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As soon as Luke Cage popped up for his first scene in Jessica Jones, it was clear that actor Mike Colter was one of the best casting choices the Marvel Cinematic Universe had going for it. He was so good, in fact, that he completely changed up the schedule of the comic company's Netflix slate. The martial arts drama Iron Fist was originally supposed to be the third series produced, but that all got filpped, and here's the TV creator Cheo Coker's explanation for why the switch was made.
Marvel went from, 'We're gonna take our time' to 'Let's flip it and do Luke Cage first. We've got this great concept and this guy is leaping off the screen, let's follow the momentum.'
Marvel gets no complaints out of us for that one. Mike Colter is exactly what you want to see from a live-action superhero. He's got the musclebound, clean-cut stature. His smile is imbued with charisma and his glare will stop someone in their tracks. And, perhaps most importantly, he just looks so damned cool doing everything. Even when he was making alcohol orders at his bar, he probably gave Tony Stark a run for his money in the smoothness department. So yeah, I get why the powers that be would want to put Colter's superhero on the fast track.
While we will never know if there's a "right" way for this all to have gone, the early buzz puts Luke Cage as one of Marvel's best efforts yet, with Mike Colter getting a whole lotta love alongside that stacked cast, which also includes Mahershala Ali, Alfre Woodard, Simone Missick, Theo Rossi and more. (Read our glowing review here.) Just about everything the show has to offer is getting praised, from the embrace of diversity to the hip hop-driven soundtrack to the fight scenes to the real-world inspirations to everything else. It is, of course, possible that Luke Cage would have been just as incredible coming out next year instead of in a few days, but we'll never have to know.
Cheo Coker had a lot of other positive things to say about Mike Colter's work, too. Here was a particularly booming compliment he shared with Complex.
He's just perfect. It's like, 'Holy shit---this guy is Luke Cage.' Honestly, I consider this the best casting since Sean Connery was James Bond.
You hear that, Timothy Dalton? You'll never make it as a superhero in Harlem! I think that was the point Coker was making there.
So while it sucks to have to wait for Iron Fist to come around, that's just spoiled behavior. There are still so many more Marvel shows coming in the future, it's hard to complain about anything involving comic book television. I mean, it's super easy to complain, really, but you know.
Luke Cage will finally storm his way onto Netflix when Season 1 debuts on Friday, September 30, at 12:00 a.m. PT. We'll be waiting more months for Iron Fist and the rest of the Marvel streaming shows, but in the meantime, you check check out our Netflix premiere schedule and our fall TV schedule to see everything else you could be watching.