“When I think about what’s going on in the world right now, the world is ready for a bulletproof black man,” said Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker today at Comic-Con. “It’s got a ’90s vibe but very much of today, and I can’t wait for you to see more of it,” he added to a packed Ballroom 20 in a clip-heavy panel that included a super mash-up featuring Luke Cage, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist (check it out above). “As we know there aren’t a lot of African American superheroes.”
With a teaser trailer for Cage, the jam-packed panel also revealed that Daredevil has been officially picked up for a third season. A sneak peak of the upcoming Iron Fist was also shown, and a logo reveal of The Defenders with Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” playing on the soundtrack.
— Luke Cage (@LukeCage) July 22, 2016
Citing “the Wu-Tangifiction of the Marvel Universe,” with the music used in the series and saying he “wanted the 13-episodes to feel like an album,” Coker called the September 30 Netflix-launching Luke Cage “relentless.”
Uncharacteristically light-hearted in many ways for a Marvel panel, things almost ended with a singing of “Happy Birthday” to co-star Frank Whaley — of course not before they showed another clip with angry Mahershala Ali framed by a crowned portrait of iconic rapper Notorious B.I.G., proving once again how much music will play a role in the series. Former music journalist Coker told the crowd how he had known Biggie Smalls and how the attitude of the rapper permeates Luke Cage. Then both the short Iron Fist tease and the look at the Defenders logo was dropped on the thunderous crowd.
The latest Marvel series for the streaming service was making its SDCC debut. Coker was joined by lead Mike Colter plus Afre Woodard, Whaley, House of Cards’ Ali, Sons Of Anarchy alum Theo Rossi and Simone Missick. Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb, in a Luke Cage-branded hoodie, Daredevil T-shirt and Jessica Jones ball cap, moderated the panel. “I’m so proud and I can’t wait for you to see it,” Colter said of the series before a clip of Ali and Woodard was shown.
An exclusive clip from the series was shown earlier after everyone was introduced that revealed Colter’s Cage walk through a hail of bullets in a Harlem boxing ring to stop a gun ring. “I guess you guys haven’t heard about me,” Cage tells the men shooting him, before dispensing with them, to put it mildly. “Why didn’t I just give Luke Cage what he wanted,” the looming character told one bad guy after mentioning a few examples of how he would get the information he wanted out of him.
The intro to the presentation of the third Marvel series on Netflix began with a 3-minute countdown clock on the video monitors in the ballroom that saw fans chanting down the last 10 seconds. The clip then showed the mash-up of scenes from Daredevil, Jessica Jones and some brand new Luke Cage footage with a clip of the Punisher from the second season of Daredevil thrown in for more cheers.
Afterwards, Punisher actor Jon Bernthal showed up onstage to have Loeb play the clip again and tell the crowd “Luke Cage looks very very good.” Not originally part of the multi-series deal that Netflix and Marvel have, the two gave a greenlight to a Punisher spinoff series at the end of April with Steven Lightfoot as showrunner.