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What to Expect from Marvel’s “Luke Cage”

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Netflix will release Marvel’s “Luke Cage” this month, adding to their extensive collection of original shows adapted from Marvel comic books. Netflix and Marvel have been tightlipped on this one, and they aren’t giving many hints about the upcoming series. However, as the premiere date of September 30 approaches quickly, more details about the show are trickling out and it seems like an exciting story. But before diving into what to expect from the show, let’s provide a brief introduction on this rather lesser known Marvel character.

Luke Cage is not new to the Marvel Universe: in fact, the protagonist’s first comic book debuted in 1972. Luke Cage, Hero for Hire, was the story of a regular man who was sent to jail for a crime that he did not commit. The creators strived to make commentary on neo-blaxploitation with Luke’s imprisonment. In prison, he was made a subject of different jail experiments, which went horribly wrong. In the process, they lent him “superskin,” which cannot be cut or burnt. After his prison sentence, he could not find an employer ready to give an ex-felon a job. So, he hires himself out to anyone who may need him, creating the title of Hero for Hire. Luke’s character has changed a lot over the years in the comics to be in sync with the sensibilities of the audiences, but he has never been portrayed as a “good boy.”

The Luke Cage comics did not do very well on the stands, and after 50 issues, it was merged with another comic, Power Man and Iron Fist. Unfortunately, this hybrid comic was not a successful title either, but Power Man and Iron Fist were again brought together this year for a new comic series. So, if Danny Rand aka Iron Fist does not appear on the show, it would be a complete shock to audiences. Both of them form a neat team and it would be interesting to see them reunite.

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Luke was introduced in the first season of “Jessica Jones,” which premiered on Netflix last year. We aren’t entirely sure yet if “Luke Cage” will be a prequel to “Jessica Jones” or recount the events after it. Luke and Jessica were involved in a romantic relationship in the series, so to keep the plots consistent, it’s only reasonable that Luke Cage’s story will pick up where “Jessica Jones” left off unless they go the prequel route. We can assume the story will be interconnected in some way.

Another area where there is not much clarity is what Luke Cage will actually be doing in the series, but with Cheo Hodari Coker calling the shots, we can expect good things. The showrunner has quite a resume to back him up, and crime procedurals happen to be his specialty: he has worked on shows like “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Southland,” “Almost Human,” and Showtime’s “Ray Donovan.” The other directors on the show have some episodes of the “Sherlock” series and the movie “Lucky Number Slevin” to their credit. All in all, you can expect intriguing episodes filled with action from the directors of this caliber.

Cage is not really your typical superhero. He is not very keen on fighting the bad guys and he would rather have his quiet time by the bar. However, this time, the threat has come home: Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, a nightclub owner, has become a danger to a rather peaceful life that Cage has built for himself.

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Mike Colter has already proven that he fits the bill when it comes to the casting of Luke Cage himself. Apart from his expectedly stellar performance, there are many other exciting characters to look out for in this series. The villains, especially, will be played by veterans that will make you tune into the show. The role of Luke Cage’s arch enemy, Cottonmouth, is played by the Mahershala Ali, whom you will recognize from “The Hunger Games” and “House of Cards.” You will also see the popular actress, Alfre Woodard, in the show. Though there is not much info available regarding her role in the show, the rumor mills have been abuzz with news that she will play the powerful Black Mariah. Theo Rossi from “Sons of Anarchy” fame will also be seen donning the role of ‘Shades’ Alvarez.

Misty Knight is another highly anticipated character in the series, played by Simone Cook. Will she be sporting the bionic arm that Tony Stark made for her in the comics?

All in all, there is a great deal of curiosity surrounding the series and more news will hit the surface as the premiere date closes in. As of now, the show looks loaded with a good storyline, talented actors, and directors. It remains to be seen whether all of this will be able to live up to the hype, but we’ll definitely wait and see.

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