Marvel's latest Netflix series, Luke Cage, is out — and the show's a hit! It was such a success that Luke Cage's release literally broke Netflix, with the streaming site crashing at several points over the weekend.
But #LukeCage shouldn't be taken in isolation; it's part of the ongoing narrative of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Although the continuity isn't perfect, the show develops some pretty fascinating concepts that show where the #MCU may go from here.
1. Claire Temple Is On The Road To Becoming Marvel's Night Nurse
The Netflix shows' equivalent of Nick Fury as the connective tissue between heroes, Rosario Dawson's Claire Temple is a fantastic character who's well on the way to taking up an iconic Marvel role. She's becoming the Netflix equivalent of the #NightNurse, a health specialist who chooses to focus on supporting superheroes and vigilantes. Fans had known this was coming since Daredevil Season 1, but in Luke Cage, she made some major strides on that journey.
Claire had barely been introduced before she was talking with her mother about what she wanted to do with her life, after she lost her job in Daredevil Season 2. She's been providing, ah, 'informal' health care to Daredevil and Luke Cage since her introduction, but now she's really considering choosing that as her career path.
Both Jessica Jones and Luke Cage have emphasized Claire's creativity, showing her as adaptable enough to work with the strange cases superheroes may send her way. Luke Cage showed the most dramatic development yet, proving her skills as a medical scientist, and showcasing her adaptability. These traits will be essential in her future role.
2. Alien Technology is Transforming the World
The fall of #SHIELD meant that scores of S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists were suddenly looking for work in the private sector, and it seems many have sold their secrets. Hammer Industries seems to have benefited a great deal, developing advanced weapons for sale to the military.
Two pieces of technology stand out above the rest. Firstly, the Judas bullet, which is said to be designed using #Chitauri metal. This is a terrifying sign that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s physical assets have been collected by weapons manufacturers across the world, and we can't imagine the advanced weapons that are in development. It also suggests that Hammer Industries sees a market in developing anti-superhuman weapons, presumably for use against supervillains and superheroes who haven't signed up to the Sokovia Accords.
The second remarkable piece of technology is the armor that Diamondback dons, granting him superhuman strength and resistance to injury. Although an ugly design, this suggests that weapons manufacturers are attempting to follow in Tony Stark's footsteps, using advanced technology to enhance physical abilities. Combine this with the fact that #Falcon's wings were military-issue in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and you raise a fascinating possibility that the world may have more warriors to oppose #Thanos and future alien invaders than just the Avengers.
3. That Technology is Hitting the Streets
The really concerning side of this technology, though, is that someone like Diamondback could get access to it. While Luke Cage was careful to stress the cost of this technology, the fact that this is now used by police forces in Harlem suggests that it's going to hit the streets soon.
This isn't actually a surprise, given the presence of the Tinkerer in Spider-Man: Homecoming; rather, it's a nice continuity nod that helps establish the background for next year's Marvel blockbuster, where street-level villains like Shocker and the #Vulture have access to dangerously advanced technology and weaponry.
4. Seagate Prison
Luke Cage's origin gave us an in-depth look at Seagate Prison, a private prison whose management were involved in illegal (likely government-sponsored) experiments to create super-soldiers. With Captain America back on the scene, and the Avengers dominating world events for years, it's likely that funding for super-soldier experiments is at a record high. Many of these experiments will be deeply unethical — and Luke Cage closed with a hint that his brother, Diamondback, may be about to undergo the same experiments Luke himself went through.
This is actually the second time we've seen Seagate Prison in the MCU; the prison made its debut in the All Hail the King one-shot, where it came under attack from the forces of the Mandarin.
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As you can see, Luke Cage continued the ongoing narrative of Marvel's Netflix world, building towards the Defenders. In doing so, though, the series also gave us a remarkable depth of insight into the current state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Pandora's Box has been opened on everything from super-soldier serums to alien technology, and there's no putting these secrets back in the box. I can't wait to see where things go from here!
What Easter Eggs did you spot in Luke Cage? Let me know in the comments!