Luke Cage footage recap

Marvel fans have already seen Mike Colter‘s Luke Cage in action, thanks to his recurring role on Jessica Jones. And at Comic-Con this year, we finally got to see Luke Cage, the series, in action. In addition to the first Luke Cage teaser trailer, Marvel TV and Netflix also brought along four sizable Luke Cage clips. Collectively, they suggested a show that could sit comfortably beside Jessica Jones and Daredevil in this gritty little corner of the Marvel universe, but also had a voice and personality all its own.

While we don’t have the video embeds to share with you just yet, we’ve got a play-by-play Luke Cage footage recap for you after the jump, along with our commentary.

Luke Cage footage 1

Luke Cage Footage Recap #1

The first Luke Cage scene we saw was an extended version of the teaser clip buried at the end of Daredevil season 2. Luke busts down the door to a boxing gym and punches his way through a group of anonymous henchmen. Eventually he faces two men pointing guns at me. “I guess you guys haven’t heard about me, have you,” he says.

The men open fire, but since Luke Cage is indestructible he stands there looking completely unfazed — it’s only his clothes that are left in tatters. “I’m about sick of always having to buy new clothes,” he quips before picking up one of the men and throwing him through a glass window and into an office.

Luke then enters the office and begins interrogating the man about guns — “the ones for Cottonmouth, the ones my friends died for.” The man looks frightened but refuses to talk until Luke Cage starts threatening to throw the man into the Hudson River. “Here’s the thing,” says Luke. “It’s not the fall that kills you, it’s the impact against the water. And when water is filling your lungs, you’ll ask yourself, ‘Why didn’t I just give Luke Cage what he wanted?'”

The man eventually stammers out a response, to which Luke Cage replies, “Muchas gracias.” On his way out, he grabs a gray hoodie hanging off of a bookshelf and holds it up against his chest. “You got this in an XXL?” he asks.

Commentary: This scene was the first one released for a reason. It offers a great idea of who Luke Cage is and how he operates. He’s a smooth operator, cool as a cucumber even under crazy circumstances, with a bone-dry sense of humor. But he’s also capable of delivering threats and violence to get what he wants — Captain America he ain’t.

Luke Cage footage 2

Luke Cage Footage Recap #2

We see Cornell Stokes (Mahershala Ali) in the indoor balcony of an empty nightclub, swinging a bat and smashing a glass. He’s furious at Luke Cage. But Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard), who’s sitting across from him, interrupts. “If anyone should be breaking shit right now, it’s me,” she says. Cornell protests that it was his stuff Luke Cage broke, but Mariah isn’t backing down. “You can always buy new stuff. I can’t get back my good name,” she argues. “Somebody’s gonna start asking questions.”

Cornell seems less than convinced, and nastily calls her “Black Mariah.” She’s instantly enraged, grabbing a glass and throwing it full force at his head. Fortunately for Cornell, he’s able to duck in time.

Meanwhile, a timid-looking assistant type appears in the doorway behind them. Cornell demands to know what he wants. “There’s a detective here to see you,” says the younger man.

Commentary: This scene helped us get to know the villains a little bit better, and they look like a pretty formidable pair. Cornell Stokes may be the main baddie, but he’s not alone and Mariah seems, if anything, even more formidable. Her reaction to being called “Black Mariah” certainly suggests she’s got a temper. It also suggests that Cornell and Mariah aren’t always simpatico — they may be united in their hatred of Luke Cage, but he seems more volatile and she seems more calculating. It may just be a matter of time before these two are at each other’s throats.

Luke Cage footage 3

Luke Cage Footage Recap #3

It’s a cool night in the city, and Misty Knight (Simone Missick) is standing on the sidewalk in a sparkly, low-cut blue party dress fiddling with her phone. Luke Cage materializes behind her in a t-shirt and jeans. He points her toward the bus, and when she doesn’t move, asks if she’s calling an Uber. “What are you, a cop?” she asks. “If you’re looking for Mr. Stokes, he just left,” says Luke. “Black Escalade, tinted windows?”

“Don’t you have somewhere you need to be?” she asks.

“Yeah. Home. Just got out.”

“Congratulations,” she replies.

Luke Cage finally starts to walk away, leaving her on the street. But she calls after him. “You want to grab coffee?”

A smile spreads on his face. “I don’t like coffee,” he says. “Neither do I,” she responds.

We cut to Misty’s modest but comfortable-looking apartment. Luke and Misty are making out as they enter the doorway, and he takes off his shirt before he’s even crossed the threshold. She kisses his neck, and he closes his eyes and sighs with pleasure.

Commentary: The first time we saw Luke Cage in Jessica Jones, it was immediately clear he was a ladies man, and it wasn’t long before he found himself screwing Jessica against the wall at her place. Apparently he hasn’t lost any of his mojo in Luke Cage. Mike Colter gives great smolder, and it is completely believable that every woman in the Netflix’s gritty little corner of the Marvel universe is dying to hook up with him.

The scene doesn’t reveal all that much about Misty, other than that she can rock the hell out of a party dress. But their romance seems inspired by the comics, where she has dated both Luke Cage and Danny Rand.

Luke Cage footage 4

Luke Cage Footage Recap #4

The scene opens on a bright red scene. In the center is the iconic portrait of the Notorious B.I.G. with a gold crown tilted on his head. Symmetrical red curtains hang on either side, and red lighting fills the frame.

Cornell Stokes enters and stares straight ahead, and for a moment it seems like he’s breaking the fourth wall. “You like my Biggie photo? Me too,” he begins. He launches into a brief monologue about how “everybody wants to be the king” while approaching the camera. The camera stays still, not cutting away, as Cornell moves closer and closer. At the point that he stops, it almost looks like Biggie’s crown is now on his head.

Suddenly, Cornell delivers a swift slap to someone sitting just below the frame. “I slapped you because you’re a little bitch,” he snaps. “I”m not the kind of man who uses a closed fist on a woman.”

We hear, but don’t see, the victim of his violence. “I didn’t –” he begins.

Cornell isn’t having it. “No. Only thing worse than a thief is a liar,” he says, mentioning some of the things the man did wrong. He slaps the man a few more times, and finally the camera cuts to a different angle. We see a man hunched over in a chair, blood spilling from his mouth. A silent enforcer is standing behind him holding a baseball bat, and Shades (Theo Rossi) is sitting nearby with a mysterious half-smile on his face.

The man’s face is in rough shape, but he musters up the energy to spit in Cornell’s face. “Thank you,” Cornell responds. “Now I can hit you like a man.”

Commentary: Marvel TV arguably saved the best scene for last. This one almost feels like Luke Cage‘s version of the hallway fight scene from Daredevil season one. It’s far less violent and definitely not action-oriented, but both scenes are showstoppers that keep the camera so we can sit back and be dazzled. Not surprisingly, Ali is great. The Biggie crown is a clever touch that tells us a lot about the kind of person Cornell is — someone who admires and identifies with the late rap icon. And Shades doesn’t get a single line, but the self-satisfied look on his face tells us everything we need to know.

***

Luke Cage premieres September 30 on Netflix.

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