Minor spoilers below for Luke Cage Season 1, though nothing concerning major events or plot twists.
In its highly anticipated first season, Netflix's Luke Cage dropped a lot of sweet pop culture nods, although most were tied to the character's comic history (like this) or other Marvel shows (like this). But one particularly fantastic easter egg had nothing to do with the comic book world, and instead referenced the celebrated sci-fi comedy Back to the Future through a blink-and-you'll-miss-it newspaper clipping. Check it out.
I know, I know. It's hard as hell to read anything on that page other than the headline, even for Daredevil. (And the headline and accompanying story are the only spoilerly things here.) But if you look at that thin column on the right under the header "Local Inventor Receives Civic Award," you'll find the unfinished story transcribed below.
Isn't that fricking insane? Not only that it exists but that this Reddit user actually found it. The Simpsons helped pave the way for TV shows slipping split-second gags and other visual cues into scenes, and live-action comic book worlds have similarly relied on such techniques to help add fun details to stories. (See: all of Stan Lee's cameos, namechecks for DC TV locations, etc.) But even knowing just how silly and random some of those references can be, seeing this alternate universe version of the whimsical Back to the Future popping up on the gritty crime drama Luke Cage is a jolt.
Had it just been a newspaper article making reference to the events of a Back to the Future film, that would have been one thing. We've seen that angle before. But it's something else entirely to get a replacement version of Doc Brown and Marty McFly's lives, and it is enough to cause endless conversations among fans debating what it means. Is this meant to imply that Luke Cage and Biff Tannen don't exist in the same dimension? Or that in another timeline, Doc and Marty really do have an inappropriate relationship? Ew. Not going there.
Of course, this fictional write-up probably exists because someone involved with the visual effects team wanted to have a laugh when creating the newspaper mock-up. But in my mind, it opens up the kind of dimension-crossing possibilities that we usually see on The Flash or in the actual pages of Marvel comics, and it's worth starting up web forums and support groups over.
Luke Cage is available to stream in its entirety on Netflix right now. To see when everything else is heading to the streaming service and beyond, check out our Netflix premiere schedule and our fall TV schedule. And for a different sweet Back to the Future reference from another great show, head here.