LUKE CAGE season two is officially slated for release on June 22nd, 2018. Luke ended season one locked up in Seagate for old false charges. After Foggy Nelson brokered his release with some lawyer magic, Luke helped stop the Hand’s destruction of New York City in the DEFENDERS.

Through it all, Luke has kept Harlem and it’s safety at heart. Mariah Dillard and Shades still wander free, unpunished for their numerous crimes over the course of season one. The official trailer, teasers, and set photos confirm one thing: Luke is in Harlem and willing to do anything he needs to in order to protect it.

One teaser trailer even boasts Luke Cage’s strength, having him undergo the same tests as NFL athletes and breaking world records in the process. So, with all of that in mind, here’s everything we know about LUKE CAGE season two!

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Returning Characters and New Villains

It’s pretty much expected that every major character from the last season (who didn’t die) is going to return. Rosario Dawson returns as Claire Temple, the ex-nurse who is now in a fledgling relationship with Luke Cage. Misty Knight sports a new prosthetic arm, tackling bad guys with Luke.

Mariah Dillard and Shades appear to be working on their own nefarious schemes — Mariah stands in front of the iconic poster of the crowned Notorious B.I.G. like her late cousin Cottonmouth and declares that Harlem needs a queen. However, it’s the new casting for the villains that raises a lot of interesting questions.

Season two will be introducing Rosalie Carbone (Annabella Sciorra), Tilda Johnson (Gabrielle Dennis), and John McIver (Mustafa Shakir). Respectively, John McIver and Tilda Johnson are better known under their villainous pseudonyms, Bushmaster and Nightshade.

luke cage season two
Mustafa Shakir and Gabrielle Dennis. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Villainous Team-ups?

In the comics, Luke faces off against the crime boss Bushmaster. Eventually, Bushmaster forces the scientist whose experiments gave Luke his powers to experiment on him as well. The season two trailer reveals that the Netflix incarnation of Bushmaster can seriously hurt Luke. In what appears to be their first fight, Bushmaster takes down Luke and asserts that Harlem is his.

Afterward, Luke staggers into Pop’s old shop and spits up blood into the sink. Clearly, there’s no doubt that Bushmaster will prove to be a formidable foe for Luke. In the comics, Bushmaster has worked with the likes of Shades and Comanche. It’ss possible that they’ll team up in LUKE CAGE season two, “Hoodlums for Hire” style.

This doesn’t bode well. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Just before BLACK PANTHER was released, Nabiyah Be, the actress playing Killmonger’s partner-in-crime and girlfriend, had announced her character’s name as Tilda Johnson. However, after LUKE CAGE announced their own version of Nightshade played by Gabrielle Dennis, Be’s announcement was retracted and her on-screen counterpart renamed Linda.

While the Netflix universe is officially considered to be part of the MCU, there’s very little acknowledgment between the two beyond veiled references. (Will LUKE CAGE acknowledge the fall-out from INFINITY WAR? Probably not.) As of right now, it’s unclear whether Tilda will be a true villain or an anti-hero.

Rosalie Carbone, on the other hand, is more well-known for her appearance as a PUNISHER character. Her appearance in the show could set up a possible cross-over, especially now that Frank Castle’s bloody quest appears to be over for the moment. It would be incredibly interesting to see how Frank and Luke would interact together.

LUKE CAGE Season Two: Heroes for Hire?

Danny Rand, A.K.A., Iron Fist, will have a confirmed role in LUKE CAGE season two. Danny and Luke’s relationship in DEFENDERS was fun to watch — they played well off of each other. The released set photos show Danny giving Luke martial arts lessons, presumably so Luke can up his game against Bushmaster. In an Empire articleshowrunner Cheo Hodari Coker said that Danny was helping Luke channel his chi, influencing his fighting style in the process.

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In the comics, Danny and Luke join forces to create the Heroes for Hire, aiming to make superhero work lucrative. One teaser trailer for season two ends with someone yelling in support of Luke,

“Get paid, black man!”

In fact, different incarnations of the team feature characters we’ve already seen in the Netflix universe; the Punisher, Elektra, Daredevil, Misty Knight, and Colleen Wing. The most current version of the team consists of Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones. The season two trailer opens with Luke allowing himself to be filmed while fighting crime. It’s reasonable to assume that he’s already well on his way to turning heroics into a paid career.

luke cage season two
I’m sure this won’t go wrong at all! Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Since it doesn’t seem incredibly likely that DEFENDERS season two will be on its way any time soon, Heroes for Hire could begin in LUKE CAGE season two and develop into its own spin-off. It could also be a great way to do some crossovers without necessitating a cataclysmic, world-ending event.

That would be awesome.

Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, and the Daughters of the Dragon

At the end of DEFENDERS, Bakuto sliced off Misty’s arm and nearly killed her. The last image we get of her is in a hospital bed, where Colleen tells her that Danny’s company is taking care of the recovery costs. Set photos show Misty with a new prosthetic arm. In the comics, Misty Knight is a hero in her own right, receiving a bionic prosthetic from Tony Stark himself.

The arm grants Misty superhuman strength, technopathy, concussive blasts, and magnetism. Danny Rand’s presence in LUKE CAGE season two means that Colleen Wing, a reformed member of the Hand, could make an appearance. In DEFENDERS, Colleen and Misty had a few bonding moments, clearly alluding to their future partnership as Daughters of the Dragon.

luke cage season two
This is definitely a big two. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Now that Misty has her new prosthetic, (which may or may not be bionic?) it’s totally possible for a Colleen and Misty team-up. The trailer and set photos available clearly depict Misty in action, quipping that Luke might be her sidekick, rather than the other way around.

Though she seems to still be with the NYPD at the beginning of the season, Misty clearly deliberates the decision to go through with a bionic version of her prosthetic. Whether she remains working for the NYPD or joins forces with Luke and his merry band of vigilantes is another question altogether.

What Else Might Be In Store?

The LUKE CAGE season two trailer places the power and importance of the Harlem community at the forefront. Luke struts around the city, beloved by citizens and feared by those who wish to do harm. An art piece of Luke on the side of a building depicts him in a manner strikingly reminiscent of Jesus. However, the appearance of Bushmaster threatens Luke’s position in the community, as well as aggravating local police.

luke cage season two
Friendly neighborhood Power Man. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

If there’s anything we know for certain about the Marvel Netflix shows, it’s that they’re fairly street-level. Luke Cage is at his best when he’s fighting for a home he knows and loves. His concern for the young boys in Harlem motivates the investigation that catapults him into the DEFENDERS.

Similar to Cottonmouth and Mariah Dillard, the new season two villain Bushmaster can be expected to be terrifyingly compelling, focusing his mission on Harlem itself. It seems like the only questions left to ask are, what is Bushmaster planning for the good people of Harlem? And what is Luke Cage going to do to stop it?

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