Luke Cage showrunner on finding the vibe of Marvel's latest series in hip-hop and Harlem

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Apr 21, 2016, 4:13 PM EDT

In Luke Cage, Marvel’s latest Netflix series aims to take the classic, street-level hero and hopefully turn him into a household name. But to do it, showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker plans to tap into the world that made Luke the man comic fans have loved for decades.

Coker (Notorious, Southland) chatted with Comic Book Resources about the new series, and touched on how he’s drawing inspiration from hip-hop and the modern-day black experience to tell a story that’s topical to the world we live in — while also asking how superpowers might affect those cultural issues. It’s fascinating, and largely untapped, territory.

Here’s an excerpt from what Coker had to say about Luke Cage:

“For me, hip-hop has always been black superhero music. And now we have a black superhero that matches the music. When you think about Wu-Tang, when you think about A Tribe Called Quest records like "Midnight Marauders," it's deep in the culture, but at the same time, it's become the new rock and roll. Everybody accepts it, everybody understands it.

That's really the vibe of the show -- on one hand, we're dealing with Harlem in ways that really haven't been dealt with. But at the same time, it's a superhero show. At the same time, you get to meet Luke Cage. You get to meet Misty Knight. You get to meet all these other characters. It's these comics come to life with a hip-hop vibe. It's incredibly fun…

For our show -- yes, we deal with serious themes. Imagine what somebody with bulletproof skin, how that could affect the neighborhood when it comes to crime. We deal, in a very realistic way, with how that influences the neighborhood (without revealing anything). It's grounded, but at the same time, the fantasy element of it also, I think, will attract people. We have something that's very dramatic, but at the same time, we don't run away from our comic book roots. We embrace them.”

If you weren’t already excited about this series, Coker’s comments here should do the trick. Marvel has succeeded by giving showrunners enough creative space to breathe, leading to vastly different (but still awesome) projects like Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Coker’s vision for this world sounds fantastic, and we can’t wait to stroll the streets of the MCU’s version of Harlem.

Luke Cage is slated to hit Netflix on Sept. 30.

(Via Comic Book Resources)