mike stokes

“I’m about sick of having to buy new clothes.“

Luke Cage poster, charcoal on sketch paper, digitally colored


If we try to protect only ourselves without looking out for those people closest to us, then we lose. Pop never forgot his people. Where some people saw hard rock kids, he saw precious jewels. He reminded me that diamonds are formed by pressure, covered in dirt. But then you polish them and they shine. Pop saw the shine in everyone that walked in his barber shop.

Just to Get a Rep

On Black Masculinity

You know what I love about Luke Cage? I love how it looks at black masculinity and the consequences of adhering to hyper masculinity. Growing up as a young black man (and later understanding my sexuality as a gay man) I've never felt like I should need to perform my masculinity to certain expectations. In the black community, there is an expectation that black men need to be strong (i.e. emotionless, or tough) in order to move freely in the world. In school a lot of black kids believed that they needed to be strong and tough in order to be something. (Possible spoilers under the cut)

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Luke Cage Season 1 Non-Spoiler Review

Rating: 4/5

As usual, Marvel and Netflix managed to pull it off again. Luke Cage is great addition to the Marvel universe and is definitely worth watching. 

The mix of music really sets the scene of Harlem and really suits the tone of the series. What I particularly likes was that Luke Cage was almost always wearing a hoodie and this is a  great way to defeat the common stereotype that anyone wearing a hoodie must be criminal etc. This show definitely doesn’t lack in the diversity department and this is great as superhero films/shows so far have mainly consisted of a white cast… Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Simone Cook. and Alfre Woodard did great jobs acting in this show. Simone Cook and Alfre Woodard in particular had some very emotional scenes which were portrayed brilliantly.

I was so happy to see that Rosario Dawson (Claire Temple) had a much larger role in Luke Cage than she did in season 2 of Daredevil. We really got to learn a lot about her character this season and it will be interesting to see where we find her in The Defenders.

Furthermore, I loved the little references to the other Defenders as well as the Avengers as it shows that these shows are loosely connected.

One thing that left me conflicted was the end of the season finale. It didn’t follow your traditional comicbook movie/show ending which was good but at the same time it left me sad and could have had more of a cliffhanger at the end. However, I presume this was done to set up The Defenders.

I hope this review is helpful and sorry that it’s a bit rushed - Marvel HQQ