Luke Cage character guide
Luke Cage made his debut in Netflix’s Jessica Jones just last year, and fans have quickly gravitated toward this version of the character. In his upcoming solo series, he’ll be starring alongside a whole new group of characters and fresh faces for fans, but there’s no reason to dive in without knowing a bit about who the characters are, so check out our Luke Cage character guide below!
Marvel’s Luke Cage will premiere in its entirety on Netflix on September 30.
Luke Cage Character Guide: Luke Cage
Created by Archie Goodwin, John Romita, Sr., and George Tuska in 1972’s “Hero for Hire’ #1, Luke Cage is one of the most popular street level heroes in the Marvel Universe who possesses superhuman strength and impenetrable skin. As the title of the comic said, Luke would be a hero for anyone that could pay for it and found himself going up against several street-worthy criminals at first. He quickly worked his way up to fighting the likes of Doctor Doom and eventually partnering up with Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist (who will be played by Finn Jones in his own Netflix series).
Mike Colter reprises his Jessica Jones role for his titular series. In the comics, Luke was first known for wearing a tiara as part of his outfit, which was acknowledged not only in the most recent trailer for the series but also in its production code name, “Tiara.”
Luke Cage Character Guide: Pop
It’s unclear who Pop is in the series – whether he is Luke’s actual father or just a father figure with the nickname remains to be seen. What we do know is he owns a barbershop that will be in the series and he’s played by The Wire‘s Frankie Faison.
Luke Cage Character Guide: Misty Knight
Created by Tony Isabella, Arvell Jones, Roy Thomas, and Ross Andru, Misty Knight made her comic book debut three years before she would even be given her catchy moniker in 1975’s “Marvel Premiere” #21. A NYPD officer, Misty worked as a beat cop for many years before she encountered a bomb and was injured when it exploded. The blast separated her right arm, which resulted in Tony Stark giving her a brand new robotic one.
Though she did some solo adventuring, Misty would later team up with Colleen Wing to start their own detective agency, Knightwing Restorations, Ltd., aka The Daughters of the Dragon. Misty is set to be played by Simone Missick in the upcoming series.
Luke Cage Character Guide: Mariah Dillard
Created by Steve Englehart, George Tuska, and Billy Graham, Mariah Dillard, aka Black Mariah, made her first appearance in “Hero for Hire” #5. Her antics at the time included running a gang called the Rat Pack, which would ride around New York in an ambulance and pick up the recently deceased, stealing all of their valuables. She first crossed paths with Luke Cage when he was hired to find a man’s body and discovered her operation.
Alfre Woodard will play Mariah in the series. The character appears to have bigger aspirations than stealing from dead men’s pockets. If the previously-released promotional images are to be believed, Mariah will have political ambitions in the show.
Luke Cage Character Guide: Cottonmouth
Unrelated to the member of the Serpant Society of the same name, Cottonmouth was created by Len Wein and George Tuska in 1974’s “Power Man” #19. A crime lord in New York, his drug dealings in the city are what lead to Luke Cage actually becoming imprisoned and thus gaining his superpowers. In fact, he and Luke have a long history as they were both members of the same street gang, The Rivals, when they were kids (along with some other characters on this list). The character has previously used his teeth to take a literal bite out of people that disagree with him.
Mahershala Ali (co-star of another Netflix original series House of Cards) will star as the character in the series, serving as the main antagonist. It’s unclear if the character will ever be called Cottonmouth in the series as up until this point he’s only been referred to as “ Cornell Stokes.”
Luke Cage Character Guide: Shades
The final member of the original lineup of The Rivals, Shades made his debut in “Hero for Hire” #1 along with his cohorts. Shades would go on to be a recurring low-level villain with Luke Cage over the years, and as his name would suggest, his trademark look is his sunglasses. At one point the character was equipped with powerful “shades” that fired optic blasts.
Theo Rossi will star as the character in the series, and the first shot of him in the trailer for the series is him putting on… you guessed it, shades.
Luke Cage Character Guide: Rafael Scarfe
Created by Chris Claremont and Pat Broderick in 1975’s “Marvel Premiere” #23, Scarfe was an Army veteran turned NYPD detective. Scarfe became the partner of none other than Misty Knight for her tenure in the NYPD and was present when she lost her arm. The character has continued to appear in Marvel comics encountering many of the other street-level heroes. Frank Whaley will play Detective Scarfe in the series, in which he will not only be Misty Knight’s partner but will also be investigating the title hero and his superlative actions.
Luke Cage Character Guide: Lonnie Carver
The younger brother of Bill Carver, aka the speedster Thunderbolt, Lonnie was murdered and later avenged by Luke Cage in the pages of the Marvel comics. It’s unclear if he’ll have the same storyline in the series, or even if it’s the same character, but Darius Kaleb is credited as playing Lonnie in all 13 episodes of the series.
Luke Cage Character Guide: Claire Temple
Fan-favorite nurse Claire Temple will appear in the series, played once again by Rosario Dawson. One thing to note though is that Claire and Luke Cage have a history in the source material, first appearing in his second issue. In fact, the clinic Claire worked at was under Dr. Burstein, the man who gave Luke his powers.
Luke Cage Character Guide: Turk Barrett
Another Marvel’s Daredevil alum will be appearing on the series with Rob Morgan as Turk Barrett. The character is a low level villain, primarily a mob enforcer and arms dealer in the TV series. He only had a handful of run-ins with Luke Cage in the source material.