The Guns of Luke Cage
Luke Cage is Marvel’s latest “street-level” hero to get his own show on Netflix, but it has a distinctly different...
Luke Cage is Marvel’s latest “street-level” hero to get his own show on Netflix, but it has a distinctly different flavor from the company’s other comics-based titles, including Jessica Jones the show that introduced the character of Luke Cage last year.
Set in Harlem, instead of in New York City’s midtown like Jones or in Hell’s Kitchen like Daredevil, and deeply immersed in the black community and culture found there, Luke Cage has a soundtrack and feel all its own, and a hero with super-healing and bulletproof skin.
For the writers, that provides a lot of opportunities to comment a bit on current events. For us, it means that a bulletproof hero has to show off his powers, specifically by getting shot—a lot. And that means a lot of guns.
Let’s take a look at the guns Luke Cage (Colter) goes up against in the season’s first show.
As the show is set in New York City and there are a good number of characters who are cops, there are a good number of Glocks on the screen.
Det. Mercedes “Misty” Knight (Simone Missick) and her partner Det. Rafael Scarfe (Frank Whaley) both carry Glock 19s as their sidearm, the same pistol that just got the go ahead from the U.S. Marines. LINK
We also see uniformed NYPD officers carrying Glock 17s throughout the season, though we do see NYPD officers with the SIG-Sauer P226R in episode 9.
The ubiquitous Beretta 92FS also shows up as Domingo’s (Jacob Vargas) favored pistol. In episode 12, we see Domingo dual-wield a pair of Berettas.
And an old-school 1911 shows up a couple times, once in the hands of a henchmen who tries to ambush Cage on the street in the opening and closing of episode 2. He takes the gun and shoots himself in the stomach. The henchman runs off as soon as he sees the bullet fall, deformed, from his skin.
Zip also uses the 1911 in episode 5 and the robber in the convenience store (the Method Man scene) also uses the 1911, which Cage again takes away. As they all appear to be military issued 1911s with wooden grips and blued finishes, it’s likely the same prop gun was used in all scenes.
We see another 1911, but a decidedly modern version, in the hands of one of the main bad guys—Hernan “Shades” Alvarez (Theo Rossi), who uses a Kimber Warrior in episode 11. He later uses another 1911-based gun, the SIG-Sauer GSR with a nickel finish in episode 12.
And the last 1911 is used by the big-bad, Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, who places what looks like a Smith & Wesson SW1911SC on his table during a meeting in the Harlem’s Paradise club.
In episode 12 we get a close-up of a thug’s pistol, clearly showing that it’s a CZ 75 SP-01 Phantom in 9mm.
One of the only firearms that is given any kind of history or gravity is a Smith & Wesson Model 64 revolver with pearl grips. A young Cornell is forced to kill his treacherous uncle with the pistol when he is a teenager in a flashback. That same revolver is seen used by Shades in a street murder of a witness, and ends up back in the hands of Cornell’s sister, Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard). The gun originally belonged to Mariah and Cornell’s mother, Mamma Mabel.
The bad guy with the biggest personality who takes up most of the second half of the season is WIllis “Diamondback” Stryker (Erik LaRay Harvey), who is shown to carry a blued Walther PPK. It’s later revealed that Stryker carries a pair of Walthers, which he dual-wields when he gets backed into a corner in episode 10.
When Tone (Warner Miller) shoots up Pop’s Barber Shop in Episode 2, we clearly see he sprays the building with bullets from two Heckler & Koch MP5K-PDW submachine guns, which are compact versions of the long-used MP5 submachine gun, typically chambered in 9mm.
We also see another H&K submachine gun, this time an H&K MP7A1 in Zip’s hands.
In the first episode, we see a cache of weapons made by Hammer Industries, the weapons company owned by Tony Stark’s (Iron Man) would-be business world nemesis, Justin Hammer. Though Hammer himself is never shown (since he’s probably still in prison after the events of Iron Man 2) but his company and the weapons it makes are brought up often throughout the season.
The firearms standing in for Hammer originals appear to be SIG-Sauer P556 SWAT pistol mixed with the SG 550. The stocks and receivers bear labels saying they are manufactured by “Justine Hammer Advanced Weapons Systems,” but the actual guns are SIG P556 SWAT pistols fitted to SIG 550 lower receivers.
Another gun that gets a lot of attention, though it’s never given a name, is the big “rifle” wielded by Diamondback when he’s first introduced. The gun is said to fire the large “Judas” bullet, a weapon made by Hammer that is one of the only things that can hurt Cage. The bullets are made from alien metal left behind by “The Incident” in The Avengers and designed to bore through armor before exploding.
The gun shown to shoot these bullets is actually a Fostech Origin-12 semi-automatic, box-fed shotgun made up to look like a high-powered sniper rifle of some kind.
The Fostech is shown with its 12-gauge 8-round magazine affixed and is often single-loaded with the Judas bullets by Diamondback.
A few weapons of higher calibers make appearances in this inaugural season. In a memorable season that leads up to Cage’s origin-story episode, Cornell Stokes uses an FIM-43 Redeye fired from a rooftop to destroy the Chinese restaurant and Cage’s apartment above it.
The Redeye is made by General Dynamics and is a man-portable surface-to-air missile system that uses infrared homing to track its targets. Though not a new weapon by any means (production began in 1968) and was gradually replaced by the more advanced Stinger missile system between 1982 and 1995, it’s still serious overkill for a restaurant.
In episode 11, Diamondback uses what appears to be a Brügger & Thornet GL-06 grenade launcher, which is a dedicated stand-alone shoulder-fired 40mm launcher intended for military and police applications. It was developed in response to a recent request from police forces in Europe to use in conjunction with less-lethal ammunition in anti-riot applications with a high level of accuracy. The dedicated less-lethal version is designated as the LL06.
Before we get a new season of Luke Cage, we’ll get a new show, The Iron Fist from Marvel and then the first season of The Defenders, a Netflix show that will team up Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and The Iron Fist from their respective shows. The Punisher, introduced in Daredevil S2, is also getting his own show, which will premier after the The Defenders.