The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a fantastical place filled with aliens, unusual technology and magic. However, over on the Netflix side, things have been kept in a more realistic setting. Although the main protagonists in these shows each have their own set of unique abilities, the tone of these series has been less outlandish and more gritty. In the case of Luke Cage, whose powers include super strength and unbreakable skin, things won’t be any different for him on Jessica Jones or his own show.
During an interview with ComicBook, Luke’s star Mike Colter said that he likes that the Marvel Netflix shows are being kept grounded, specifically by using the “less is more” angle. In his words:
What I really liked about it is that this was going to be grounded no matter what. We weren’t going to do something that was going to be ‘wow, I can’t believe this.’ It’s not Lost where it’s a real fantasy situation and you can’t believe what you’re seeing. There are superpowers, but for the most part I think less is more, and it seems like you’re dealing with people who are trying to be low key. I really like the idea that I’m not wearing a costume. I’m a street-level hero and I’m trying to work on saving the community. That’s what it is. It’s really grounded, and I’m really happy about that.
Daredevil set the precedence for how powers are tackled in the Marvel Netflix shows. Think back: that infamous radar sense of his was only ever seen once throughout all of Season 1, and his other enhanced senses never took away from watching him beat up the bad guys. Obviously there are still unusual threats that Luke and the others have to deal with in the streets of New York, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s all being handled as realistically as possible. Luke’s a powerhouse, to be sure, but you won’t see him charging into the same type of battles the Avengers do on the big screen, and his abilities won’t detract from who he is as a character.
When viewers meet Luke Cage in Jessica Jones, he’ll be a man with a mysterious past that Jessica runs into during one of her investigations. He’ll already have his powers, and like Colter said, he’s trying to protect his Harlem community. Following Jessica Jones, Colter will lead the Luke Cage series, which also stars Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard, Theo Rossi as Shades, Mahershala Ali as Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes, Simone Missick as Misty Knight and Frank Whaley as Rafael Scarfe.
We’ll see Colter’s Luke for the first time when Jessica Jones premieres on November 20, and his solo series (currently in production) is expected to air sometime in 2016.