Luke Cage’s Mike Colter: Black, Bulletproof, & Beautiful

(photo credit: Luke Cage twitter)

(photo credit: Luke Cage twitter)

His deep voice will stop you in your tracks. At 6-foot-3, with broad shoulders, his presence is immediately known in a room.

Colter is the newest entry into Marvel’s superhero world, playing the role of Luke Cage, Marvel’s newest superhero franchise that debuted on Netflix to rave revues.

Luke Cage is not Iron Man, saving the entire world from an alien threat. Being bulletproof and with super strength, he’s a citizen, saving Harlem from itself. Saving it from the gang culture, the street-level drugs and guns that seem to overrun any inner city street corner.

Colter is also the first black person to lead a Marvel property, beating Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman to the punch by almost two years.

“He is one of the first black superheroes who has his own TV series and is bulletproof right now. You have to embrace it and take it as a positive because it is a point of conversation.”

That conversation – concerning diversity and shootings in the US – is on everybody’s mind. Video after video, death after death of Black men, it hits home for Colter too.

“You just don’t know how to process it,” Colter told the Observer. “You have to ask, ‘What do you have to do to not get shot?’ There’s no easy answer. There’s no book to figure out how not to become a victim of police brutality. It’s flat-out murder. You don’t know how to process the things that are happening because no one is being brought to justice. It’s a paid vacation for the person who pulled the trigger.

But Colter is far from vacation himself. In fact, with more episodes and seasons in the works, plus other acting roles, he’s keeping busy. So how did Colter prepare for this role as the Black ‘hero-for-hire’?

By hitting the gym and lifting some serious weights to put on 30 pounds of pure muscles, Colter says. But he’s no stranger to getting physical for roles. Colter had to get fit played a boxer in box office smash, Million Dollar Baby starring Hillary Swank.

His first line of attack to build the muscle mass needed for Luke Cage was intense cardio training. He did cross-training workouts because he felt like he needed to shock his body.

As a result, he over-lifted and ended up hurting his shoulder. That injury caused him to rethink his entire…