Marvel continues to expand their cinematic universe with Luke Cage, a brooding, hip-hop fueled superhero drama about the indestructible badass of Harlem. The Netflix series is the third show to be released in preparation for an eventual Defenders minseries. It stars Mike Colter, who also appeared in Netflix’s Jessica Jones, as an ex-con with superhuman strength. Before you prop yourselves on your couches and binge-watch this action-packed outing, it might be in your best interest to get acquainted with the colorful cast of characters that populate this surefire hit!
1) Carl Lucas A.K.A. Luke Cage
All you need to know is he’s strong, bulletproof, and has unbreakable skin. You’ve already met him before in Marvel’s Jessica Jones, as a bar owner who eventually helped the heroine defeat her mind-controlling ex-bf, Kilgrave. This time, you'll learn of his origin story, and how he tries to save his own ‘hood from gang crimes.
2) Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes
Stokes is a big-time drug lord in Harlem. His illegal operations hit a bump in the road when he runs into Cage. His superb piano skills and crazy laughing moments in the show make this villain stand out.
3) Mercedes “Misty” Knight
Misty Knight is the police detective assigned to handle the case of Luke Cage and investigate Cottonmouth’s crew. Her secret skill: she’s able to reconstruct a crime scene with her photographic memory.
4) Hernan “Shades” Alvarez
He’s a former inmate at the Seagate Prison who becomes the right-hand man of Diamondback, one of the city’s crime bosses. Sent to Harlem to watch over Cottonmouth’s operations, he has a storied history with Cage that plays a vital role in the series.
5) Willis Stryker
This dude is Cage’s BFF-turned-enemy. You might think that he just hates our hero, but he has a hidden motive and vital role in Cage’s life.
6) Claire Temple
She’s the brave nurse who has appeared in every Marvel/Netflix collab so far, and connects all of the shows. And just like her roles in the past shows, she’s here to help Cage against his enemies. Wait for her exciting scene during the finale that hints at a future Marvel project.
7) Mariah Dillard
A.K.A. Black Mariah. She’s a councilwoman who will stop at nothing to bring change to her neighborhood. You wouldn’t want to get on her bad side. As she says: “You never really know what anyone is capable of.”
8) Dr. Noah Burstein
A Marvel outing isn’t complete without that token individual who wants to change the world by developing a serum that is (supposedly) the next step to human evolution. Dr. Burstein is a medical doctor at Seagate Prison, who in the comics, is the man responsible for our protagonist’s super powers.
9) Reva Connors
She’s a psychologist at Seagate Prison and is Cage’s deceased wife. Jessica Jones, under the influence of Kilgrave, murdered her during the events of Marvel’s Jessica Jones.