Admittedly, I know next to nothing about Luke Cage. If you’re a big fan of the character then this recent news may seem completely obvious to you, but to me it’s all new and exciting – and cool. Heroic Hollywood have come out with, well, the first actual piece of info about the upcoming Netflix show. Recently Oscar-nominated actress Alfre Woodward joined as ‘Minetta,’ the supposed main villain of the series, however she could be playing Black Mariah who is sort-of a female Kingpin. That information seems to clash with the new stuff.
First off, the main villain is actually Diamondback (Willis Stryker), who seems to be such a minor villain that he’s barely traceable on Google.
Despite that, he’s a fairly integral part of Cage’s origin; the pair were childhood friends before falling for the same woman, and Stryker then framed him after her death for a crime he didn’t commit, leading up to the experimentations and breakout that transformed him into a hero (for hire). That woman would be Reva Connors, who’s apparently also appearing as the female lead on the show.
There’s a lot less available on her aside from how she was Cage’s girlfriend prior to shit hitting the fan. This also clashes with what we know; before getting his own Netflix next year, he will first appear on Jessica Jones this fall as the pair get married in the comics. Therefore, this show must be a prequel, which actually makes a lot of sense; familiarise him with viewers first on another show and get them all acquainted with his powers and then delve into how he became that man. The only problem is if Cage is a big hit with audiences who want more of the awesome bulletproof-skin guy, but at least they can just rewatch Jessica Jones over and over to their heart’s content.
Finally – we’ve got ourselves a synopsis! Check it:
“Luke Cage is a former gang member who is framed for a crime. In prison, he volunteers for a medical experiment that goes awry, giving him super strength and bulletproof skin. Using his newfound powers, Cage escapes and becomes a hero for hire. His archenemy is Willy Stryker, a former childhood friend from Harlem. The two committed petty crimes together, and both fell for the same woman, Reva Connors, which led to their eventual falling out. It was Stryker who framed Cage for a drug deal that sent him to prison.”
From the sounds of it, Diamondback’s importance will be bigged up quite a bit. Given this is clearly an origin story that isn’t exactly a surprise but it could be that Black Mariah is employing him and will be the ultimate ‘big bad,’ whereas Stryker will be more of an immediate and emotional threat – like Darth Vader compared to the Emperor. There’s tons of thematic and character material to chew on here which could easily set itself apart from Daredevil and the other Netflix shows. As a guy whose previous knowledge on Luke Cage was that he’s been named Power Man before and he’s black, my hype for this has gone up quite a few notches.
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