‘Luke Cage’ is technically the first black superhero within the MCU to get their own show. Sure, ‘Black Panther‘ came later, and brought black superheroes into the mainstream and used the opportunity to address racial issues, but ‘Luke Cage’ has been representing the hood and its problems for a long time before that. The show airs on Netflix and is part of the set of Marvel superhero shows on the streaming channel including ‘Daredevil’, ‘Jessica Jones’, and ‘Iron Fist‘, which all built up to give us ‘The Defenders‘. ‘Luke Cage’ first premiered on September 30, 2016.
The show has been created by Cheo Hodari Coker, who has worked on shows like ‘Ray Donovan‘ and ‘Southland‘, but more pertinently has also worked on ‘Notorious’ which follows the life and death of famous rapper The Notorious B.I.G. Naturally, the showrunner was eager to replicate the nuances of the unique culture of Harlem, which is what we see in ‘Luke Cage’. Events unfold around this superhero with unbreakable skin and superstrength, as he attempts to rid Harlem of its criminal elements and fights for the heart and soul of the hood. Those who are tuned into the Netflix shows might have first seen Luke appear in Season 1 of ‘Jessica Jones‘ where the two shared a brief relationship.
‘Luke Cage’ quickly became a favorite with the fans, and critics too praised it, saying, “An immersive, socially conscious narrative and a confident, charismatic lead performance make Marvel’s Luke Cage a stellar sampling of the new Marvel/Netflix universe.”
Luke Cage Cast: Who is in it?
The cast of ‘Luke Cage’is led by Mike Colter in the titular role of Luke Cage. The show opted to portray the black alpha male as an intelligent and pensive character, rather than the bombastic portrayal that the comics often go for. Simone Missick appears as Misty Knight, a strong and fiercely independent detective in Harlem’s NYPD. She is determined to learn about Cage, and even without superpowers, she is every bit a hero in her desire to do good, and fearlessness in taking on bad guys. Rosario Dawson appears as Claire Temple. She was first introduced in ‘Daredevil‘ as a nurse in Hell’s Kitchen, but she has the tendency of being in the right place at the right time and is inevitably drawn to helping out superheroes in need. She befriends Cage soon enough, and their friendship takes on a more romantic angle as the show progresses.
Now we come to the delightful rogue’s gallery that Cage has to take on. The first name that stands out is Mahershala Ali, of ‘Moonlight‘ and ‘True Detective‘ fame, who plays the role of Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes. He owns the Paradise nightclub of Harlem which is the hub of all illegal activities. Although he is made out to be the main baddie in Season 1, he dies quickly enough, leaving the business to his cousin, Mariah Dillard.
Alfre Woodard plays Mariah Dillard, a councilwoman trying to bring change in Harlem. Though she is not technically a criminal, she is not afraid to get her hands dirty to protect the family and its business interests. She appears in both seasons of the show. Along with her appears Theo Rossi as Hernan “Shades” Alvarez. Though Shades could have potentially gone on to become one of Cage’s primary villains, he is shown to be a scheming and opportunistic street smart criminal, who is ruthless, manipulative, and often menacing. He is first shown working with Diamondback, before teaming up with Dillard.