If you've been paying attention to the world of TV and film you'll notice a major trend: superheroes are everywhere. Between the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Netflix's Marvel properties, CW's Arrowverse, and the DC Extended Universe, you can't turn a corner without a dude in tights coming to save the day and kick some ass. But with so many super powered individuals running around in their respective shared universes, it can sometimes be difficult to make the stories feel human and realistic in our cynical real world. Luckily for us, Netflix's Luke Cage will be doing just that, and will use current events to help ground an otherwise fantastical premise.
Marvel's head of television Jeph Loeb recently sat down to speak with Comic Book Resources about all things Luke Cage. The upcoming addition to the MCU is set in Harlem, and will therefore focus on the residents of that particular neighborhood. When asked if Luke Cage would address the current real-life issues facing people of color, Loeb said the following:
You can't set out to do Luke Cage and not deal with the reality of what's going on in this country, and what's going on in general. It's not what the show's about, but if we can get our message out, which is, 'This is all one planet, and we're going to have figure it out' -- you just can't put up walls and try to figure it out that way. We made a show which has great fun, great action, all the things that you want out of Luke Cage. Marvel always works best when it lives in the real world, but then has the Marvel touch around it.
Honestly, this sounds pretty great. Luke Cage is doing something that the likes of Daredevil and Jessica Jones never did, which will make it an even more exciting television adventure when the first season is released in its entirety in September 30th.
Although both of its predecessors are also set in New York, they've failed to really represent what the city is like now. Daredevil's comic, cartoon, and live-action setting has always been in the neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen, which years ago was the home of a fair amount of illegal activities. But Hell's Kitchen now is actually a trendy neighborhood filled with excellent restaurants and nightlife. Obviously those behind Daredevil wanted to keep the setting faithful to the comics, but it does require a suspension of disbelief for those who understand the current landscape of New York City.
Luke Cage, however, will be more grounded in the reality of New York today. Rather than dealing with cool ninjas who are trying to take the neighborhood down, Cage will feature realistic street gangs and focus on the experience of being a person of color in Harlem. Jeph Loeb's comments also strongly imply that the Black Lives Matter movement or realities like institutionalized racism will be present throughout Luke's adventures, giving the series a connection to the real world that other Marvel shows lack.
What do you think about the plan for Luke Cage? Sound off in the comments below.