luke_cage_netflix_logoIt’s no secret that Marvel’s Luke Cage blew the lid off of Ballroom 20 this Thursday, but what we weren’t expecting, is that Marvel would also use the time to show off their entire Netflix slate, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Punisher, Iron Fist, and then the big grandaddy of them all, The Defenders.

A countdown on the screens set the tone, looming over the room before finally giving way to a sizzle reel of everything so far. The most surprising aspect of it, of course was the new footage of Luke Cage, including a slow motion shot of someone punching him straight in the face as he looked on indifferently, his attacker’s fist then completely obliterated by Luke’s superhuman physique.

Marvel TV steward Jeph Loeb then came out to rile the crowd, sporting a Luke Cage hoodie, Daredevil shirt and finally, putting on a Jessica Jones hat.

jon_bernthal_punisherBefore he could get far, the Punisher came out and hijacked the panel, with actor Jon Bernthal apprearing to unanimous praise. He gushed over Luke Cage and the cast, before officially announcing his own spinoff, expressing his love for the character and its diehard fans.

Next, we got this spiffy teaser. As you can tell, the show has its own distinct vibe, very 90s, blending gritty exploitation with very raw and timely social commentary. Luke’s fighting style is so hard and star Mike Colter is such a presence.

The cast then took the stage, featuring show runner Cheo Coker, Frank Whaley as Detective Scarfe, Theo Rossi as Alvarez (or Shades), Simone Missick as Misty Knight, Mahershala Ali as Cornell Stokes (aka Cottonmouth) and last but not least, Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard.

luke_cage_sdcc_castIn between talks with each of the cast on their character we got a few more clips:
The first, is an expended version of the original teaser attached to Jessica Jones. Luke Cage comes into a boxing gym asking for someone. The men don’t find him threatening so they come at him. Of course, they quickly find out what he’s made of. Men jump on his back, he throws them down and plows through a locker, then new men appear, this time with guns. After shooting at him and finding out that their bullets can’t harm his impenetrable skin, he makes his way to a man cowering in a back office. There’s some talk about a murder, then Luke makes out with the info he needs, but not before cribbing a new hoodie, making up for all the bullet holes in the one he’s currently wearing.

The next clip was a scene between Cornell Stokes and Mariah Dillard, Ali and Woodard. Without full context, it’s hard to make out what they’re really talking about, but it’s clear that they’re shaken and in some sort of damage control. The chemistry between the two is great, and you can already tell that this is something special.

Another clip features Luke talking with Misty on the street. It’s clear that they already know each other, they have some playful, flirtatious banter. It’s the kind of conversation where they’re talking about something, but really mean something else. After they talk about how neither of them likes coffee, it cuts to a scene of them breaking through a door with passions high. Some funky music comes on, the scene ends.

The final clip is one that begins with Stokes. He’s in a bright red room, and it appears he’s talking straight to us. On the wall is a giant portrait of Biggie Smalls, the iconic one with the crown. The portrait is dead center, and Stokes is talking to us until he is right in front of it. Suddenly perspective allows it t appear directly on his head. It’s then we find out that he is in the middle of a brutal interrogation. The clip gets more violent, and we’re hypnotized by the entire thing.

All of these clips showed a wealth of different scenarios, each promising a dense show working on multiple levels.

A few more highlights from the panel:
-Show runner Cleo Coker says that, “The world is ready for a bullet proof black man.”
-Alfre mentions that Harlem is also a main character in the show, it’s setting used to tell an extraordinary show with timely, real life implications.
-Cheo says he wants the season to feel like an album (especially pertaining to the binge nature of it), saying it has a musicality, calling it the Wu-tangification of the Marvel Universe
-Mike Colter says we’ve only seen Luke from Jessica’s perspective. The show peels back layers and shows a new side of him, from his angle

With the crowd on a high from all the footage (trust me, this thing is going to be incredible), Loeb and Marvel head Joe Quesada introduced two last clips, our first look at Iron Fist and The Defenders, which speak for themselves.

It was a completely jam-packed panel, and already a total highlight of the entire weekend.

SG