You know what really bugs me? When people say the phrase “I don’t see color.” Now, hear me out here because I’m sure a lot of people reading this have said this at one point or another. There are two versions of this phrase though. The first one is its intended meaning. These people constantly think this way though. What I mean by that is they constantly give people the benefit of the doubt. So really, the two versions of this phrase depend on the personality and experiences of the person saying it. These people will gladly surround themselves with people who are different than they are. Race literally doesn’t matter to these people. They can watch any type of film, eat any type of food, and can genuinely feel comfortable around people of different races. When a situation involves race, be it a police shooting or casting for a movie, these people might say this phrase. Key word being might. It isn’t something that is in their everyday vocabulary. Mainly because they live it. Every single day of their lives they give people the benefit of the doubt, regardless of race. When race is involved, these people have the upmost clarity in regards to objectivity.
The other side of this phrase comes from people who aren’t so objective. Do I have Jean Grey abilities and can look into the mind of every human? Obviously not, but I base these opinions in patterns I notice. The other side of this phrase comes from people who somewhat refuse to accept the differences between different races. By that, I mean these people will judge an entire racial situation based off of their experiences and beliefs. We all do that to some extent, but the first set of people understand the struggles starving black teens in Detroit go through. If these teens are caught stealing food from a store, the first set of people might view this problem from different angles. Yes, stealing is a crime and should be punished, but the circumstances of the teens stealing needs to be examined. The first set of people will question why is it these black teens from Detroit are starving, and the white teens down the street aren’t. Further investigation might lead them to discover systemic racism running rampant in their city, schools, and government. The other set of people will simply state that these teens made poor choices. That they shouldn’t be stealing and they should be punished. We see the reactions from these people on social media the second a racial incident occurs. Usually, the phrase is there first defense mechanism, followed by other dumb phrases. No thought goes into the racial inequalities our country has. This is a long winded way of saying, color does matter. It doesn’t matter in the long run, we’re all human, but in America, it definitely matters. Race is engrained into our culture. Different races have different cultures. The cool thing about America is there’s an opportunity for cultures to mix.
Another cool thing about America is they actually do mix, and quite well sometimes. But understanding those differences provides people an opportunity to learn and grow. When you listen with the intent to learn, rather than the intent to argue, you may learn something. Luke Cage isn’t a “colorblind” show. This show isn’t just about some guy named Luke with superpowers. Sure, the show won’t be focused entirely on race, because Luke Cage as a character is awesome. But the simple fact is that Luke Cage is black. He’s big too. He lives his life in a town that has racial inequality everywhere. Different parts of black culture will be present in this show that aren’t in Daredevil or Jessica Jones. My hope is that people open their minds when hitting play on episode one. We all experience love, hate, and fear. But people are different. Luke Cage will be about a man who is different. It’s safe to say, I’m extremely excited for this show. Just like Jessica Jones did, it will subtly show us a new take on a different culture. That’s all I’ve ever wanted from superhero shows.
The main reason everyone should be excited for Luke Cage though doesn’t actually have anything to do with race or black culture though. They are big parts no doubt. The main reason though is because Luke Cage is a cool character. I’d highly recommend Jessica Jones season 1 if you haven’t seen it. Luke Cage has a prominent role in that show. We’re introduced to his cool powers and his tough attitude. The show also does a good job of showing his emotional range too. Luke Cage isn’t just a brawler. He genuinely loves people. He loves being around people. Luke Cage is a class act. Every hero in the Marvel universe is special. They all have a code they live by that makes them who they are. But Luke Cage is a special class hero to me. His code is similar to Spider-Man’s. Both of them are heroes because why the heck not? Their “protect the little guy” mentality is why they are in a special class. We’re going to see the beginning of that code in season 1 of Luke Cage, but this isn’t an evolution of character. Luke will always be a good, cool dude no matter what. That makes him interesting to me. I was nervous he was going to be boring in Jessica Jones. He isn’t Deadpool, but he has his own flare. He’s the same way in the comics too. This show is giving everyone a chance to see how cool of a character he is.
