Home / General / If you haven’t watched the first full-length “Luke Cage” trailer…

If you haven’t watched the first full-length “Luke Cage” trailer…

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luke cage
stop what you’re doing and do so. See that hoodie he’s got on? It’s not a coincidence.

Also, expect more posts from me soon, as I adjust to my new role in the culture department and Internet curation business. And more OLDMAN CAT — because people tolerate me, but love my elderly kittens.

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  • Brownian

    The elderly kitties love tolerate you, and that’s what counts.

    And I can’t wait for Luke Cage. Colton was brilliant in as the character in Jessica Jones.

    • Brownian

      *Colter*

  • Murc

    Every asshole cops worst nightmare; a bulletproof black man.

    More seriously, I’m not so sure that the series is going to directly confront the impact of systemic racism on minority communities, because it looks like Cage will mostly be fighting… other black gangsters.

    What I’d really like to see is him stepping between criminal cops and citizens, not just regular criminals. But that’s probably a bridge too far.

    • The Temporary Name

      Well said.

      • The Temporary Name

        Well said to the first line! Then the next two paragraphs came later.

        You should really have added “The Temporary Name owes me $300.”

    • nixnutz

      If you’re going to criticize a black writer for not handling racism correctly (which itself seems like a dumb idea), you might want to wait until you’ve seen the show.

      • Murc

        If you’re going to criticize a black writer for not handling racism correctly (which itself seems like a dumb idea), you might want to wait until you’ve seen the show.

        It’s a good thing I did no such thing, then.

      • Gregor Sansa

        If you’re going to criticize Murc for getting it wrong, you might want to read more carefully. “Not so sure”, “looks like”, “probably”; plenty of room for the show to exceed expectations there.

        (Murc beat me to it. Want me to erase this, Murc?)

    • Gregor Sansa

      I’m fine if cops are not the main villains. But I really want there to be at least one white racist authority figure as a side villain; preferably, in a confrontation Cage wins without explicitly using superpowers.

      • Murc

        More than that, it should be someone in a position of embedded, legitimatized authority. Like, in the comics Cage has fought the Kingpin a bunch of times, often with Daredevil. That’s great! Those are good stories.

        But the Kingpin is a criminal mastermind. Wilson Fisk has never committed his enormities under color of law and legitimacy; he’s never worn a badge or been elected mayor or district attorney.

        And that’s cool. Superheroes fighting supervillains is kind of what I signed up for. But in the cultural context of 2016 and on, I’d like to see confrontations shift a little bit more to the kind of evil that sits in a nice office and calls on the forces of law and order to defend and uphold it. Doesn’t have to be all the time. I’ll show up for the Avengers punching the shit out of Thanos.

        But if there’s an appropriate hero to explore those themes, it is Luke Cage.

    • econoclast

      Because the most important story you can tell about black people is their relationship with white people? (Kidding.)

      I think they’re going for an essentially all-black cast, and they want it to be a story about Harlem, and contained in Harlem. Which is subversive in its own way.

      • Murc

        And of course there’s nothing wrong with any of that. My OP was specifically in response to SEK’s speculation in his linked article.

      • rm

        Many bits of dialogue seem to call out Harlem’s history as a city on a hill for black people going back to the ’20s. You don’t see that remembered in pop culture much — Harlem as positive and as a metonym for all of black America.

    • CP

      They do seem to be… trying to talk about this kind of thing. For Daredevil it was class, albeit clumsily and, in the end, not terribly well. For Jessica Jones it was gender, more successfully. I’ll reserve judgment until I see it, but I’m hopeful, seeing as I liked the character a lot in JJ.

      (Also helps that I’ve never read a Luke Cage book, so I have no expectations to disappoint in that department).

