‘Luke Cage’ superhero series in season 2


By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr.

Associated Press

ATLANTA

“Black Panther” broke box office records, but “Luke Cage” once crashed Netflix.

The streaming service suffered a massive outage for more than two hours in 2016, one day after the premiere of “Luke Cage,” a drama-action series starring Mike Colter, who plays the show’s superhero with indestructible and bulletproof skin.

Heading into its first season in 2016, the show was highly anticipated as the only television series with a black superhero as the lead character at the time.

With season two of “Luke Cage” premiering today on Netflix, Colter hopes the series can keep the momentum going. Especially after the success of other black-leading superhero characters, like CW’s “Black Lightning” and the film “Black Panther,” which had a record-setting $192 million debut in U.S. and Canada theaters and nearly $700 million overall this year.

“Luke Cage” received high marks from most reviewers for the show’s politically and socially conscious story angles, strong writing and Colter’s performance. The deep-voiced actor said society – not only in the black community – was ready to see a black superhero as a lead character.

Colter said he spoke with many people across the world telling him they related to Cage’s character. The original character first appeared in comic books in 1972.

“For people of color, it inspires them to believe they can be a superhero in their own way, too,” said the 6-foot-3 Colter, who bulked up 30 pounds for the role.

“There’s a certain portion of the population that needs to see someone that represents them,” he added. “Sometimes that’s not just physically. It’s a point of view. I get a lot of fans who are white, Asian, Brazilian. They relate to the character because of their approach to the world. Ultimately, they feel like this guy is blue collared and he is striving to do something with his life with all his limitations financially. He’s not feeling sorry for himself or having a pity party. He’s just trying to keep on keepin’ on. That’s what people relate to.”

Cage is an ex-convict wrongly imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, developing his superpowers after a botched experimental procedure. After clearing his name, he becomes a Harlem celebrity for his heroic efforts to protect the community. The character has appeared in other Marvel Cinematic Universe shows, including Netflix’s “Jessica Jones” and “The Defenders.”

In season two, Cage struggles to find a good-paying job until he decides to cash in on his abilities as a hero-for-hire.

Colter’s fellow cast members called him a “perfect fit” for the Cage role.

“No matter how tired Luke Cage is, he has to protect Harlem. Mike leads our show in the same way,” said Simone Missick, who reprises the role of Misty Knight. “He fits the bill physically. He approaches his character with a vulnerability you don’t often see in characters like that. It’s endearing to people. I think with Mike being the leader of this new school of superheroes, he does an amazing job.”

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