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“He could have been blue—I wouldn’t have cared one lick,” Marvel TV chief Jeph Loeb says of hiring Cheo Hodari Coker, the African-American show-runner of Netflix’s latest superhero show, Luke Cage.But Coker, and a number of Marvel fans, see things differently. “I’m not one of these people that says, ‘Oh, Luke Cage happens to be black,’” Coker told Vanity Fair. “No, he’s black all day because I’m black all day. There’s just no way around that.”
Coker is just one of several new black creators to join the print, TV, and film divisions at Marvel, one of the world’s most influential entertainment companies. In the same year, Marvel Comics featured a black man as Captain America and a black woman as Iron Man;Zendaya was cast as Mary Jane Watson in an upcoming big-screen Spider-Man, co-produced by Marvel and Sony; Chadwick Boseman made his feature film debut as Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War; and Mike Colter’s Luke Cage will get 13 hours of story on Netflix beginning this Friday. At a time when the national conversation around race has reached a boiling point, has Marvel recognized, in a way many entertainment companies have not, that black voices matter as much as black dollars?
From Vanity Fair: