Netflix

This year at San Diego Comic-Con, Luke Cage star Mike Colter and showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker described how shooting in Harlem, where the original comic book was set, influenced the show's production.

The simple fact that Harlem's sidewalks are so much wider compared to other New York neighborhoods, Colter explained, changed the way the cast and crew were able to play off their surroundings. That might seem like a superfluous detail, but the slice of New York featured in the newest Luke Cage trailer looks and feels like Harlem in a way that's significant.

Despite excellent bits of narrative storytelling, both Jessica Jones and Daredevil suffered from feeling as if they take place in a tourist's Friends-inspired vision of New York City, where people of color were elusive and Hell's Kitchen made up the bulk of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn.

Luke Cage's Harlem is populated with the sort of black and brown people of different backgrounds that studios are slowly beginning to understand appeal to racially diverse audiences. Movies like Suicide Squad and Furious 7 have proven that people are totally game to see men and women of color out there fighting crime and being general badasses.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Black heroes have been a part of the comic book canon for decades, but it hasn't been until very recently that they've been given a chance to jump off the page. Luke Cage will be the first black superhero to headline a series in the age of the modern-day comic book adaptation and if he lives up to the hype, his impact could extend far wider than the reaches of Marvel's cinematic universe.