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‘Marvel’s Luke Cage’ Star Mike Colter on Why Netflix Show Is ‘Inclusively Black’

“When I think about Luke Cage, the last thing I think about is a superhero. It’s more like, By the way, it’s a superhero story,” said Mike Colter on the red carpet of the “Marvel’s Luke Cage” premiere at the AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9 theater in New York. “The guy has special abilities, but he also goes through the same things we go through.”

Colter’s character Luke Cage, known for being bulletproof, was first seen in Netflix’s “Jessica Jones” and he’s now front and center in the latest Marvel series.

The “Marvel’s Luke Cage” cast includes Mahershala Ali, Alfre Woodard, Simone Missick, Frankie Faison and Rosario Dawson.

Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker says the show brings a lot to the table. “It’s a very entertaining, hip hop-laced comic book story, but underneath is a very deep political undercurrent,” he said.

Colter hopes the audience will connect to the show on a human level.

“People want to describe it as a black show, but I would say it’s inclusively black,” Colter told Variety, “in a sense that yes the characters are black and yes you’re watching a show shot in Harlem, but these inclusively black characters have the same problems you have, and go through the same sort of issues that everyone goes through.”

For Coker, Harlem as the main backdrop was a no-brainer.

“Harlem for me is Atlanta, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. in one place. You have very significant churches that have had national ramifications. At the same time you have politics. On top of all that you have entertainment because you have 70 years of music that came out of here, and if you scratch that, gangsterism happens,” he said. “So when you put a bulletproof black man in the middle of all that, no matter where you point the camera, there’s going to be an interesting story.

The 13-episode series will be released Sept. 30 on Netflix.

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