2016 proves that black superheroes matter with not only the 50th anniversary of Marvel’s Black Panther, but also “Luke Cage” on Netflix with Mike Colter as the titular Power Man with the unbreakable skin and superhuman strength.
T’Challa, king and sworn protector of the fictional Wakanda nation, is the world’s first black superhero known as the Black Panther. He made his prowling debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with “Captain America: Civil War” opposite fellow warrior Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), the world’s first super-soldier and Avenger. After all, Wakanda is responsible for vibranium, the metal that assembled the red-white-blue shield that made Steve Rogers into the true red-white-blue shield: the real SHIELD.
The rage of the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) over the death of his father led him to a quest for vengeance against Rogers’ long-lost friend James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), who may – or may not – be innocent.
The Black Panther, whose solo movie is set for 2018, led way for black superheroes such as Team Cap member Sam Wilson/Falcon, half-human, half-vampire slayer Blade and Luke Cage, the name that almost broke Netflix during the weekend of its September 30 premiere.
The man who once said that being a hero can put a target on your back, Luke Cage discovered this moment of truth: that being a hero can get you paid in bodyguarding the people of Harlem against the corrupt system and the politics behind it. Luke understands both the code of the streets and the code of the superhero: fighting to free himself and the neighborhood from the chains of oppression. The name “Luke Cage” means “Bulletproof Love” for this hooded outlaw vigilante who doesn’t need a gun but “IS” the gun: a hero-for-hire.
Come 2017, “Luke Cage” will be joining “Daredevil” (Charlie Cox), “Jessica Jones” (Krysten Ritter), and “Iron Fist” (Finn Jones) to save New York – and themselves – as Marvel’s “The Defenders”.