Marvel Comics First Failure: Luke Cage


Over the years I have become a big fan of movies and T.V. shows that originate from comic books specifically Marvel Comics and D.C. Comics. For a while now I didn’t think there was anything these two groups couldn’t do well and often a lot better than just well. I suppose it all started for me with Adam Wests portrail of Batman and it pleases me to no end that the actor is still enjoying fame playing himself on Family Guy as well as more cameo spots than I could ever hope to count. In fact among live actors my 2 favorite actors are Adam West and Bruce Campbell which just goes to show you how twisted my mind is.

They were doing so well and then came Luke Cage. We first saw Luke Cage as the love interest in Marvels Jessica Jones. Marvel just loves interracial relationships. Cage is a small pub owner in the city with some unusual powers in strength and resilience. He’s a cool guy who rides a Harley and doesn’t cotton to a lot of idle conversation. When I was power watching the Jessica Jones series I was thinking this guy would be a great super hero and represent the Black community well. One out of two isn’t bad he did become a super hero.

With much anticipation I watched the weeks melt by waiting for the new Luke Cage show to kick off it’s new season on Netflix. The show turned out to be a major disappointment. Instead of building on the “normal guy” character Marvel decided to go politically correct. Luke goes from the fine upstanding business owner to broke ass nigga in da hood faster than you can count to one. Surrounded by the worst the Black community has to offer sweeping up hair in a barber shop. The image we get is that even a good Black man who does everything right can’t escape da hood.

The really sad part is that Marvel was so busy trying to be politically correct that they ended up being racist instead. Did they even stop to think whether this story line was even plausible? Donald Trump was asked shortly after he joined the Republican primaries “What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and lost everything?” to which he replied that the first thing he’d do is try to find a good marketing company and apply for a job. Because that is what successful people do they brush themselves off and get right back into the fight. But not the Black guy. Even though he has already displayed a successful attitude, his bar burns down and he just cashes in? That isn’t even believable.

What if Marvel had made Black folks look good? Cage started out being a nice middle class man why not let him be that guy instead of some diamond in da hood? Why make color such a central focus on a show that could have been uplifting to everyone? Was the goal to entertain or promote a political point of view?

The really really sad part is that Mike Colter who plays Luke Cage is a very good actor. This is why I believed a spin off of the Jessica Jones series was something to consider in the first place. He could have easily pulled off the normal Black man instead of the BLM/NBP sympathizer and it would have done much more for his career if he had.

I don’t really see this show surviving unless they can change the base narrative of the oppressed Black man. America is getting tired of this narrative. They want to see normal Blacks on TV. Ones that are more like their Black neighbors not rioters in Baltimore. And as Netflix is a pay to view platform I don’t think Marvel and Netflix are going to have much of a viewing audience after the 3rd episode.


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