Even though it’s still several months away, fans are wondering what to expect from Luke Cage. Here are five things we can look forward to.
With two of the four Defenders lead-up shows available to watch now on Netflix, fans are already looking forward to the third show: Marvel’s Luke Cage. Daredevil and Jessica Jones have set the bar pretty high for the Netflix corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so what should we expect from Luke Cage?
In the comics, Luke Cage has over 40 years of history to draw from. The character has evolved from a play on the blacksploitation trend of the 70s to a major hero in his own right, even joining the Avengers (and leading his own team at various points.) There’s a lot of this that won’t be covered in the series, of course. If you really want to know what to expect from Luke Cage when it airs next year, here are a few things that you should look for.
#5 – Dark, violent storytelling
One of the big departures in Luke Cage from the previous Netflix shows is the setting. Instead of taking place in Hell’s Kitchen, where Luke even lived during most of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage is set in Harlem. The big bad of the series isn’t a crime kingpin or a sociopath with mind control powers, he’s a drug dealer with gang affiliations. Everything we’ve seen about Luke Cage suggests that it’s going to continue the trend of the Netflix Marvel shows getting darker as they go on.
This isn’t just added darkness for the sake of being dark and gritty, either. If there’s one thing that fans expect from Luke Cage, it’s a street-level hero who’s not afraid to bust heads and go up against the thugs who are too much for the police but not big enough threats for the big heroes. Luke Cage will see the character facing off against gangs and drug dealers, solving problems the best way he can with his abilities.
#4 – Origin flashbacks
Another thing we can expect from Luke Cage is more details on Luke’s origin. We’ll likely see this in flashback clips, since he already had his abilities in Jessica Jones and the Luke Cage series takes place several months after Jessica Jones ends.
In the comics, Luke Cage received his powers from experiments performed on him in prison; the experiments were an attempt to recreate the super-soldier serum that created Captain America. We’ve already seen that Cage’s powers in the MCU come from experimentation, so we should find out more about the specifics and see at least some version of him getting his power. Whether they retain the Captain America link or not is up in the air, though it would help to tie the series into the larger MCU.
#3 – A new love interest
In the comics, Luke Cage is married to Jessica Jones and they have a child together. It wasn’t love at first sight, however; Cage had a number of girlfriends over the year, and it was only after Jessica became pregnant that the two of them became a permanent item. (Plus, we saw in Jessica Jones that this version of Luke used to be married to someone else.) Given that Cage has left Hell’s Kitchen, it’s unlikely that he’ll hook up with Jessica Jones again in his series.
Instead, we can expect Luke Cage to become involved with Claire Temple, aka the Night Nurse (played in the MCU by Rosario Dawson). Cage was involved with Temple in the comics, with the two meeting when Cage was injured. As we saw in Jessica Jones, the first meeting between Cage and Temple in the MCU occurred in the emergency room after Luke and Jessica had it out; it’s unlikely that this is just a coincidence.
#2 – Misty Knight
It’s no surprise that we’ll see Misty Knight in Luke Cage; the casting of the character has already been confirmed, and her development will likely parallel the development of Trish Walker (aka Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat) in Jessica Jones. It’s likely that the first season will be somewhat of an origin story for her as well.
One big thing that we can expect from Luke Cage in regard to Misty Knight is to see her get injured at some point during the show. One of her most obvious features in the comics is her cybernetic arm. It was made by Tony Stark, so it’s fairly cutting edge tech and makes her more of a badass than she was before her injury. It’s unlikely that she’ll start out with a robot arm, though, so by the end of the season we may see Misty suffer the injury that will lead to her eventual prosthetic.
#1 – Danny Rand
This one might be a little bit of a stretch given that Marvel’s Iron Fist is still in pre-production, but there’s still reason to believe that there will be at least some setup for Iron Fist in Luke Cage.
Why? Because Luke Cage and Iron Fist are a team (of heroes for hire, at that), and it seems odd to think that there would be an entire season of Luke Cage without at least some reference to Luke’s counterpart.
One thing that we shouldn’t expect from Luke Cage is a major presence of Danny Rand beyond just a few references. Danny Rand hasn’t even been cast in the MCU yet, so it would be hard to fit in an on-screen presence in Luke Cage. Plus, Iron Fist’s origin story is weird enough that there’s a good chance his show stars with it. This doesn’t preclude Cage eventually appearing in Iron Fist, however. That seems much more likely.