The new Luke Cage television series from the 70’s Marvel comic is about Carl Lucas, a wrongfully accused convict. While locked up, he gets into a medical experiment and becomes indestructible. The writer and producer of this new Netflix series, Cheo Hodari Coker did something more than just do a remake. He’s created our first Black woke superhero. He’s created a masterpiece with an amazing cast that cannot be beat, with actors like, Mike Colter, Simone Mussick, Jacob Vargos (Selena), Alfre Woodard (Crooklyn), Ron Cephas Jones (He Got Game), Frankie Faison (Do The Right Thing) and Rosario Dawson, this series shows a true diversity in casting.
“I wanted there to be a complexity of melanin” (Coker, The New Yorker)
While watching the series, you see things, you haven’t seen Black television do in a while. There are “MESSAGE” moments throughout the whole series. You have Black actors talking about Black writers, talking about Black revolutionaries, casually talking about Black people being and becoming educated, talks of being aware of the political world (not saying that we aren’t) but it’s how Coker represents it, showing that our people are at that level, that we have brothers out there reading Walter Mosley and Donald Gaines. In the series, Luke Cage is known as the “Bulletproof Black Man”, ironically wearing a black hoodie throughout the series. In a time where Black men and women are not safe, it’s a powerful statement to create a Black woke superhero that is bulletproof and not light skinned. The series brings up controversy within the political game, gang relations, prison culture, keeping community together and the use of the word Nigga, not to mention Black masculinity, keeping your word, and just trying to stay alive. Luke Cage is right on time.
“It’s easy to underestimate a nigga, they never see it coming.” – Cottonmouth
Can we also talk about the music?! The soundtrack is beautiful with artist like Wu-tang Clan, Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad (ATCQ), Faith Evans, Gang Starr, Nina Simone and so much more. Each song is perfectly paired to each moment, to the highs and the lows of this series (mostly highs). The instrumentals are intense, some leaving you with the sound of Harlem. Overall Luke Cage brings all fours to the front, keeping it too real, and super woke, showing the ugly reality of the system, the greed within politics, and the struggle of constant hustle.
“Always Forward, Forward, Always” -Pop, Cage
Words by Tesia Pennie