Glowing jewels ran down the corridor, the plasma strikes the distant approaching invaders.
“Fire in the hole” shouts a marine. The screeching grenade arched through the air and decimates a horde of aliens approaching from behind. Major Sargent Martinez was providing intel to Admiral Frost over a ultra frequency transmitter.
“Mobility has been impaired. Our projected ETA is ten minutes, cause being the sheer magnitude of these creatures” he explains loudly. “Intruders are a joint force of multiple alien species. Repeat. Intruders are a joint force of multiple alien species”
“Report received and understood. Stand-by” The transmitter crackles. The shooting stops and the area fell silent.
“Area secure” reports a marine.
“Advance” commands Martinez.

Alex and Pauline moved through the halls of the experimental weapons labs, whispering to each other in an alien tongue, Pauline affectionately strokes the coarse skin of passing demons. They came to a locked laboratory and Alex looks into the retina scanner.
“Authorization Accepted. Welcome, Chief Administrator” says the computer voice.
The door whooshed open, expelling a gasp of sterile smelling air. The pair walk inside. In the centre of the lab was a large, square work table littered with various parts. Locked cabinets along the walls held prototype weapons and shelves of data sheets, two holo-terminals flanked each other from the middle of the room and a left-hand passage led to a small workshop. Looming before them was another door, they approach it and walk inside. A large weapon was stored within. The artificial light glitters against the grey, polished surface. It had a pair of shoulder mounts on the back and a large, wide barrel on the front. Alex unlocks the armament from its mounting. He picks it up and inserts an energy cell pack, the BFG 9000 hums to life.

BFG 9000

Outside the base, in the twilight of space, a corporate vessel cuts its blazing thrusters and descends upon another of the Deimos escape pods. The ship slows to a stop and a clawed robotic arm extends from a hatch, it grips the pod and draws it into the spacious hanger bay. It was placed among other escape pods, resting on one of several flat plasma fields uniformly layered in the hangar. The Deimos researchers walk from the pod and a holographic attendant led them to the elevator. They walked through the large doors, leading to the rest of the ship’s interior. Another hologram greets them.
“Welcome aboard the CSV Navigator” it says “Accommodations are being prepared for you at this time. In the meantime, the Executive’s Common Area will have everything you may need” it explains. “Councillor Crawford has scheduled a meeting with Dr. Nexson and Director Banks. Please make your way to Conference Room 7-B at 1830 hours” it finishes. The two men exchange stern glances. The researchers move into the adjoining hallway, walking swiftly among heavy pedestrian traffic.
“Rupert, we need to find a sub-space terminal” says Will.
Banks and Nexson enter a nearby Sub-Space Parlour and step into a booth, pulling the privacy screen closed behind them. Banks entered a six digit code into the touchpad and placed the call. They stood waiting as the signal was relayed over a sub-orbital receiver.
“Video uplink established” chimed the terminal.
The video call opened, a finely dressed man with dark eyes and a stone-cold expression filled the holo-monitor.
“Hello Doctor, Director” the man says, “I’m glad to see you made it off-station. I can hardly believe these reports, this is going to become immensely costly” he states.
“You’re correct about that,” agrees Banks, releasing a long breath. “I know you have many questions about the incident, but right now, we are being persued by authorities. We need immediate diplomatic protection” Banks quickly explains. “Relax” the man says in a deep, monotone voice. “Our protocols are already being carried out. You’re protected” he assures them. “This is a black-eye for the Paranormal Division, but many of us think there is a good chance that we can grasp success from the jaws of defeat” he says with a sinister grin. “We want you to do us a favour and we’re not taking ‘no’ for an answer”

The Fusion Power Plant was throbbing with activity. The walls held flat white panels, small repair robots moved along the floor, occasionally popping into and out of small doors leading to a delivery chute that led to all areas of the plant.
“Condition: Alert” the female computer voice repeated softly.
A surplus of technicians and engineers stood around supervisors as they received their rapidly spoken emergency instructions and assignments. Space Marines were spread throughout the facility. The Power-Plant was under an extreme alert condition because their reactor specialists were performing a delicate experiment when the invasion occurred.

