Among the many supporting characters who populate Luke Cage‘s massive stage, Detective Misty Knight (Simone Missick) plays a particularly significant role. She’s there at Harlem’s Paradise when Cage’s brief stint as bartender introduces him to many of the villains for the first time. Following several prominent murders, she pursues Cage as a person of interest and occasional suspect. And when the show’s flashiest threat reveals itself, Misty does her best to keep the people of Harlem safe.
Aside from longtime fans of Hero for Hire and later Marvel comics featuring the character, audiences probably won’t realize just how important Misty Knight is. Like fellow Luke Cage cast member Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple, Missick’s Knight adds additional connections between Marvel’s growing television universe. And since the comics offer current and future showrunners plenty of material with which to extend the detective’s presence, and judging by Netflix’s willingness to consider a spin-off, it’s likely we’ll be seeing Misty again soon.
But who is Misty Knight, really? To Luke Cage viewers, she’s just another supporting character with her own story arc whose path happens to cross with the chief protagonist. To longtime fans of the ’70s Marvel comics that birthed its blaxploitation and martial arts-enthused stories, however, she’s more than just a police detective in Harlem. Knight was one of Marvel’s first African-American heroines (her inaugural appearance in March 1972 beat Storm’s Giant-Size X-Men #1 debut by over three years), and her bionic right arm has guided her through thick and thin ever since.