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[VIDEO] Get to Know the Heroes and Rogues of Netflix’s Luke Cage

While many of you have undoubtedly begun your marathon session of Luke Cage (which came out earlier this morning), there are some of you who aren’t quite there yet. Moreover, there are perhaps a few of y’all who haven’t exactly kept up with the list of characters we can expect to be seeing throughout our 13 episode watch-fest.

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So, we here at The Mary Sue have decided to put together a primer of sorts, a short video to help get you acquainted with the faces and personalities you’ll soon be seeing on screen. We’ve included a transcript of the video below if the video’s not your thing, as well!

Tell us, then: who are you most excited to see grace your screen on Luke Cage?

This Friday, Luke Cage finally comes out on Netflix, ending months and months of anticipation. You may already be familiar with Luke Cage and his story thanks to his turn on another Netflix show, Jessica Jones, but what of the people who surround him? What are their stories? How do they relate to Cage, and more importantly, what kind of impact will they have on the Netflix Marvel universe?

Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, played by Mahershala Ali
Described as a “Godfather-type villain” by Ali, Stokes is the owner of a Harlem nightclub which serves as a front for illegal operations. In the “Streets” trailer, Stokes goes over his plan to take over the city, calling himself the king–a theme that echoes back to Daredevil and Kingpin. Since Kingpin’s still out of the picture (at least for now), Harlem and the city are ripe for the picking for any criminal mastermind who dares to try to climb atop the criminal underworld.

Misty Knight, played by Simone Missick
Knight is a Harlem police detective who has a “very strong moral compass,” according to Missick. The conflict between Stokes and Cage obviously spills over into the streets, and Knight is the detective tasked with finding out what’s going on. She isn’t exactly a counterpart to Cage in that she’s certainly her own character, and was played that way by Missick, who adamantly believes that she is “her own person. She’s not the wife. She’s not a girlfriend. She’s not a sidepiece or a sidekick.”

In the comics, she eventually becomes a superhero in her own right, gaining a bionic arm that grants her superhuman strength. She also has links to Iron Fist, who (as you well know) has his own Netflix show currently in the works.

Mariah Dillard, played by Alfre Woodard
Dillard can perhaps be considered the opposite side of the coin from Stokes. She’s his cousin, and she’s involved in local politics, which proves to be a bit of a volatile mix as Stokes and Cage’s conflict comes to the fore.

“Shades” Alvarez, played by Theo Rossi
Shades has been described by Rossi as the “Littlefinger of Luke Cage.” He’s opportunistic, and likely does a lot of background scheming (and undoubtedly sneering if the Littlefinger comparison proves to be true in more ways than one).

Claire Temple, played by Rosario Dawson
Dawson reprises her Daredevil and Jessica Jones character here as well. She’s run into Cage before, as she took care of him after Jones had to shoot him in the head with a shotgun in order to knock him out and free him from Kilgrave’s control during their showdown. Judging by the trailers and from what we can piece together, she seems to serve the same kind of role she carried out in Daredevil and Jessica Jones, that of a nurse who so happens to have experience treating superpowered individuals.

Much of her support comes not just from treatment of physical injuries, but emotional ones as well.

You’ll remember that at the end of the last season of Daredevil, she quits her job as an emergency room nurse, so it’ll be interesting to see what she’s been up to in the intervening time.

And finally, as we couldn’t resist:

Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter
Cage gained his superpowers (which include super strength as well as invulnerability) as a result of a sabotaged experiment. He’s a convict who finds his way out of prison, becoming a fugitive. He returns to Harlem to both lay low and to try to pick up his life where he left off. Of course, that’s not exactly how things work when you’re in the Marvel universe, especially if you’re one of the few with super abilities.

His past comes back to haunt him, and he’s eventually drawn into a battle over the soul of Harlem and the city.

Luke Cage, the show, will take place a few months after the events of Jessica Jones, with Cage trying to piece together a new, somewhat normal life.

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Jessica Lachenal
Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.

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