Reactor

Chief Engineer Rivera and Engineer Clark were in the Reactor Control Room, studying the anomalous energy readings on the holo-monitor, behind the view screen was the MCR-700 Reactor. They were sitting in high-backed chairs.
“Gamma radiation in the core is rising” the engineer utters, pointing to a climbing digital gage on the monitor.
“Let’s try Alpha-6 emission configuration on Module-B” Clark suggests.
“Proceed” replies Rivera.
The Engineer calmly enters the command into the terminal.
“That doesn’t seem to be having any effect, reduce the master density controller by 9 degrees” Rivera instructs. Troublingly, the Gamma radiation and temperature continued to climb.
“This can’t be right” Rivera exclaims, “this climb shouldn’t be continuing”
“It seems like something is interfering with the operation” Clark suggests.
“At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me. We need to evacuate the station with everyone else, we’re going to have to program the maintenance robots to monitor the reactor and regularly vent the radiation, or this station will have an alien invasion and a flood of toxic radiation to contend with” says Rivera.
They issued new commands to the maintenance robots and left the control room.

They walked a nearby humming corridor, electrical conduits and coolant pipes stretched along the walls.
“If we lose that reactor, they can forget about saving this station anytime soon” comments Rivera.
“We’ve never had issues like these with the MCR-700 before, whatever is causing those spikes, it’s a mystery to me” replies Clark.
“It shouldn’t be a big problem. As long as the maintenance robots–” Rivera is startled by the sudden opening of an intersecting door. The hydraulic sigh sounded as the door raised, revealing the Chief Administrator and his assistant. The Chief Administrator stared back with dark, unforgiving eyes, his BFG 9000 was loudly charging in his hands. The two men looked down at the glowing green barrel and gasped in horror, they dodged to evade the round. Clark was caught by the destructive blow and suffered instant demolecularization, the bio energy continued into the wall of the corridor, severing several critical conduits and making a large crater in the wall. The Chief Engineer hit the ground, clothing burned by the BFG’s blast, he stared dumbstruck at the brutal murder of his colleague.
“Alarm: power failure detected. Emergency power is now online” echoes the station computer as red emergency lights flooded the corridor. The pair of Former Humans stepped from the passage and looked down at their prey, the engineer looks into the pure black eyes and fear jolted him to his feet. He made a stumbling attempt to escape in the other direction, panting loudly. From behind he heard the build-up of the BFG 9000. He was soon overtaken by green energy and fell to the ground in a pile of blackened ash.

February 23, 2006 saw the release of Suikoden V, the last installment of the Suikoden series set in the world formed by its original creator, Yoshitaka Murayama.

Since then, a few more installments shared its name but lacked the heart and feel that were apparent in the first five.

A decade later in the wake of “Suikoden Day 2016” (November 16-20), fans around the world on Facebook are comingling once more to share their love for the series.

From cosplays, collection hauls, artwork, fan fiction, and the like, fans subliminally echo a desire to have Konami revive the franchise with a sixth entry.

My contribution? A personal essay outlining the series’ themes, for it is in these where players acquire “the heart and the feel” of the game’s core.

More than a video game, Suikoden is a teacher—a lingering mentor that’s helped shaped worldviews by way of its thematic lectures.

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR SUIKODEN I-V SHALL FOLLOW

 

Suikoden I

suikoden-i

Although potentially forgettable by today’s standards, this was the game that started “the lessons”.

As such, it teaches that a revolution is just when its cause is to overthrow the unjust. This cannot be more relevant today where selfish pride and disdainful rhetoric pervade Western political discourse.

Recalling Suikoden, however, was most poignant when I co-spearheaded the first successful unionization campaign of a clothing retail store in Canada.

