Last month at the San Diego Comic-Con, fans were finally given a preview of Netflix’s Luke Cage series. While he appeared in Jessica Jones previously, there were questions about Marvel’s ability to pull off a show with mostly Black characters. Many had high hopes for the first live adaptation of the street hero. It was a hit at the convention, turning into one of the showstoppers at the week long event.
While most were convinced that the show could be good, understandably people wanted to see more. Yesterday (August 9), the show’s first trailer dropped, offering a better look at the Harlem-based series. Trending on Twitter for half of the day, the uncompromising Blackness of the show was a welcoming sight, with nods to Walter Mosley and Notorious BIG. Luke Cage looks to offer something different from other superhero series, and come September 30th the show is bound to dominate conversations.
If you’re not quite excited about this yet, here’s five reasons why you should be:
The First Trailer Shows A Bulletproof Black Man
When the first Luke Cage trailer dropped, it presented an image that defied what we are used to. Here was a Black superhero protecting people, walking the streets of Harlem like a regular person. He is shot at in the trailer while shielding someone, the bullets merely ricocheting off him. Images of Black men being gunned down are sadly common these days, and the show takes on a greater meaning in the Black Lives Matter era. At a time when people are demanding an end to police brutality, “the world is ready for a bulletproof Black man,” executive producer Cheo Hodari Coker stated at Comic-Con.
Luke Cage Is Another Black Superhero In The Spotlight
There are many Black superheroes around, but few have had their own TV shows or movies. Just look at the past 20 years: Storm has only been seen with the X-Men, Spawn’s popularity faded after the unsuccessful film, and the last Blade movie was in 2004, the same year when the Static Shock cartoon came to an end. For the most part, Black superheroes have been sidekicks in Marvel films, and now this is changing with the Black Panther movie, which will be released in 2018. Luke Cage will beat him to the punch as the first Black lead in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so all eyes are on the indestructible hero from Harlem.
The Show Will Not Shy Away From Social Issues
One of the things that separated Luke Cage, who is being played by Mike Colter, from other heroes is how his identity as a Black person is explored. His powers came from an experiment, which is typical for a lot of superheroes. But this was done to him while in prison, making the character resonate with issues like incarceration and the Tuskegee Experiments. Topics such as police brutality and drugs will also appear in the show, adding social relevance in between the crime fighting and world saving. Just as the Jessica Jones series showed a hero who was dealing with the trauma of rape, Luke Cage looks to hit upon racial issues like no previous superhero show has.
Hip-Hop Is The Soundtrack
The trailer starts off with Isaac Hayes‘ “Walk On By,” which was sampled by the Wu-Tang Clan. But things kick in, literally by a Luke Cage kick, with a Run the Jewels remix of “Heart Is Full.” Ol’ Dirty Bastard‘s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” was heard in the first teaser, and there’s a lot more of that in the show. Showrunner Coker, a journalist hailing from the early days of Vibe magazine, revealed that each episode will be named after a Gang Starr track. Each week he has been tweeting out episode titles, with names like “Step Into The Arena” and “Just To Get A Rep” being used. With Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge behind the show’s score, Luke Cage looks to have its own signature stamp.
At Last, A Black Woman Superhero Not Named Storm
With the release of the show, soon everyone will know about another Black woman with super powers: Misty Knight. Played by Simone Missick, she will debut in Luke Cage as a fellow crime fighter. While Knight has existed nearly as long as Cage has, her presence has mainly been limited to Marvel comics. But on September 30th, Black girls and women will have someone else to look up to.
Watch the trailer below.
SOURCE: YouTube, Variety | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty