Netflix today dropped the first full-length trailer for the new season of Marvel’s Luke Cage. Luke is back in Harlem and he’s doing his best to clean up the streets while unavoidably becoming a public hero to the community. It’s a comparison that isn’t often made, but Luke Cage isn’t totally unlike Steve Rogers, as the two of them have perhaps the strongest moral codes in the MCU. This is an important aspect of Cage’s character that is often overshadowed by his impressive power set. And while Luke may be less willing to adopt the ‘hero’ moniker that Captain America embodies, he deserves it no less. These two men stand on principle and that is a big reason why Luke is able to capture the admiration of nearly the whole of Harlem – but not all of Harlem.
Gone are Cottonmouth and Diamondback, but that has left no shortage of villains to fill the void. Back, and seemingly more powerful is Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard) and her associate Shades (Theo Rossi). Joining the cast, and sure to butt heads with Dillard, is Marvel Comics’ mob princess Rosalie Carbone, played by Annabella Sciorra. But this new trailer has revealed another threat, one that seems to more physically capable of taking on Cage head-to-head – Bushmaster. Take a look…
Well, that doesn’t look like great news for the Protector of Harlem. But who is this new threat? Well, John McIver aka Bushmaster first appeared in Marvel Comics back in 1977, squaring off against Danny Rand in Iron Fist #15, from X-Men legends Chris Claremont and John Byrne.
In the comics, John McIver is from St. Croix, in the Virgin Islands and, when he comes to New York, has already become a major player in the European branch of an international crime syndicate known as Maggia. Other notable members of this syndicate include Hammerhead, Silvermane, Whiplash, Gladiator, and Madame Masque. McIver has powers similar to that of Luke Cage, which he also receives at Seagate Prison, though done intentionally, not the result of experimentation like Cage. It’s doubtful that the show will follow the same method, which included kidnapping Luke, putting a hit out on Iron Fist, and letting an undercover Misty Knight infiltrate his organization. Instead, given the imagery from the trailer, and the introduction of Doctor Strange into the MCU, it seems they may choose to go the magical route instead.
Bushmaster, like most of Cage’s comic adversaries from the 1970s, was in need of some updating for sure, and it looks like showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker might have found a way to make him a bit more menacing and believable. The new villain is played by Mustafa Shakir (The Night Of, Brawl in Cell Block 99) and seems like great casting.
Not sure yet if McIver’s younger brother, Quincy McIver, will appear in the show, but in the comics, he took over the mantle of Bushmaster once John eventually perished by turning into metal. Quincy has a bionic snake tail… come to think of it, we’re pretty sure none of that is going to happen on the show.
What do you think of the character choice? Are you excited to see Luke kicking some ass along-side the newly armed Misty Knight?
We’ll see how well it all turned on when the show drops on Netflix June 22.
Images: Marvel Comics, Netflix