Netflix released an original new series on Sep. 30 based on the superhero comic series Luke Cage – a black man with super strength and super skin. The premise of the TV show follows the life of Cage as an unfortunate experiment occurs and causes him to become a fugitive after a failed relationship with fellow superhero Jessica Jones. In the midst of everything, Cage is forced to protect the city of Harlem, where he lives, all while trying to rebuild his preferred quiet life. Cage is the third Defender superhero on Netflix, along with Jessica Jones and Daredevil.
Since the release of the show, critics have been on opposite sides of a debate: either the show is “too black” or the show breaks black stereotypes. Because Marvel has produced only nineteen black superheros and more than 700 superheroes since 1939, the question of “why Luke Cage” is raised? Within the show, several stereotypes can be considered broken, such as a black man wanting to fight for his city and trying to build his life. However, it does seem as though Netflix decided to add some subconscious stereotypes – like having him live in Harlem and being a fugitive. Others consider the show “too black” because the character portrays this sense of black power and black supremacy against the other villains.
Whatever the case may be, the fact of the matter is simple: Luke Cage is something to be considered on your Netflix streaming time.
Let us know what you think using the hashtag #acuoptimistlukecage. Is Luke Cage advancing black stereotypes or is it reducing them?