Yesterday at Comic-Con we were fortunate enough to be part of the first audience to witness scenes from Netflix’s next Marvel TV series, Luke Cage, arriving on September 20. Held in Ballroom 20 of the San Diego Convention Center, the event was hosted by Marvel TV chief Jeph Loeb. Loeb welcomed showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker, along with the stars of the show: Mahershala Ali (as mob boss Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes), Alfre Woodard (who plays Stokes’ cousin Mariah Dillard), Simone Missick (police detective Misty Knight), Theo Rossi (Stokes’ informant “Shades” Alvarez), Frank Whaley (Misty’s partner Rafael Scarfe), and, of course, Cage himself: Mike Colter, whom fans first met as the character on Jessica Jones.
A sizzle reel was first shown that featured footage from all of Netflix’s Marvel series to date…
Yeah, my favorite shot is that thug’s hand turning to jelly when he tries to punch Cage in the jaw… We then witnessed the first full clip from the show, in which Luke enters a gym looking for an arms dealer. As black-clad baddies open fire on him, the bullets bounce off, and he remarks, “I’m sick of always having to buy new clothes.” He tosses them out a window and nabs their leader, threatening to throw him into the Hudson. He reminds him that it’s “not the fall that kills you, it’s the impact against the water.” And he says the last thought that will go through this thug’s sorry mind is, “Why didn’t I just give Luke Cage what he wanted?” When the thug finally spills details, Cage marches out of his office, and pauses when his eyes catch sight of a hoodie hanging on a hook. “You got this in a XXL?” he asks.
As Coker declared once the lights came back on, “The world is ready for a bullet-proof black man.”
Woodard then spoke of her love of Harlem (mirrored by that of her character), in which so much of the show is set. “We all had numbers on the call sheet,” said the acclaimed actress, “and Harlem deserves a number of the call sheet as well.”
Coker referred to the show’s use of music as “the Wu-tang-ification of the Marvel Universe.” The executive producer revealed he wanted every episode of the show named after a different Gang Starr song.
To illustrate the film’s broad gangster influence, we then saw a second clip of Stokes breaking things with a baseball bat while arguing with Dillard, who winds up slinging a glass at him. Their fight is interrupted, however, by the sudden arrival of the police at Stokes’ HQ.
The rest of the cast then spoke about their characters… Rossi described Shades as “the Littlefinger” of Luke Cage. While Missick spoke fondly of the “iconic” Misty, saying, “She’s not the wife, she’s not the girlfriend, she’s not somebody’s sidekick.”
The third clip we saw focused on Misty as she’s working undercover (in her “work clothes”: a stunning low-cut, sequined dress) and approached by Cage on the street. “Don’t you have somewhere you need to be?” she asks him. He explains he just got off work. She then asks him to grab a coffee. He says he doesn’t like coffee. “Neither do I,” she says. Cut to the two of them seriously getting it on, bouncing off walls, and Cage’s shirt coming off in a hurry.
An embarrassed Missick joked, “That was my stand-in and she did great.”
The fourth and final clip again focused on Stokes. A shot from the POV of some helpless crook held prisoner by the gang leader, with Stokes himself framed in front of an enormous portrait of Biggie Smalls. “Everybody wants to be the king,” he says, and punches the poor fool repeatedly. When he finally eases down and turns his back, the prisoner tries to spit on him. “Now I get to hit you like a man,” Stokes says with a smile.
A teaser for the series was then shown. Thankfully, we can share this one with you here:
We also got a look at the new Iron Fist trailer and a brief teaser for the Defenders series, which will unite all of these Marvel Netflix shows. As news clippings of all of these heroes’ exploits peeled away into a logo comprised of letters of distinctly varied typeface, the words “Streaming live in 2017” closed out the presentation.
Are you a Luke Cage fan? Are you looking forward to the Marvel’s champion’s first solo series? Let us know below!
Featured Image: Marvel/Netflix