(The following contains major spoilers for Netflix's Luke Cage.)
Luke Cage ended with a bang. The epic fight scene between Harlem’s Captain America and his evil half-brother Diamondback was one for the ages. While the #Netflix shows have finally broken their power barriers with characters like Jessica Jones and recently with Luke Cage, all these heroes with special abilities raise a question: Where are the Inhumans?
The Inhumans were introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Season 2 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. By that season’s finale they were popping up everywhere around the world, even Russia. Looking back at the astonishing first seasons of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, let’s explore the clues signaling the presence of Inhumans in Netflix's New York.
Agents of S.H.IE.L.D. Season 2 | The Inhuman Pandemic
A brief recap of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2 finale is in order. Daisy’s mother Jiaying hijacked S.H.I.E.L.D.’s base and took many agents hostage. In her attempt to send a message, she dropped Terrigen crystals around the agents, killing them as a result. During their final battle, Jiaying had the upper hand against Daisy; when all hope seemed lost for Quake, Mr. Hyde delivered the final blow that ended Jiaying’s terrorist plot. Beating her came at a cost. When Jiaying’s goons tried to escape in a Quinjet with a cargo of Terrigen crystals, Daisy delivered tremors to topple the Quinjet into the ocean. With the crystals hitting the ocean floor and dissolving, marine life, especially fish, was infected with the Terrigen elements. Eventually, many of the infected fish were processed into fish oil pills and seafood. Latent MCU Inhumans ingested these products, and discovered their powers. So it went for Yo-Yo and Joey Gutierrez.
Even Russian General Androvich came in contact with the fish byproduct containing Terrigen elements. Yo-Yo was in Colombia when she took a fish oil pill and attained her speed. So, if we are finding all of these Inhumans around the world as a result of fish oil pills and seafood, shouldn’t we be seeing some Inhumans in New York, in the Marvel Netflix shows? Maybe we’ve already have.
Are There Inhumans In 'Jessica Jones' And 'Luke Cage'?
We might have already seen an Inhuman appear on Netflix’s Jessica Jones. While we know Kilgrave attained powers through experiments performed by his parents, and Jessica Jones attained hers via an accident with an IGH chemical truck, another character miraculously survived a heavy dose of body-enhancing pills. When Will Simpson tried to kill Jessica at her apartment, Trish Walker intervened by taking the drugs that made Will powerful. This should’ve killed her, but did not.
Unlike mutants and the X-Men, Inhumans don’t attain powers through emotional or physical struggle. They have to come in contact with Terrigen mist.
What if a chemical component in Will Simpson’s pills contained traces of the same fish or marine life infected in Season 2 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Considering that the fish oil pills and the infected seafood reached Latin America and Asia, probabilities are high that it could’ve reached the labs of the IGH company in New York, or New York in general. But if this is the case, why didn’t we see Trish trapped in a stone cocoon like Daisy and Raina? When Trish took the pill, she received a high rush of adrenaline, and the Inhuman transformation could’ve happened at a later moment, off camera.
Will Hellcat Be An Inhuman In Netflix's 'Jessica Jones' or 'The Defenders'?
In comics, Trish Walker becomes Hellcat. Her powers derive from mystic energy and through training with the telepath Moondragon. She creates force fields and can activate other psychic abilities. Making her an Inhuman and giving her these powers would not be the first time that we see a character’s origin altered. Nonetheless, the mystical aspect of her comic book origin could be included in the series, now that Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider and Iron Fist have introduced mysticism to the MCU.
Are Cornell Cottonmouth and Diamondback Inhumans?
One of the most surprising deaths in Luke Cage was Harlem’s crime boss, Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, especially since it came so early in the season. Portrayed by Mahershala Ali, Cottonmouth was a force to be reckoned with. A character who demanded and demonstrated respect, his love for his family was ultimately what lead to his death. Though he indeed died by the hands of his cousin, Maria Dillard, could we see him again?
While it could be too far a stretch since we did see his cadaver at a funeral home, being that the character was played by Mahershala Ali, just leaves the character’s future to speculation. And him being an Inhuman, could at least clear one explanation on how he could still be alive. Moreover, it could have been anyone's body under those funeral sheets. A more probable candidate for Inhumanity though, is Erik LaRay Harvey's Willis Stryker, also known as Diamondback.
When Luke Cage defeated Diamondback in the Season finale, we saw the injured villain being treated by Dr. Burstein, who gave Luke Cage his powers. According to the doctor, Luke Cage survived the experiment because of his DNA. We are not saying Luke Cage is an Inhuman, but what if his father Reverend Lucas was? That could explain to some extent how Cage was able to withstand the experiments. Therefore, since Luke Cage did not inherit the Inhuman gene from his father, then what about Diamondback? If such is the case, then all we need to see is Diamondback swallow a fish oil pill. As to what Inhuman he could become? We’ll leave that answer up to you. Another character from the show that could turn out to be an Inhuman could be the guy sometimes known as Shades.
Hernan Alvarez, Potential Inhuman
In the comics, Alvarez, in a manner similar to Cyclops, is able to shoot energy beams from his shades. This could easily be achieved via some device from Hammer Industries, or his power could be innate. Alternately, Shades's son, Victor Alvarez, could be an Inhuman. The character hasn't yet been seen or mentioned in Luke Cage, but Marvel and Netflix could explain his powers, which are similar to those of Cage, by making him an Inhuman. Currently, Victor Alvarez is Power Man in the comics, that being the old heroic alias for Cage.
Introducing Inhumans to the Netflix shows could finally connect the shows with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The #Netflix shows have done a fantastic job connecting with the grand #MCU through various Easter Eggs, and hopefully, we’ll see Phil Coulson take a ride through Hell’s Kitchen very soon.
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