If You Love ‘Luke Cage’ On Netflix, Try These Comics Next
Odds are, you’re one of the millions worldwide who binged all of Luke Cage when it premiered on Netflix last weekend. With its sterling cast, gripping story & standout score, Marvel’s newest original TV series for the streaming giant is the best one they’ve made yet.
If you loved the NYC authenticity & hip-hop/R&B-infused aesthetic of the series — and you’ve read all the Luke Cage comics you can get your hands on — we’ve got five of the best creator-owned comics that capture that same feeling. Love that? Try this!
The most recent entry on this list — releasing its first issue this week — Black was crowdfunded during Black History Month this year and is published by the up-and-coming Black Mask Studios. The premise is a powerful one what if a young black kid was shot, only to wake up and discover he has superpowers? That’s what happens to Kareem Jenkins, who winds up plunged into something bigger than he ever imagined when he discovers that superpowers are real, but only black people have them.
A original graphic novel spinoff of Jim Rugg & Brian Maruca’s Street Angel, Afrodisiac is a half-satire, half-serious blaxploitation joint in the vein of Shaft or Black Dynamite. Set in the 1970s, the title character drives white women mad and fights everything from dinosaurs to funny animals to Richard Nixon.
Better known for the Samuel L. Jackson-starring anime it spawned, this manga originally saw life in Japan’s huge dojinshi (self-published comics) scene. Written left-to-right instead of manga’s usual right-to-left, the series sees the deadly, taciturn Afro pursue the evil Justice to retrieve the coveted Number One headband and avenge his father’s death.
Robert Moses: The Master Builder of New York City
There’s a great line in Luke Cage about Robert Moses — the urban planner responsible for the look and layout of modern day New York City — and the effect he had on black neighborhoods. The most accessible biography about the controversial Moses is this graphic novel published last year, told with unflinching dialogue and expressive artwork.
Fight Like A Girl
For everyone who’ve fallen in love with Simone Messick’s badass Misty Knight, there’s this comic from Action Lab. Amarosa — the baseball bat toting girl on the cover — battles her way through nine mystical trials to convince a jury of gods to grant her a wish to save her brother, in a story told with confident scripting and expressive, energetic artwork. Perfect for anyone looking for an empowering story for younger readers.