Some are calling the new Netflix series released today, Marvel’s Luke Cage, the most timely TV series since Battlestar Galactica addressed the war on terror in the wake of 9-11. Luke Cage is a bulletproof Black man in a hoodie. What more could we need in the age of Black Lives Matter?
“I can’t imagine anything a Black man would want to be more right now than bulletproof,” Mike Colter, who stars as Luke Cage, told Huffington Post.
Though the character first appeared as a love interest in Netflix sister series Marvel’s Jessica Jones, and this feature comes two years before the highly anticipated Black Panther film, it’s easily Marvel’s most political effort to date.
“It’s a nod to Trayvon, no question,” says Colter. “Trayvon Martin and people like him. People like Jordan Davis, a kid who was shot because of the perception that he was a danger. When you’re a black man in a hoodie all of a sudden you’re a criminal.”
Luke Cage isn’t just about Black Lives Matter, but the character gained his super powers of strength and invulnerability while being victimized by the American correctional system.
“The writers aren’t immune to the society that they live in, they are acutely aware and I’m sure it helped inspire them,” he adds.
The show was made more than a year ago, way before this summer’s police shootings of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Terence Crutcher, and Keith Scott – viewed by many as the last sparks of outrage that has Blacks and others on the verge of sustained collective action not seen since the Montgomery bus boycott.
“When we were filming this, there were different things going on,” recalls Colter. “Eric Garner, the policemen were acquitted. No one was brought to justice. There was no handing out of any sentence. There are a couple other things that happened during the time we were filming. We were watching the news and it was always someone being shot who was unarmed, and there is no justification for it. It’s mind-boggling…The show will strike a chord with some people because you can’t help [but] think about it.”
Unfortunately the status quo from 44 years ago – the original comic series that dates back to 1972 – remains painfully familiar.