The symbolism in Marvel’s Luke Cage, the newest of its Netflix superhero series, is not terribly subtle: “Having Luke Cage wandering around, wearing a hoodie as an act of defiance, reading Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man feels a bit on the nose,” noted Daniel Fienberg in a review for The Hollywood Reporter, “‘Marvel’s Luke Cage’: TV Review,” posted September 27, 2016. But the pointed commentary and the show’s willingness to engage with social issues may be one of its strengths. It’s the first television show to center on a black superhero, based on a character created during the Blaxploitation craze of the 1970s.
That Luke Cage, sometimes known as Power Man, who is bulletproof, is increasingly relevant in an age of #BlackLivesMatter and increased media coverage of the shootings of unarmed black men. But that social consciousness is only one of the aspects of Marvel’s Luke Cage that would make an interesting research paper topic in your film and television studies or African American studies classes. It’s also a great source for an extracurricular reading list. Read more