Fear me.

I can’t relate to the ever-silent Tir McDohl, so I like to think I took on Odessa Silverburg’s spirit as my fellow workers and I combatted corporate greed, injustice, and a paragon of neo-imperialism.

What’s that? Don’t I remember what happens to Odessa?

Ssshhhhhh…

 

Suikoden II

suikoden-ii-cover

Arguably the most popular Suikoden entry, II did have the unique distinction of having the most relatable theme— friendship is forever, no matter the obstacles.

In the advent of social media, however, friendship seems more challenging to sustain.

Sure, we probably have plenty of “friends” on Facebook but the draw of social networking sites—which is to stay connected—is also its biggest irony.

Does a feed update count as social connection? How well is one capable of citing a friend’s dreams, fears, political leanings, relatives’ names, and the like?

Knowing deep down who our friends really are may expose a lack of mutual commonality or that we take different routes to reach the same goals.

Riou, Jowy, and Nanami have taught us that friendship—true friendship—extends beyond our differences. It is a foundation of respect, companionship, and honesty capable of moving mountains…

…and not of a passing notification.

 

Suikoden III

suikoden-iii-cover

While most would prefer humming Suikoden II’s “La Passione Commuove la Storia”, I prefer to sing along to Himekami’s “Exceeding Love”.

Suikoden III is my favourite entry as it constantly reminded players to see the world in the eyes of “the Other”, from the story beats to the Trinity-Sight-System. It has the distinction of allowing the player not just to have multiple lead characters, but also to rationalize the motivations of the lead antagonist, Luc.

No one has clean hands (well, maybe Thomas) and all contribute to the grand story via very compelling debates. Here are a couple of my favourites:

Thomas: It’s because I want this castle to be a place where people can come and go freely. Anyone, from anywhere.

Hugo: You want to make the Zexens your allies?

Thomas: I don’t desire them as enemies. I merely feel it’s time that we learn about one another firsthand. And treat each other as equals.

Hugo: I can’t. They killed Lulu. I must do what I feel is right.

Thomas: I see. Lulu was a close friend?

Hugo: He was.

Thomas. My mother was killed, too. By a group of Grassland bandits.

 

Chris: You must be kidding! How can you sacrifice her life… just like that?!

Yuiri: Do you not make sacrifices for Zexen?

Chris: No! I mean, yes! I mean… losing one’s life in battle is a lot different than killing for some spiritual mumbo-jumbo.

Yuiri: How dare you treat something you don’t understand with so much disrespect!

Chris: Is a lucky rabbit’s foot so lucky for the rabbit who lost it?

Sublime!

It isn’t an exaggeration to say that III led me to acquire a degree in Socio-Cultural Anthropology and develop a passion for storytelling.

 

Suikoden IV

suikoden-iv-cover

It’s very easy to miss the lessons taught in Suikoden IV, given that it might actually be the least favoured installment. But the theme is present in the game’s focal True Rune—the Rune of Punishment.

Recall that the governing True Runes provide their bearers immeasurable power and agelessness…

That is, all but one of the 27—the Rune of Punishment. It is a parasitic rune that feeds on the life force of its bearer, transferring over to a new host each time it claims a bearer’s life.

Though the True Rune’s past holders have failed in deciphering its true power, our hero, Lazlo, succeeds.

He does so not by punishing Snowe—a jealous, weak, and treacherous figure responsible for much of Lazlo’s misfortunes—but by exercising something necessary for social cohesion:

Forgiveness.

Forgiving those who have wronged us is one of the most humanly difficult things to do and to be frank, I was one of those who missed this message on my playthrough, given my former tendency to act under vice.

But a second playthrough—along with 6 seasons of Downton Abbey—have taught me that it is always better to forgive and resolve, lest one prefers to be consumed by a parasite.

