Credit: Netflix

Writer Cheo Hodari Coker had a very specific vision in mind when he interviewed with Marvel brass about continuing Luke Cage’s story from Jessica Jones — a take that would distinguish it from everything else in the Marvel Universe. “I pitched it as [Hype Williams’] Belly meets City of God, written by the staff of The Wire,” the showrunner says with a laugh.

But more generally, Coker’s Luke Cage is intended to hark back to the black heroes of 1970s cinema, but with the addition of modern social consciousness. “When you say ‘blaxploitation,’ people usually think bell-bottoms and a waka waka soundtrack,” Coker says. “But ultimately, it is black characters getting to act the same way that their white counterparts did.”

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Clearly, Coker has no plans to swerve around real issues of the African-American community with what is ostensibly a superhero show. His previous statements about the world needing “a bullet-proof black man” made headlines and essentially destined the show to be more than just another Marvel series on Netflix.



So the show is a DMX movie, an HBO show, a Brazilian crime thriller, and a modern-day social commentary? Instead of getting weighed down by influences, Coker wants viewers — above all — to enjoy themselves.

“Black music is always incredibly complex, but fun,” he says. “When you listen to a Public Enemy record, yes, they’re getting political, but it’s fun.”

Episode Recaps

Marvel's Luke Cage
The third colloboration from Marvel and Netflix, Luke Cage is based on the comic of the same name. Mike Colter plays the titular character, who is a former convict with superhero strength. Cheo Hodari Coker developed the series.
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