MILD SPOILER ALERT: This article contains mild spoilers from ‘Luke Cage’ Season One, so if you haven’t see it up until Episode 4, you may want to turn back.
Fans probably never expected to see Mike Colter decked out in the classic, iconic “Powerman” costume from the comics on the gritty Netflix series ‘Luke Cage’. After all, a flowing yellow blouse, unbuttoned to the navel with silver bracelets and a tiara (and an inexplicable chain for a belt) hardly screams bad ass, at least not in this day and age.
Indeed, Colter, like Kristen Ritter’s ‘Jessica Jones’, tends to fight crime in street clothes, usually a hoodie and leather jacket. Buuuuuuut, for the true comic book fans, Episode Four threw in a flashback Easter Egg as Cage grabs some laundry from a clothesline and winds up in his classic costume, only to catch a glimpse at his reflection and mutter, “You look like a damn fool.”
Colter offered his reaction to the reveal, saying:
“I thought it was brilliant how they unveiled it. That, for me, was genius. When they said they were going to put me in that costume, I was like, ‘Oh God, here we go. But how? How?’ And I read the episode script and I couldn’t believe it. The way they did it was just so smart.
“We commented on the original costume, we poked fun at it and we also owned what it was. It was all what we needed to do. We wanted to see it but we needed to do it in a way that seemed organic but also made it seem like we were in on the joke. Like, ‘Hey guys, we’re just doing it because we know what you want.’ That’s what’s great about it.
“You already know it’s coming. Yeah, yeah. That’s what it was. It was a slow release, pieces of information, and then you see it coming from a mile away. And it’s a hilarious costume. But when you see it, it’s still satisfying.
“It was really cold that night, we were shooting in Queens, I was barefoot, we were in someone’s yard. So it was one of those things where I had been waiting to do that scene for so long, finally we got a chance to shoot it, but I was ready for it to be done. I was so relieved when we were finally done. And as long as I’m not wearing that in a serious moment, then we’re OK. We can make fun of it, we can do what we have to do and I’m all for it, but that costume is not made for serious moments.”
The tiara and bracelets are depicted as being part of the experiment that gave Cage his unbreakable skin, so at least there’s an explanation for such unusual accessories.
The old ‘Powerman’ costume may have worked back in the 70s when the original comics were published, during the disco era, but that would never work for a street-level hero of today.
Colter gets serious and references real-world events when discussing his low key appearance in the present day scenes:
“That never would have worked in this version. Luke is all about trying to blend in. And I wanted to show that heroes can wear hoodies, too. I’m taking what happened with Trayvon Martin and flipping it, showing that, hey, this man is a hero, not a suspect.
“We have a grounded series, but we also don’t want to take ourselves too seriously. We want to have fun at some points so the fans can also feel like they can chuckle at times. It’s dark, but you definitely have moments of levity. When you’re watching it, you don’t want to always ne heading toward a serious moment. Like, Luke is a total cornball. So we wanted to incorporate those moments, too. And later on in the season, he gets the girl, yeah, but he still gets nervous around women, too.”
If you’ve seen it, did you get a laugh out of seeing Colter in the old school yellow costume? Would you like to see more of it?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter