Luke Cage: Historical Harlem Perfect Backdrop for the Series

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Luke Cage

Luke Cage, the third installment of the Marvel Defenders to be shown on Netflix, is premiering on September 30. It takes place in Harlem, a district in New York, occupying a large part of Northern Manhattan.

During the San Diego Comic Con, Cheo Coker, Luke Cage?s executive producer talks about Harlem as the show?s setting. ??The thing about Harlem is that you walk in, and it?s just history. It?s history, literature, politics, crime all in one place from block to block.? He said that this mixture of politics and crime symbolizes all that black America was and is, and adding the Marvel super heroes and powers plus music to the mix makes it really dynamic.

Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter, is a character briefly introduced in Jessica Jones, as a ?Power Man? with super strength and unbreakable skin. He leaves Hell?s Kitchen and becomes a fugitive, and escapes to Harlem to attempt to rebuild his life.

?I think there are a couple of moments where [Luke] has to deal with this idea that he?s running from his past but yet he?s needed here in the present to be someone that he innately is but he doesn?t want to own up to,? Colter says in an interview with Hero Complex. ?There?s a certain episode where, he just faces the music, I have to own this, I have to be the man that I am or at least the man that people think that I am and I have to live in this space because I?m in Harlem I can?t go anywhere else, I don?t have a mask, people know where I am, they know how to reach me.?

Mantle of Power

According to Coker, the first season of the show would be exploring what compels someone to be a hero and what makes somebody ultimately accept this mantle of power and responsibility and move forward. He said that the team was able to manage to be very topical in the 13 episodes, but at the same time not be overwhelmed with current issues that you don?t want to watch it anymore.

?What?s great is that it isn?t that these shows aspire above Marvel Comics, it?s that you finally have it in the television and film medium, they?re finally taking itself as seriously as the comics always have. And so it?s really just a continuum, it?s just that the paint is electric in this case,? said Coker.

The Luke Cage series is a mix of fantasy, current events, history and music. Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammed lend their genius to the show?s soundtrack along with other artists like Faith Hill. A 30-piece orchestra was also used to live score the entire series making it a mix of music matched with action, a tribute to Harlem as a nexus of music, politics, culture and criminal figures.

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