A timer in Ballroom 20 gave me anxiety as it counted down the minutes until MARVEL’S LUKE CAGE took the dais. The new Netflix series is the latest notch on the belt of Marvel’s gritty and “mature” superhero series which include Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and the forthcoming Iron Fist. When the clock hit zero, a super triptych trailer that included Daredevil, Jones, and Cage appeared on the screen and was met with an uproar of applause. From there, the panel just got better.
Marvel Head of Television Jeph Loeb took the stage to prep us for the highly anticipated Luke Cage panel, but before he could, Jon Bernthal, who debuted as The Punisher in Daredevil last season, crashed the party for some witty banter and to remind us that a Punisher series was in development at Netflix, which just got the audience even more hyped for the Luke Cage cast.
Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker came out and started to say a few words about the first Netflix superhero series with a black actor. Without missing a beat, he said “When I think of what’s going on in the world, I think the world is ready for a bulletproof black man.”
Coker was soon joined by Frank Whaley, Mahershala Ali, Theo Rossi, Simone Missick, Alfre Woodard, and Cage himself Mike Colter. (Rosario Dawson will also star in the show, but wasn’t able to attend this time around.) But before they could say any words Loeb played us a clip from the show which had Colter wiping the floor with a bunch of thugs doing bad things. In fact, the panel was filled with more and more clips which gave each actor on stage a time to shine. We were introduced to the no-nonsense detective Misty Knight and caught a glimpse of Theo Rossi as Shades who Coker calls the Little Finger of Luke Cage. We also saw Woodard in action as corrupt Harlem politician, Mariah Dillard and got our first taste of Cottonmouth (Ali), who, based on the footage could possibly be one of the most ruthless and terrifying villains of the MCU.
Loeb gave us clips that were huge chunks of the show that I thought they were going to show us the entire first episode. But alas, they didn’t. Instead, he gave us a first look at Iron Fist with Finn Jones — and the crowd just about lost it. But after that, the audience nearly had a collective aneurism after he showed a teaser for The Defenders, the upcoming series that will include all four of the aforementioned superheroes — but you’ll have to wait until 2017 for that. Until then, clear your schedule for Sept. 30 because you’ll need that day to binge watch Luke Cage.
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer