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Everything You Need To Know About Netflix and Marvel's 'Luke Cage'

Everything You Need To Know About Netflix and Marvel's 'Luke Cage'

by Ezra Zydan

With another Marvel and Netflix collaboration on the horizon, it's time to give you a tour of what's to be involved with one of Netflix's highly anticipated series, Luke Cage.


Mike Colter definitely identifies with the titular character.

With as indestructible as Luke Cage is, his life is one massive complication. Nearly everyone he cares for are dead, and it's difficult for him to be social. Everyone wants him as a hero, but he refuses to take the mantle.

Colter stated in an interview with Collider, "He's a humble guy. He doesn't want any part of this. But ultimately, it's something that he's going to have to deal with. It's perfect for me because I don't really like the spotlight either. I think with him, it feels like a glove."

It's essentially 'The Wire' from Marvel's perspective.

The executive producer and showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker has described 'Luke Cage' as Marvel's edition of 'The Wire'.

In an interview with EW, Coker described the similarities between the two shows. “It’s very sophisticated. I mean, it’s got a ’90s hip-hop vibe, but it’s really forward-thinking. We have Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad [A Tribe Called Quest] doing the scoring for us. We have a lot of different musical appearances, but at the same time, we’ve got the Marvel action. We’ve got drama. I would like this to be, I mean, I know this is heavy but, The Wire of Marvel television, because we really deal with a lot of different issues.”

The show will definitely be a standalone franchise.

With Cage's involvement in 'Jessica Jones', many probably expect the story of Cage to be a follow-up to JJ's story. While many believe that Cage's story will be a spin-off, it'll definitely be a standalone tale of its own, and one that details his powers and origin story.

Luke Cage's story will be based in Harlem

'Luke Cage' focuses on race, and much in the way of the comics, Marvel will be holding nothing back as they delve deep into the multi-faceted universe of Luke Cage's life in Harlem. The previously released trailers portray a small amount of what's coming when it comes to dealing with the topic of racism, and you can expect it to be one hell of a story.

Luke Cage will refuse to join Cottonmouth

If anyone is expecting him to be a mercenary for hire to begin with, you definitely have the wrong hero. As previously stated, Cage wants nothing to do with gangs or people, and while in the comics Cage grew up with the gangs and violence, his story should remain fundamentally the same on-screen. Gang violence will also be a topic covered, and according to Coker, it'll be covered well.

Shades Alvarez

He was referred to as the "Littlefinger" of 'Luke Cage' by Theo Rossi, the man that portrays Shades in the show. Politics is a game of chess and he's in it to be crowned the king at the end, no matter who gets in his way. If that means he has to take down Cage to become the king of Harlem, or take down Cottonmouth by siding with Cage, then he'll do what he feels is necessary to make it happen.

What makes it interesting is that Alvarez is the son of the original Power Man (that's Victor Alvarez, the man that Cage will replace as Power Man in the long run).

Pop will play a pivotal role in Luke Cage's development.

Pop will be one of those characters that makes it feel like Cage is getting his own version of therapy (especially considering that he can't talk to many people about his condition). With Pop, he'll find a mentor and father figure, and that'll be one of the good influences on Cage's life that sends him in the direction that he eventually goes in (to become apart of The Defenders and to team up with Iron Fist).

Iron Fist may be making an appearance.

With the announcement of 'Luke Cage' came another show's announcement: 'Marvel's Iron Fist'. 'Iron Fist' will feature Danny Rand, the son of a wealthy family that ends up in K'un L'un and is trained as a martial artist. As the most gifted martial artist in K'un L'un, he is given the chance to become the Iron Fist by battling and defeating the dragon Shou-Lao the Undying. Upon defeating him, K'un L'un shows up on Earth again, and Rand leaves the ancient city to find his father's killer, and eventually finds himself teaming with Luke Cage. Together, they begin their own business and become Heroes For Hire. Would it be smart for Netflix to give Iron Fist a cameo in 'Luke Cage'? You bet your butt it would.

This series will cover still-relevant racial topics.

Be on the lookout for topics such as police brutality, #BlackLivesMatter, and more throughout the initial series run of 'Luke Cage'.

Claire Temple will be making an appearance in Harlem.

If you're up on your characters in the Marvel Universe, you'll recognise Temple as a composite of the character, Night Nurse. She works with many of the Marvel Universe, her career as a regular nurse transformed when she happened upon superheroes and discovered many of their identities. She eventually becomes a nurse for heroes, working with The Defenders, as well as The Avengers. Will we see her make an appearance in an upcoming 'Avengers' film? Probably not, as Christine Palmer, another extension of the Night Nurse character, will be portrayed by Rachel McAdams.

There is a very good chance that we'll get Luke Cage's origin tale at some point during the first season.

The world couldn't wait for 'Marvel's Luke Cage' when the titular character first made an appearance on-screen in 'Jessica Jones', and with the show's premiere just around the corner, there's a very good chance that we'll get to see how Cage was raised on the streets of Harlem, caught up in violence and gang wars that saw him end up in prison (as a setup). There, he becomes a victim of experiments made to recreate the Super Solider serum. Hopefully, this is something that we get to see at some point in the show's initial run.

Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard

Now, if you recall, Woodard made an appearance in 'Captain America: Civil War' as Miriam Sharpe, a mother who lost her son during the war in Sokovia, following the announcement that a 'Luke Cage' character would be taking part in 'Civil War'. Was it a ploy to throw fans off? Potentially, but much like everything else in the Marvel Universe, we'll have to wait and see how she fits into the puzzle as a member of one of Hell's Kitchen most corrupt 1%.

Mahershala Ali as Cottonmouth.

You may recognise Ali from 'House of Cards' on Netflix—now prepare for a more sinister turn as gang leader Cornell Cottonmouth in 'Luke Cage'. Cottonmouth can be seen as the king of Harlem at this point in time, as he runs the biggest club in the city, and uses it as a front for criminal activity. He's definitely got a dark side, and that'll be on display for sure throughout the first season.

Hip-Hop will definitely play a major part in this series.

If you've seen the trailers and teasers for 'Luke Cage', then you're definitely aware of the hip-hop songs that were featured in each one. These are not just one-offs: The series will be featuring several references and homages to hip-hop culture: Each episode title will be named after a Gang Starr song (and that'll connect to the plot in some way). With Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest and Adrian Younge composing the score to the film, we can expect the tone to be something close to bad-assery.

Finally, we'll be seeing the arrival of Misty Knight.

If you're unaware of who Misty Knight is, you may want to brush up on your comics history. In comics, she was a longtime supporting character in 'X-Men' and 'Power Man and Iron Fist'; she was originally depicted as a bionically enhanced black detective with martial arts skills, which was heavily influenced by the Kung Fu crazes of the 1970's. She lost her arm in a terrible accident, and would receive a bionic arm as a gift from Tony Stark, which gave her super strength. In the upcoming show, she seems to be a regular detective that takes on Cottonmouth and his gang. Will she receive that upgrade from Tony Stark at some point? Who knows, we could be in for a hell of a surprise. Her relationship to Luke Cage will also be something interesting to see pan out, as she's normally linked to Danny Rand. With her being the first black female superhero on the Marvel side, we'll see more character development than simple romance.

Marvel's Luke Cage debuts 30 September. Check out the latest look at the series below:

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