 

Suikoden V

suikoden-v-cover

Like with IV, the theme in Suikoden V does not stick out like a sore thumb as all the crazy Game of Thrones plot points within have served to blur its most meaningful message.

To decipher its theme, we need only to recall the circumstances surrounding one character—Lady Siaboobs…

—Leeds! I mean, Sialeeds.

To ensure that her nephew and the incumbent Queen would maintain a respectable reputation among Falena’s divided populace, Lady Sialeeds purposely betrayed the Crown, prolonged the war, and operated under the shadows to eviscerate the corrupt houses.

Serving as the tragic character, Sialeeds not only loses her life, she also loses her reputation, forever remembered by the people as a traitoress.

From here, we can surmise two things:

  • Political systems are inherently corrupt since its participants continuously vie for recognition and power.
  • Whereas the previous installments ended on a good note, provided the 108 Stars of Destiny were acquired, Suikoden V’s conclusion was bittersweet. Sialeeds death highlighted the reality of life—achieving greatness, be it for oneself or for loved ones, will come at a significant price.

The latter theme is the most poignant to me as it is a realization with which I continue to struggle. Now that I strive to be a successful writer, I find sacrifice to be the most difficult price to pay.

 

Suikoden Sweet Lessons

And there you have it.

Who says video games aren’t capable of pulling your heartstrings? Who says they aren’t capable of educating us about the monolith we call life?

Suikoden is exceptional at doing so!

Now excuse me as I sing my favourite song from my favourite installment.

“Na yaa nee ka pwa na-ah yee…

Kee pwa-aaa-aaah!”

Ever since I stumbled on the trailer for this movie, I’ve been looking forward to it’s release. Being a Science Fiction fan, clearly the subject matter appeals to me but having director, Denis Villeneuve attached sealed it for me. Villeneuve’s last two films, Siccario & Prisoners, were both strong, especially Siccario. Would Arrival live up to the standard? Let’s dive in. Possible spoilers ahead. You were warned.

 

Story:

In my opinion the foundation to any good science fiction film is a strong & thought provoking story, and Arrival does not disappoint here.

It takes a fairly standard basis for a plot and makes it unique. If you’re a fan of the genre, a movie about aliens having first contact with humans is not a new thing. Sometimes they come and peace and sometimes not, and that is the crux of this film, at least at the beginning.

As always should be the case, the questions that come up are why are they here? What are their intentions? How did they get here? Fear almost always dictate why such questions are asked. You can’t really blame the countries in this film for asking these questions.  History has demonstrated that things don’t always end well when new and perhaps, more advanced races meet each other for the first time.

Naturally to answer any questions communication is key. In an attempt to make any sense of what the aliens are saying, the U.S. army’s Colonel Weber,( Forest Whitaker) enlists the services of Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly ( Jeremy Renner). The most diffiult thing to achieve in these films is often revealing a reason as compelling as the mystery it presents. My girlfriend mentioned to me that she feared this being the case in this film. It’s a fair concern. That’s the draw for pretty much everyone isn’t it? Is the reason the aliens are here or what they look like really going to be as cool as you imagined it?

The story keeps his in mind but interestingly enough focuses more on the scientist’s deeper journey. Their journey allows for an intriguing exploration into language and understanding among other ideas such as being hardwired to fear what we don’t understand, or even our basic understanding of time itself. despite some of the grandiose ideas the message of the film is a fairly human one. ( possible spoilers ahead) Enjoy the time you have on this earth because chances are if you could do it all again differently, you wouldn’t anyway so don’t disparage that time.

Linguistics professor Louise Banks basically acts as our tether to humanity and the meat of the film focuses heavily on her. It’s a character study as much as it is anything else but make no mistake, it’s a slow burn. You must be willing to be patient and pay attention. It’s dialogue heavy and there is almost no ” action.” This may prove to be a welcome change for those growing weary of the endless barrage of high octane action movies Hollywood continues to churn out.