    • That was my reaction to the trailer (and the one before it). It looks as if the show is doing this very 80s thing of where you tell a story about the problems of black neighborhoods, but working from the assumption that those problems begin and end with crime, without ever examining the role that poverty and government neglect played in allowing crime to take root. (That’s, of course, before you get to the more generalized issue, which also afflicts Daredevil, of assuming that the way to stop crime is to beat a lot of people up.)

      I mean, given the people involved I’m reasonably certain that the show’s handling of the issue will be more nuanced than that – as Scott says, there’s no way that hoodie is a coincidence. But I wonder how much runway Marvel and Netflix are going to give them. It’s one thing for Jessica Jones to talk about rape and abuse, because that didn’t implicate society as a whole except very obliquely. I’m not sure the same would be true about a story in which the people shooting at Luke Cage are cops.

      • Murc

        That’s, of course, before you get to the more generalized issue, which also afflicts Daredevil, of assuming that the way to stop crime is to beat a lot of people up.

        This is one of those things you kinda gotta get past a bit in order to embrace the vigilante superhero as a concept. Typically speaking, vigilante superheros (of whom Batman is the ur-example) require a context in which ordinary policing has broken down to such an extent that a citizen resorting to what is basically extralegal violence and a systemic series of civil rights violations seems like it is a good idea.

        (Or, alternatively, that the threats faced are such that you require a nonstandard solution. Batman lives in a world where he is legitimately one of the only three or four people alive who can out-think Ra’s al’Ghul, the genocidal madman. That’s a terrifying world but it does justify his existence.)

        But basically you sort of have to accept that the guys who are lurking in the shadows ready to kick the shit out of people are good guys. The extent to which that is true or not has been the function of some decent stories in the comics medium over the years.

        • This is one of those things you kinda gotta get past a bit in order to embrace the vigilante superhero as a concept.

          True, but there are ways to mitigate this problem, and ways to lean into it. Where Daredevil ended up wasn’t an inevitable outcome of its genre. It was a choice.

      • econoclast

        But those are almost necessarily stories about white people. I think part of the impulse behind the show is to actually give a bunch of black actors a chance to be on TV.

        Anyway, if the show follows the blaxploitation pattern, the black gangsters will prove to be stalking horses for the white establishment.

        • But those are almost necessarily stories about white people.

          Huh? Even leaving aside that racist systems do not require that all their actors be white to function, I don’t see how a story about black people dealing with systemic racism is “a story about white people.” Any more than Kilgrave (and Simpson’s) gender makes Jessica Jones a story about men.

          I do, on the whole, understand the desire for most of the players in Luke Cage to be black, including the villains (in the same way that, to bring this back to JJ, most of the players there were women, many of whom were negative figures). And as I said, I trust the team behind this show to be aware of these issues (probably better than I am). But I wonder if Marvel conventions will allow them to acknowledge systemic problems that can’t, by their nature, be solved by one person with superpowers.

          • econoclast

            You don’t think that Jessica Jones was partially a story about men? We learn all about Kilgrave’s backstory (we probably learn more of his than of Jones’). We learn how Simpson’s view of himself and his masculine self-conception make him unable to cope with what Kilgrave did to him, eventually breaking him as a person.

            • I’ll grant you Simpson, but I think it’s a mistake to assume that just because Kilgrave symbolizes toxic masculinity, that he also suffers from it. The truth is, Kilgrave is barely a person (the season is at its weakest when it tries to explain him, tying itself in knots to do so without seeming to excuse him, and making some pretty horrifying statements about abuse as a result). His narcissism isn’t strongly gendered – as evidenced by the fact that it is mirrored in other, female abuser characters like Jeri Hogarth, Trish’s mother, and even Robyn the neighbor.

              Even with Simpson, I don’t think it’s accurate to say that JJ is a story about men. It’s about women suffering from abuse, in which men unsurprisingly play a role. In any other version of this story, we’d expect Simpson to be the hero. Here, he’s an afterthought, something for the heroines to get past as they move on to bigger things.

