Dragon Con 2018; ‘Black Lightning’ and ‘Luke Cage’ prove black heroes matter

Cast of Black Lightning at Dragon Con 2018 (Photo By Mo Barnes)

Dragon Con 2018 is over and downtown Atlanta has been cleared of the almost 80K participants in this year’s event. Although falling short of past record numbers, this year’s Dragon Con featured outstanding guests, a parade and discussion about what is going on in today’s world of movies and entertainment when it comes to diversity.

First, people must realize that Dragon Con is more than just a big costume party. Although cosplay has become a major feature, it is just one aspect of Dragon Con. The other aspects the outside public can’t see are the workshops and fan talks with top stars in the science fiction and fantasy genre. This year included the cast of Black Lightning that had an in-depth conversation with fans about the show and how they approached their roles as actors. The panel included Nafeesa Williams, who plays Thunder, China McClain, who plays Lightning, and Tobias White who plays the villain Krondon. All the members of the cast were fully aware of the importance of not only the show but how they are perceived in the public.

It is Nafeesa Williams who plays the first Black lesbian superhero, that told the audience that her role is awe-inspiring and fun. She stated, “Because of my role, I have served as an inspiration to not only Black fans but also those people of color who identify as LBGTQ. So I have a responsibility to bring the best performance I can, that includes a 2-hour make-up session before filming starts to get into her costume.”

The meeting room was equally packed with over 500 people in attendance, both Black and White fans, who could not wait for the latest information on the show.

But the most popular panel by far was Mike Colter, who plays Luke Cage on the Netflix series of the same name. The second season of Luke Cage saw over 1K packed into the main ballroom at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta.

Mike Colter, aka Luke Cage at Dragon Con 2018 (Photo By Mo Barnes)

Colter was honest and sincere as he told many fans about what it was like working on the set and took questions from fans. One question from a fan revolved around the Luke Cage character’s habit of asking a woman to have coffee with him, which often means they are going to have a wild sex session. The fan asked Colter of all the women that Cage had coffee with, which was his favorite and would he have coffee with her.

Colter thought about that question, which would mean he would have to rate the sex scene performances of three cast members. Colter struggled for several seconds for an answer before declining to comment and refusing the young woman’ request for coffee, which made the audience break out in laughter. But a question about when did he feel he owned the character of Luke Cage bought an interesting comment about Black fathers and role models.

Colbert stated “I was raised in South Carolina by my mom and dad. My dad would wake up at 5 a.m. and I would join him as he picked up and dropped people off for work before going to his own job. Then he repeated the trip to take the people home. All of this for extra income for the family and that made an impression on me about work. It made me realize that hard, dedicated work was what a hero was all about. All of these Black dads who work real jobs are heroes just as great as Luke Cage. The hardworking father is a hero.”

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

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