My anticipation for this show also includes the music. If you’ve seen the trailers, you know what I’m talking about. This show is going to have nothing but hardcore hip hop throughout. The show looks like it’s taking place during the 90’s, rather than present day MCU. That’s awesome because all of these Netflix shows have a different feel to them. The music in this show is going to be legendary. I’m not one of those people who utters the phrase, “Hip-hop today sucks. Old school is the best.” Just like the phrase I mentioned earlier, this one also has different versions. Rap is still an ever evolving genre. It has its good parts and bad parts. While I don’t like certain artists today, other artists, like Chance the Rapper, Joey Badass, Logic, G-Eazy, Vince Staples, Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, and Big KRIT make a good argument about why this new era of hip hop is amazing. But still, I’m a history man. You have to understand, appreciate, and know your roots inside and out. The early stages of rap music gave us some of the most legendary beats, songs, and artists. When I heard that Nas song in the second trailer, I felt five years old again in the car with my dad. This show is going to be watched and re-watched simply for the music. And that isn’t even a bad thing. I would like to think everyone listens to rap music, but I’m not naïve. The majority of comic book readers and fans are still white males. They are the main ones who actually know who Luke Cage is. I’m so excited that hip hop is going to be introduced to so many people that might not listen to it otherwise.
The supporting casts in Daredevil and Jessica Jones were solid. They added solid pieces to the story that didn’t bore me to death. The supporting cast in Jessica Jones was annoying, but they were supposed to be. That show’s commentary on rape culture was perfect. Luke Cage is again going to give us more great characters. The return of Claire Temple as Marvel’s greatest nurse will no doubt be cool. I wanted her and Matt Murdock to explore their relationship, but his life proved too much. Maybe something comes up between her and Luke? I’m not sure, but her character is definitely needed in this gritty city. Another character that makes her MCU debut is Misty Knight. She’s a hard-nose detective and has been around in the comics for quite some time. Recently, she teamed up with Sam Wilson in his Captain America comics. She’s savvy, independent, and a skilled fighter too. No doubt she’s going to be an interesting character in this show. She’ll probably investigate Luke Cage when he first starts doing his hero thing in Harlem. Her dialogue and attitude is going to go well with Luke’s calm demeanor.
The main character I would want to see is Luke Cage’s best friend the Iron Fist. I know it seems like a stretch, but Marvel has already shown in Jessica Jones that they aren’t scared to show another hero at the same time. Seeing Luke in Jessica Jones didn’t ruin the show at all. It provided some cool character moments for Jessica. I wasn’t completely sold on their future relationship until the very end. When he’s unconscious on the bed, and she lays with him, I was like, “Damn this looks like it’s from the comics!” She talked about Luke and how she envisioned a life with him. With everything that was going on in the show, it was great to see Jessica open up. They go hand in hand with each other. Iron Fist pairs up with Luke Cage even better to me. Two completely different men who form a bond simply because they respect and like each other. Our society needs to see that. Especially in the divided time we live in now. It’d be cool to see the early friendship of two great heroes. Even if Iron Fist doesn’t show up, Jessica Jones might make an appearance. I’m not expecting her too, but it would be good for Marvel to continue to build that relationship. All of the side characters so far in these shows have been solid so whoever they focus on, it’ll be worth our time.
The last reason I want to touch on in regards to my anticipation for this show is representation. I’ve talked about this multiple times on my site, heroreviewsandnews.com, but there’s no reason not to talk about it again. It’s very important to me. When I was growing up, liking comics and superheroes was considered lame. Even still, when people look at me, the last thing they think of is comic book nerd. I don’t care now, it’s who I am, but there are millions of minority children out there now who want to truly embrace this dream. Even with the booming popularity of superhero movies, our society still laughs a bit at people who put comics and superheroes on the top of their priority list. Seeing someone who looks like you, acts like you, comes from a similar background, all while kicking butt in a colorful costume does something to you. Whether you’re a middle-class soldier watching Captain America or a poor Chicago teen reading Nighthawk. It feels good to see a version of yourself on the movie or television screen. As I stated earlier, we are all different. Recognizing those differences isn’t wrong at all. Luke Cage might be the show that gives more people courage to embrace their inner superhero, and that’s a beautiful thing.