    • Sly

      Pre-Bionic Misty Knight is one of the lead characters so there’s definitely a “cop storyline” somewhere on the show. Plus they turned Black Mariah (Alfre Woodard’s character) from a gang leader into a local politician, and rumor has it that she’s the main villain, so I doubt its going to be an entire season of Luke Cage smashing up countless numbers of Cottonmouth’s disposable henchmen.

      Besides, the necessity of the superhero always begins with some kind of institutional failure. And police departments that are ineffective at combating local drug lords – due to some combination of corruption and a shitty relationship with the community itself because of systemic racism – are certainly examples of institutional failure. My hope is that Luke Cage makes that transition, but even if it doesn’t it still looks like a good show.

      • Matt Stevens

        The necessity of the superhero always begins with some kind of institutional failure. And police departments that are ineffective at combating local drug lords … are certainly examples of institutional failure.

        I was about to say the same thing, thank you.

        Also, it takes place in the same universe as Daredevil, where police corruption has been established. Not the same thing as systematic racism, but hell, this is a comic-book movie…

      • CP

        Besides, the necessity of the superhero always begins with some kind of institutional failure. And police departments that are ineffective at combating local drug lords – due to some combination of corruption and a shitty relationship with the community itself because of systemic racism – are certainly examples of institutional failure. My hope is that Luke Cage makes that transition, but even if it doesn’t it still looks like a good show.

        Yes.

        A little while after watching Daredevil Season 1 and reading various reviews, I ended up concluding that the series would’ve been better if they’d simply dropped the hamfisted “Kingpin as Robert Moses by way of false flag terrorism” attempted social commentary, and just left him as a mob boss. Because you can tell that kind of story and still make it about class: the power that such people wield in poor and run-down neighborhoods, the fact that it means the regular people can’t rely on the police or higher authorities for protection from them, the fact that the pezzonovante are often happy to tolerate them because they make useful friends in low places. Instead of being about class in the “mean rich people blow up poor poor people’s homes” sense, the story would then be about class in the sense of neglect and indifference from the people at the top.

        Similarly, you could probably still make a pretty good point about race in America with a show in which the cops are visible by their absence as much as anything else. (The point of “Black Lives Matter” isn’t as simple as “white cops shoot black people and that’s racist;” it’s “society considers black lives expendable, no matter who it is who’s ending them, and police relations with black people take place in that context.”)

  • Murc

    Also too: I managed to pick out Misty in the trailer, but where’s her robot arm?

    Misty Knight’s two defining characteristics are not taking any guff from anyone ever and her sweet, sweet robot arm.

  • Downpuppy

    Looks pretty good. I just hope at some point they bring in his unbeatable nanny.

    • Anna Kendrick and Shannon Purser from “Stranger Things” have both expressed interest in playing the Girl of Squirrels…

      • Halloween Jack

        I’ve thought that Hannah Murray (Gilly from Game of Thrones) would also make a fine SG.

        • wjts

          I’m not real familiar with the Squirrel Girl comics, but Hannah Murray was absolutely delightful in a BBC Radio sci-fi comedy series called Welcome to Our Village, Please Invade Carefully.

  • Captain Splendid

    FWIW, Oldman Cat’s my least favourite bit of yours. Good to see you’re going to be more active though.

    • dl

      least
      most

    • Pseudonym

      On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog… until you out yourself with a comment like that.

  • Was that Rosario Dawson again? I am so tired of her after this campaign.

    • Halloween Jack

      I kind of feel the same way about Susan Sarandon, but Dawson was a welcome addition to Daredevil and Jessica Jones, and I’m looking forward to her here as well.

  • Looks good.

  • Halloween Jack

    Loved the bit where the 70s-era tiara and wristbands make an appearance.

    • Srsly Dad Y

      I was hoping for the big-collar yellow shirt though. No nod to the yellow disco shirt?

  • Simeon

    @Loomis please watch this trailer and give your thoughts. It’s very interesting to hear the actively-hostile-to-superheroes point of view.

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