I must confess that while I was intrigued and invested throughout the whole movie, it was hard to follow. It’s slow pace didn’t help either, but being a vigilant and patient viewer will reward you at the end.

Acting/Directing:

amy

Very strong throughout. Often times I watch films like this and I don’t find the reaction to encountering alien life to be believable but here I did. Amy Adams was particularly good in that respect. She emoted various complex emotions with true sincerity which allowed me to live the events in the film all the more. Of course, full marks have to go to fellow Canadian Denis Villeneuve sure handed direction. If you saw Sicario, you know that Villeneuve can build tension among the best directors out there. If you ever find yourself watching a film and thinking” man, I’d be scared shitless in that situation” then you know the direction has done it’s job. Especially if that happens in the buildup to anything big, but I digress.

Special Effects:

While not being a green screen frenzy, the effects play an important role in this film. If the ship doesn’t look right or the aliens don’t look real, you’ve lost the audience. This is not the case here. The effects are top notch and the ship has a uniqueness that won’t e easily forgotten. Despite the effects being good the film cleverly avoids showing you TOO much of the aliens themselves, but what you do see is very well done and unique.

arrival

Conclusion:

Arrival proves to be one of the most interesting and ambitious films I’ve seen this year. It’s certainly a film that benefits from repeated viewings and I will be watching it again soon. It may even e a contender for the est film I’ve seen this year, I’ll let you know.

Arrival respects it’s audience and does not try to dumb down anything or give easy answers and as one of the audience, I appreciate that. If you like thought provoking Science fiction then make haste and go see this film. If you aren’t that big a fan of this genre then I would still encourage you to see this film because it transcends the genres tropes and gives you a very human story that if appreciated, is relatable.

 

 

 

 

It took a long time but Marvel’s sorcerer supreme finally got his own movie. As you may or may not have expected, the fanfare going into this movie was decent at best and tepid at worst. Still, this being a Marvel movie, it made a killing at the box office. I’ve always been a fan of he chracter, Doctor Strange. I wouldn’t call him an A list hero but he certainly stood out as being original. Having Steve Ditko as his first artist gave Doctor Strange his unique psychedelic look that would become somewhat of a trademark. The movie offers this and a whole lot more in terms of its visual aesthetic. Let’s take a closer look…

doctor-strange-poster

Story:

The plot unfolds in typical Marvel form. A reluctant hero who needs to learn the error of his ways so he may join in the battle of good vs evil and become… ” the one.”  It’s sort of like Iron Man, except with a whole lot of magic. Now, I don’t want to diminish this because while it is a common road to take, the route is quite stellar. The execution proved to be masterful because it took the familiar and made it feel fresh even if it wasn’t remotely so. Now, I’ve said before that there are almost no original ideas left, and that’s okay. It’s all in the execution.

Not once did I feel bored or taken out of this movie. Instead, I was hooked in and eager to see how things would unfold, almost as if it was the first time I had ever seen a movie of this nature, and that’s a testament to the writing. There are several clever story points within the main story that help to add to that uniqueness. The climax of the movie has a particularly smart moment that gives us a great example of attention to detail in a script. Obviously the spectacular visuals are a large reason why the film is as entertaining as it is but the strong characters, sharp dialogue and general inventiveness make the story as strong as it is.

Action:

Excellent. Some of the most eye catching action scenes I’ve seen in a superhero movie in a long time. I worried that having a bunch of mystics fight each other might translate as boring on screen but my fears were squashed within the first 5 minutes of the movie. Things unfold like a James Bond film with mind ending magic in it, really setting the tone for the action to come. Any mystical movie that proceeds Doctor Strange will have a lot to live up to in the action department. It is reminiscent of Christopher Nolan’s Inception but even more crazy.

