Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage may be coming together for this year's The Defenders, but that doesn't mean they won't still have their solo adventures. Luke Cage, for example, is getting ready for another go at Harlem with his second season, which is expected to hit our screens in 2018, and things are picking up speed.
#Marvel recently released two major casting announcements for the show. While they're quite exciting additions on their own story-wise, one of them specifically brings a huge twist to the MCU's continuity. But before we jump into that, let's get know the newest additions to the franchise.
Mustafa Shakir Is John McIver, A.K.A. Bushmaster
Mustafa Shakir isn't a household name, so if you want to know more about him, check out 2005's Within and 2015's The Stream.
Moving on to the character, saying #JohnMcIver is a baddie in the comics is an understatement. He grew up as a thief alongside his brother, Quincy, and he showed his merciless attitude from an early age, beating his brother for revealing a family secret to a shopkeeper that caught him stealing, and then killing the shopkeeper. As a grownup, he became a powerful mafia boss, managing the European side of Maggia.
He got involved with the Defenders when he put a hit on #IronFist. Misty Knight found out about this and went after him. As payback, McIver hired Luke Cage to take her down. To make him comply, McIver kidnapped #ClaireTemple and Noah Burstein, and promised to clear Luke's name from a drug scandal. In the meantime, McIver made Burstein replicate the process that gave Cage powers on him. While he gained superhuman strength that helped him go toe-to-toe with Cage himself, things went awry—he mutated into a metal statue and died. For his role in Luke Cage, Marvel describes McIver as:
"A natural leader, brimming with charisma, whose mission is focused on Harlem and vengeance."
It's clear there will be some creative liberties with the character, mainly because of his Harlem connection. But he could still emulate the comics by using Luke Cage for his own gains, trying to become like him, and who knows? Maybe our coffee-lover works for him at some point in the show.
Gabrielle Dennis Is Tilda Johnson A.K.A. Nightshade
You may recognize #GabrielleDennis from her roles in Rosewood, 2006's The Underground, and Blue Mountain State.
In the comics, Tilda Johnson grew up in Harlem with a special gift for science. Feeling she needed to get out of her humble environment, she turned to her abilities and started a life of crime. This got her to team up with fellow baddie Yellow Claw and eventually got her into an altercation with CaptaiAmerica, Falcon and S.H.I.E.L.D.
Marvel describes the character in the show as:
"A brilliant, holistic doctor with a complicated history in Harlem where, as much as she tries to stay far from trouble, it seems to always find her."
Dennis is a fantastic actress so I'm excited to see what she brings to the role. But it's also Nightshade who just brought a ton of confusion into the #MCU. If there's something familiar about Johnson's name, it's because it's already been mentioned in the MCU before.
Nightshade Just Presented A Big Continuity Problem For The Marvel Cinematic Universe
"Franco, why in the world would Nightshade be a continuity problem," you ask? Well, Nightshade will also be featured in #BlackPanther, played by Nabiyah Be. We've seen the same actor play two different roles in the TV and movie sides before, but this is the first time two different versions of the same character appear in both mediums. That may tell us a heartbreaking thing for many fans: The Netflix and big screen corners of the MCU are separating even further.
Yep, our biggest fears (probably) just got confirmed, which in turn poses a big question for the franchise: Where in the world do the #Netflix shows take place? While the movies have shied away from them, the series have referenced the films numerous times. So, does that mean they exist in their own pocket universe where everything that happens in the movies happens in the shows, but not the other way around? Or do they still exist in the same universe and this dual casting will just have to be something we overlook? The question's hard to answer right now, but we do know one thing: This pretty much confirms the fact that the Defenders won't be joining the Avengers any time soon.
While there have been signs of tension between Marvel's TV and movie sides, this development is still surprising. The MCU is the very first true superhero cinematic universe, and the fact that it was expanding to the small screen was mind-blowing to thousands of fans around the world, so it's quite disappointing to know that's not the case anymore.
With that said, we'll be able to see what this Bushmaster and this new version of Nightshade bring to the Netflix Marvel Universe once #LukeCageSeason2 is released some time in 2018. Who knows in what ways Black Mariah will plan to use them?
Which of these two new characters are you most looking forward to seeing in the show? How do you feel about the MCU not being all that connected? Let me know in the comments!