Fans of Netflix's Marvel series rejoice, because a new superhero is about to join the roster. We've actually met him before, since he was first introduced in a multi-episode story arc in Marvel's Jessica Jones. Like Jessica and Matt Murdock before him, Luke Cage will use his powers to defend New York City, so you may want a refresher as to what those powers actually entail.
Luke actually has a few different abilities. Like Jessica Jones, he has serious super strength (which certainly explains how the pair of them, uh, broke a bed during one of their trysts). He also has impenetrable skin, another ability we've already seen in action on Netflix. While it's obviously an asset (dude's literally bulletproof), Jessica Jones demonstrated that it can be a liability. At a certain point in the series he gets shot in the head — the bullet ricochets off, but not before leaving him with some serious head trauma. Said trauma requires a syringe to the skull to drain the bleeding going on in his brain, but thanks to his impenetrable skin, syringes are not an option.
He ultimately pulls through, thanks to the inimitable Claire Temple — but not without getting distressingly close to death's door. His improbable recovery is also likely due to his accelerated healing ability — another one of his powers from Marvel Comics, though it's not something that was discussed during his appearances on Jessica Jones, or in the Luke Cage trailers. In the comics, it's also stated that his skin is invulnerable in just about every way imaginable, from extreme temperatures to super strong acids — not just broken bottles and shotgun ammo.
So, how did Luke end up basically indestructible? Well, like many a superhero, it came as the result of some scientific experimentation, which was interrupted by a prison guard who tried to kill Luke. Thanks to that interference, Luke ended up with these abilities.
It's also worth pointing out that there are some pretty amazing implications of a black hero with powers that make him bulletproof. The trailer features Luke walking around New York wearing a hoodie literally riddled with bullet holes — which is a very powerful image at this point in history. As actor Mike Colter explained to Wired, Luke's hoodie is "a nod to Trayvon Martin and the Black Lives Matter movement — and the idea that a black man in a hoodie isn’t necessarily a threat. He might just be a hero."
Luke Cage was the first black comic book character to lead his own series, and the new Netflix show marks a similar milestone for Marvel. It seems like Luke Cage is powerful in more ways than one.
Images: Netflix (3)