Villain:

As a fan, I was hoping that Dormamu would end up being the main baddie in this movie( SPOILERS) and he sort of is but instead we get Kaecilius, whom I knew nothing about prior to this movie. Kaecilius serves his purpose and is helped by the caliber of Mads Mikkelsen’s acting, yet he falls into the long list of Marvel’s underwhelming villain’s list. He’s not terribly interesting, and the parts of him that are interesting aren’t explored enough. I did find his motivations to be satisfying, so there’s that.

Acting:

Outstanding. One of the best ensemble casts Marvel ever put together. Everyone was good, and each had their moment to shine. I must admit I had my doubts about Benedict Cumberbatch playing the titular hero but I was thankfully wrong, he was wonderful. He plays Strange like a lite version of his Sherlock Holmes. You might say that it’s easier to like him here. Benedict Cumberbatch looks the part and acts the part, what more can you ask for as a fan or moviegoer.

I would’ve liked to have seen more from Rachel McAdams’s character, Dr. Christine Palmer. She essentially plays his love interest but McAdams makes the most of the role. Ditto for Mads Mikkelsen. Tilda Swinton really works as The Ancient One. She already has a unique look to her and that really helps for this role, but more importantly than that was that I believed her in the role. Benedict Wong provides an enjoyable take on the stalwart Wong from the Doctor Strange comics but my favorite of the cast had to be Chiwetel Ejiofor’s portrayal of another classic Doctor Strange character, Baron Mordo. I found him to e utterly compelling to watch. The scenes between he and Cumberbatch really stand out for me.  I look forward to see what Marvel does with him( SPOILERS) because for those unfamiliar, Baron Mordo is one of Doctor Strange’s greatest adversaries.

chi

Conclusion:

At this point I am still leaning on the idea that superhero fatigue has hit but Marvel continues to put out quality work, it’s only fair to recognize it. It’s one of it’s strongest entries to date. Far better than Ant-man, Iron Man 2 & 3, Thor 2 and more memorable than Avengers 2. I was entertained and invested from the beginning to the end, there’s no other way to put it. I appreciated that while it had humor, it didn’t rely on it. Doctor Strange is a serious character that should treated as such, and he was.

I keep wondering when there will be fatigue from the audience out there but if Marvel continues it’s dedication to quality I can’t see their reign ending anytime soon. It’s a fun movie that’s beautiful to look at and it should be seen on the big screen.

 

 

Luke Cage, released September 30th as part of a long string of Marvel Cinematic Universe Netflix exclusives, has been met with many positive reviews, scoring a 79% metascore at Metacritic and 80% at imdb.

But while many celebrated its unique contribution to the MCU (myself included), such as its music, predominantly black cast, and thematic parallels to the real world African American experience, I cannot help but point out the crucial flaws that made watching it feel…

Lacking…

At least in comparison to its predecessors: Daredevil 1, 2, and Jessica Jones.

Let’s delve a bit, shall we?

DISCLAIMER: FROM THIS POINT ON, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

luke-cage-cottonmouth

1. One show, two voices

Midway through the season, Luke Cage experiences a shift in sensibility.

The first half established Luke Cage’s adversary, the world, and the theme—which was to act or remain complacent when one has the power to make a difference. With regards to the world, there were a couple of detours in Georgia but as far as the primary antagonist and the theme—these were thrown out the window by the second half.

This isn’t the worst thing in the world but if we were to analyze Jessica Jones and Daredevil, there is an apparent formulaic shift within Luke Cage.

With Jessica Jones, the theme lied in whether the horrible things she’s done were forced by Kilgrave—her nemesis—or whether those deeds were of her own accord.luke-cage-jessica-jones-kilgrave

With Matt Murdock, the theme lied in whether he was capable of protecting Hell’s Kitchen by bringing Wilson Fisk and his hooligans to justice before the law, without the compromise of a single life.

But in Luke Cage, the primary antagonist shifts to two figures (one of who had not been properly established in the first half) and the theme transforms to the preservation of Harlem’s identity and its often forgotten inhabitants—that they too, need a hero of their own.

