Posted by David Opie @DavidOpie
The day someone green-lights a Marvel Zombies Ghibli film directed by Xavier Dolan is the day I will be happy. Any day now...
David Opie

Within the first five minutes of Episode 1, Luke Cage instantly establishes itself as a force to be reckoned with in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Mike Colter's first solo MCU venture works effectively as both a connective tissue between the studio's various properties and as a viable show in its own right, attracting rave reviews once again for Marvel's unstoppable Defenders brand.

If you still haven't seen Luke Cage yet, watch the official trailer below, go for a hardcore binge and then check back here to see what will happen next:

While it might be too early for Netflix to order a second season of Luke Cage just yet, those involved in the show's creation have already begun to plan what could happen in future instalments. This makes perfect sense when you consider that Luke Cage is guaranteed a future in the MCU, thanks to his involvement in the upcoming Defenders team up.

Hints regarding the future of Luke Cage are scattered throughout both his debut season and the comics that the shows draw upon, so it would be very surprising if an official Season 2 announcement doesn't hit the web soon. In the meantime, here's our predictions for what fans can look forward to once we've all finished binging the first 13 episodes.

[Via Netflix]
[Via Netflix]

Luke Cage

[Via Netflix]
[Via Netflix]

Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker spoke to Collider about Cage's future development as a character, stating;

"That’s the thing with Luke. He didn’t ask for this powers or responsibilities. The people that he cares about end up dead. And so, part of what the arc of the first season really is about is, how does one reconcile being a hero, and how does one accept it and try to find their identity in it, particularly because he doesn’t have a mask and isn’t hiding. If we get a Season 2, it’s going to explore more of how a hero evolves, when most heroes have a mask or are able to hide certain aspects of themselves, but Luke is out there."

While it's likely that new villains will rise to test Cage's newfound status as a hero, this is definitely not the last we've seen of Mariah, the former councilwoman who steps up to replace Cottonmouth as the big bad of Harlem at the end of Season 1.

[Via Netflix]
[Via Netflix]

That's not all though. Diamondback certainly isn't out for the count either, and will undoubtedly seek revenge at some point. Will he gain enhanced abilities thanks to the intervention of the doctor behind Cage's powers? We wouldn't be surprised if Diamondback returns with some new abilities of his own.

However, Cage's strongest opponent in Season 2 may be the public themselves, depending on what happens in the interim. The events of Luke Cage will have added to the fear felt by many following the events of Captain America: Civil War, which means that the ramifications of the the Sovokia Accords could come into play. Will Cage bend to the government's whim and sign up to be controlled or will he fight the legislation that he once compared to the racist Jim Crow laws in the comics? We think it's safe to say that there's only one side Cage will take, and he sure as hell ain't Team Iron Man.

The Defenders

In between now and Luke Cage's inevitable second season, Power Man will team up with Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist to form the Defenders. Thus, it's a no-brainer that the events of this show will have a huge impact on Mike Colter's character.

[Via Netflix]
[Via Netflix]

While Season 1 of Luke Cage focuses almost solely on Colter's character in isolation, it's extremely likely that his relationship with Jessica Jones following on from The Defenders will inform how he develops as a hero in Season 2. In the comics, the pair are married with a child. Now that Cage has been established as a hero in his own right, Season 2 could focus on the pair as a couple, working in a similar fashion to the debut season of Jessica Jones.

Adorable [Via Netflix]
Adorable [Via Netflix]

There's just one problem; Season 1 of Luke Cage ends with a romantic tryst between Power Man and Claire Temple, before the two are forcibly separated. As if that wasn't complicated enough, repeated references to the nurses 'lawyer friend' also suggest that feelings from Temple's encounter with Daredevil still remain. By the time the Defenders form, we could be looking at a seriously awkward love quartet between Cage, Murdock, Temple and Jones, presumably while Iron Fist bangs Misty Knight, his comic book girlfriend.

