against Black women, among others) mainly because it counterbalances a lot of its weakness with a love and appreciation of Black culture, giving Black women (Misty, Mariah, Claire, Reva and Priscilla) plenty to do within the narrative, and allowing Black people to express the full range of human emotion. Something Daredevil and Jessica Jones failed to do.
And I love the show’s depiction of Luke Cage, because it’s rare to see black men as heroes who’re allowed to feel, mourn, be justified in their anger, and still be seen as heroes who can help their community and inspire people. That’s the kind of narrative that’s only given to white people. I’ll take the MCU’s complex depiction of Luke Cage over the stereotypical Blaxploitation tough guy act any day.