So, yeah. *blink blink*luke-cage-matt-murdock-wilson-fisk

2. Character Inconsistencies

luke-cage-black-mariah

There were a few characters with unclear formation but the biggest culprit would have to be one of the main antagonists, Black Mariah (Alfre Woodard).

The first half of the show when the show’s villain, Cottonmouth (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), finds himself in a financial bind, his cousin, Mariah, suggests selling the club passed onto him by their matriarchal figure, Mama Mabel.  During the second half, Mariah decides to run the club herself, despite the dubious dealings that take place within, which run counter to her own moral compass of operating responsibly within the confines of the law.

Mariah maintains a degree of moral dignity throughout (or at least, she believes she does) for Harlem’s sake. But not only does she eventually perpetuate Mama Mabel’s criminal legacy, she also willingly commits murder in her efforts to ruin Luke Cage (Mike Colter).

Like… huh? How does murder (not to mention her other vices) operate within the confines of the law?

Pick a side. Run with it. And show your deceit when necessary. Otherwise these characterizations would be a headache to follow.

3. Convenient plot points

Stories are ALWAYS subject to a degree of convenience…

But when Luke Cage’s step brother, Diamondback (Erik LaRay Harvey), decided to move from Georgia to Harlem—the same place Luke Cage moved to at the conclusion of Jessica Jones—to conduct his crime ring operations…

luke-cage-harlem
Luke Cage and Pop, seated before the show’s most poignant Harlem setting– the Switzerland barber shop.

And when the person that introduced Diamondback into the crime world is the same person that aims to bring Luke Cage into the superhero-for-hire business (that’s to say, Pop)…

Things suddenly have a penchant for being TOO convenient.

Forgive me if I missed it, but why did Luke Cage and Diamondback move to Harlem in the first place?

Diamondback wanted to be a big shot—that’s a little believable, I think? Because Harlem’s where all the criminal wannabes go, right?

But at the end of Jessica Jones, Luke wanted to reinvent himself—OUT OF ALL THE REGIONS IN NEW YORK STATE—in Harlem, too?

Come on…

4. No believable threat

Luke Cage is unique in that his true adversaries are not criminal empires corrupting the city, nor is it a being with superpowers…

luke-cage-crowd

The writing took the story to a different direction by establishing the people of Harlem as the true threat to his identity.

As a result of Mariah’s machinations, the people of Harlem are divided on whether to trust Luke Cage as the city’s hero, perhaps as a companion piece to Captain America: Civil War.

luke-cage-diamondback
This is supposed to look menacing?

This would be a non-ideal plot direction—as it’s recycled—yet acceptable…

 

BUT!

Luke Cage had just single-handedly taken down one of Harlem’s largest criminal operations, made news by keeping thugs out of Harlem’s only Asian-owned business, saved numerous lives, publicly retrieved the stolen belongings of several citizens, and had not killed one single human being indirectly or otherwise…

And I’m supposed to believe that Mariah has effectively turned some, if not most of the populace against Luke?

Couple Mariah with Diamondback, whose claims to villainy are: 1) to procure a limited—I repeat—a LIMITED amount of super bullets that penetrate Luke’s skin and 2) to acquire armour that barely holds a candle to Tony Stark’s…

I was like, “Excuse my mic drop, but can we skip a few months to Danny Rand, already?”

Luke Cage “caged” in mediocrity

To be clear, I’m not a bonafide Luke Cage hater.

I simply want to address the bonerific reviews that more or less pervade quotidian discourse.

luke-cage-prison
Luke Cage, “caged”. Get it? Muwahahaha!

Am I partly spited and motivated by the annoying, “zomg, Luke Cage best Netflix MCU show, hhhnnnnnggg!” comments on Facebook?

Sweet Christmas, abso-friggin-lutely.

But compared to its MCU Netflix series predecessors, Luke Cage simply doesn’t hold up.

With my peace said, hopefully Iron Fist takes the formula “forward. Never backward.”