If things become too complicated, there's a chance then that two of the Defenders could break away to form...

Heroes For Hire

[Via Marvel Comics]
[Via Marvel Comics]

Soon after Power Man first debuted way back in 1972, Cage joined forces with fellow hero Iron Fist to fight crime as part of a money-making business. Their partnership is an integral part of Luke's history, and now that Iron Fist is set to join the MCU in his own Netflix series, it's only a matter of time before they form Heroes For Hire on screen — despite Cage's protestations to the contrary in Episode 1:

Who'd like to bet money that Pop's former business becomes the Heroes For Hire store front in Harlem?

When asked whether Season 2 could feature Heroes For Hire, showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker told Decider that;

"Well, I mean Finn Jones will be in the mix for The Defenders. In terms of Luke Cage, Netflix has to order a second season first. And trust me, I don’t take any of this for granted because I mean there was no more sure thing than Vinyl (ed note: HBO‘s drama was cancelled after one season)."

Acquaint yourself with the first official trailer for Iron Fist's solo series below:

While that's far from an official confirmation, it's worth noting that Coker certainly didn't deny the possibility of this happening either. In terms of both logistics and fan service, it would make perfect sense for Luke Cage and Iron Fist to team up on a more permanent basis following the formation of the Defenders. Marvel could then expand Heroes For Hire even further like they did in the comics, adding characters such as Misty Knight, She-Hulk, and Ant-Man into the mix. Actually, speaking of Ant-Man, Luke Cage could even join...

The Avengers

[Via Marvel Comics]
[Via Marvel Comics]

While it's far more likely that Luke Cage will eventually form Heroes For Hire or work alongside the Defenders on a more permanent basis, a recent interview with IGN revealed that Mike Colter would also be interested in becoming an official member of the Avengers if the situation called for it;

"Sure, if scheduling permitted. They’ve got me working pretty hard over at Marvel Television. I think Jeph Loeb [Executive VP of Marvel Television] said it best: there isn’t a master plan – or maybe there is and they just won’t tell us what it is, and that’s fine – but I think ultimately, we have a schedule and things are planned so far in advance, so how do you make sure this is actually going to happen. I’m all for it if it happens, but I’m very comfortable where I am as well."

[Via Netflix]
[Via Netflix]

If Marvel decided to follow the source material and integrate Luke Cage into the Avengers somewhere down the line, this could certainly be explored within the context of Luke Cage's solo show. Rather than blow all their money on one big guest appearan,

When Will We See Luke Cage Season 2?

If (when) Netflix decide to add Season 2 of Luke Cage to their schedule, Marvel will need to squeeze some space in amongst their numerous upcoming shows.

[Via Netflix]
[Via Netflix]

We already know that Iron Fist, The Defenders and most likely The Punisher will air in 2017, while it looks like the next seasons of Daredevil and Jessica Jones will premiere the following year. Judging from the current look of this schedule, Luke Cage Season 2 will most likely drop in 2019, or perhaps even towards the end of 2018, if the rumors are true and Marvel have decided to develop three Netflix shows a year.

In his interview with Decider, Coker elaborates on the possibilities of a second season, explaining that;

"We’re not treating it as a one-off, and I’m confident people will dig the show, but, trust me, like Season Two, I’ve got a few ideas. But we really won’t get ready until Netflix sees the viewership, and hopefully the subscriptions that will come from this show, and then they’ll say, 'Let’s get into it.'"

Whatever happens, it's vital that Marvel retain the cultural representation that was integral to Season 1:

See also:

It would be very surprising if Luke Cage didn't return for a sophomore outing, especially as both Daredevil and Jessica Jones were renewed soon after they premiered. Whether this second season of Luke Cage will incorporate teams such as Heroes For Hire or the Avengers remains to be seen, but either way, it's safe to say that Power Man has a bright future in the MCU.

Poll

Do you think Netflix will announce Luke Cage: Season 2 anytime soon?

Sources - Collider, Decider, IGN