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Is J. August Richards Actually Luke Cage on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?


Here’s your daily dose of Marvel Cinematic Universe speculation: Some circles believe that Angel alum J. August Richards could be playing as Luke Cage in ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The speculation stems from the actor’s two appearances in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. trailer. It’s clear that whatever character he’s portraying has special abilities, namely super-strength and super-invulnerability. Entertainment Weekly notes that those are two of Luke Cage’s qualities as well. Add that Richards is shown in one scene wearing yellow (-ish) pants, a possible nod to Power Man’s 1970s yellow-and-blue outfit.

But that’s not the only potential character Richards could be playing. Chris Radtke pointed out that, thanks to a clue from the Marvel bumper at the beginning of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. promo, Richards could be Rage of the New Warriors, not Luke Cage. Of course, Richards may play someone else entirely, but these are the two most popular theories, with the former explaining why the role was initially characterized as “super top-secret.”

If Richards is playing Cage, this wouldn’t be the first time Marvel tried to integrate the character into one of its TV projects. The failed AKA Jessica Jones series was supposed to feature Cage and Carol Danvers as supporting characters. Writer Melissa Rosenberg opened up about Cage’s inclusion back in 2011.

“It’s very tricky navigation there,” she said of using characters from the Marvel Universe. “There are a lot of boundaries on who you can and can’t use. I had Jessica Jones and Luke Cage and Carol Danvers [for the pilot script]. Basically, I wanted those three guys — then I would have a series. Everyone else we can be digging into lesser-known characters or taking known characters and renaming them.”

Officially part of ABC’s fall lineup, S.H.I.E.L.D. centers on the global espionage and law-enforcement agency that’s helped to provide the connective tissue between the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Joss Whedon directed the pilot, which he co-wrote with his brother Jed Whedon and Jed’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen. It stars Clark Gregg as fan-favorite Agent Coulson, Ming-Na as Agent Melina May, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Gemma Simmons, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, Brett Dalton as Agent Grant Ward and Chloe Bennett as Skye.


  • mel

    sweet christmas

  • elwaldorf

    Eh, I think it’ll be Rage. Seems a waste to not put him on his own show or abuddy cop movie with Iron Fist. (That really needs to happen btw)

  • Charles Covar

    Unexplained Super-strength and invulnerability? Sounds like he’s just playing Gunn again.

  • Jay

    Rage is in the standard Marvel bumper. So that really doesn’t mean much, as he wasn’t in Iron Man 2, either.

  • Scotty K

    Actually, if you look at the MARVEL comics at the into, you see RAGE, so it has to be him; plus, they just got Cage’s rights back – doubt they’d use him here vs. silver screen

  • Scotty K

    WOW – never noticed him there before… perhaps it’s someone new?

  • Atomic Kommie Comics

    “Add that Richards is shown in one scene wearing yellow (-ish) pants, a possible nod to Power Man’s 1970s yellow-and-blue outfit.”

    Cage’s outfit was yellow shirt & boots and blue pants.
    According to this logic, Clark Kent’s Smallville outfit should’ve been a blue jacket and red shirt…

  • Michael Mah’moud

    But Clark did wear a blue jacket and red shirt and vice versa. But you’re right yellow anywhere doesn’t automatically mean Luke Cage. I hope up it does but it’s a wait and see matter.

  • Greg N

    Thank you for pointing it out. I thought that Rage was in the standard bumper but could’t find some bumpers to be sure. Most of the movies’ etc use the standard bumper. I think they did away with the custom one like Punisher movie- Punisher bumper

  • xsikal

    It’s not so much a matter of whether they precisely matched the costume… it’s a matter of yellow being a color people associate with Cage. Whether they use yellow pants or a yellow shirt, the point is the yellow itself could be a callback to the character. We’ll see in September. :)

  • johnjohn

    u would think the writer would mention he looks like Luke Cage also…

  • Jon Shanks

    I’m betting on Josiah X or someone connected to the Truth: Red, White & Black story.

  • HogarthHughes

    I think it’s Cage. When he’s jumping from the building he appears to be wearing Cage’s khakis and black t-shirt (plus hoodie). The powers appear to fit, it would factor in nicely to an underground MCU version of New Avengers. I highly doubt Marvel would keep the character so hush hush (he appears to be the only guy in the preview without his characters name listed on IMDB) if the character was Rage. Not to mention Richards sorta looks like him and has played a similar role before with Charles Gun. As the article states Marvel has planned before to use Cage in a series which means they probably don’t think him a big enough character (yet) for the films. A great way to introduce the character to non-comic book folk. I realize Marvel has been pretty unstoppable as of late but I don’t think they’re deluded enough to think Avengers fans are going to accept Rage as a pay-off after all this secrecy and hype.

    As of right now, it just stands to reason that the character is Cage. If it is Cage, I won’t be missing an episode.

  • darialovesreadingcomments

    J. August will do a great job. I know J. August and he personally approved this message.

  • ajsjsj

    What about Isaiah Bradley? :)

  • Nightfall


  • Nightfall

    Plus I think the chick he’s talking to in the trailer is Jessica Jones.

  • Brian MacDonald

    Ummm… didja see his arm? Maybe he was wearing a glove… or a Ganutlet? Black, bald, alien super glove that gives him powers…. GAUNTLET anyone? From the Initiative? Just saying…

  • E.a. Solinas

    No, she’s someone else.

  • agent of B.O.S.S.H.O.O.D

    i think j. august is actually the black giant man from the civil war era in the comics. cause in the comics instead of using a serum to make him grow, he had these little buttons on his glove to activate his nerves . he probably gets those from S.H.I.E.L.D. he also gets has additional powers like strength and at one point, invulnerability.

    p.s. i can’t wait for this show, looks epic.

    p.s.s # COULSON LIVES

  • Steven Green

    I notice that too but I think he might be Power man 3 – Victor Alvarez. The color scheme is very similar.

  • Danny Bean

    They’ve had Luke Cage rights for awhile now, before you made that post 9 months ago.

  • Ty

    I wish its Cage but I have strong feeling it isn’t

  • Keith

    Could just be Battlestar.

  • S. Arteaga

    Gunn sucked.

  • Testing321

    That was Clark’s exact outfit in Smallvile for most of the series.


    Victor Alvarez FTW sir!

  • John

    Confirmed on another site by Jeff Bell as not Cage… and not necessarily a traditionally black character, either. Super strength and invulnerability granted from an (alien?) item create a lot of possibilities.

  • brewdog

    dear spazdicks
    Patriot (Eli Bradley)
    that is all….

  • Nicholas Shearer

    that’s funny cos it’s true :)