Luke Cage

Luke Cage Season 2 Advance Review: The War for Harlem’s Soul

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown massively on the big and small screen, including the Netflix franchise of Marvel heroes. As we’re in the post-Defenders line, we’re continuing to follow the grittier heroes of the Marvel Universe, including everyone’s beloved Power Man: Luke Cage. With the new season set to arrive in exactly a week, The Marvel Report has previewed Season 2 of the Mike Colter drama and without any spoilers: year two is no disappointment and all kinds of Sweet Christmas.

While Season 1 may have had its ups and downs, this new season feels like an evolution for the series by Cheo Hodari Coker and his team. The two major themes the second year leans on are evolution and family. The sophomore season gets on one full ride that doesn’t take any stops along the way as it focuses entirely on its primary arcs through Luke and the show’s great cast of characters. After its world-building in Season 1, Luke Cage’s 2nd season allows itself to go further. Colter continues his tremendous job with being the show’s leading man as we see Luke’s growth as Harlem’s hero. Given what Luke has gone through, we see a more comfortable hero keeping Harlem safe as much as possible.

Despite the foes he faces, do expect Luke to have quite the list of various obstacles to deal with, including himself. For hardcore viewers of Luke Cage’s freshmen season, it should come as no surprise that Simone Missick’s Misty Knight continues to hook you in. Just as Luke is on his hero’s journey, Misty’s overall arc becomes a must-see-it-again highlight. Without giving away details about what they’re up to, Luke and Misty’s partnership becomes one of the core reasons for Season 2’s powerful success.

Along with our returning baddies in Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard) and Shades (Theo Rossi), we meet a new foe in Mustafa Shakir’s Bushmaster. Our newest antagonist packs more than just punches as we get a complex character with compelling execution by Shakir. Not only does he deliver punches and complexity, but also some neat surprises. While we got a taste of the power player she is last season, Mariah takes it to the next level in Season 2. The best way to describe Mariah’s story is that it’s the intense roller coaster to end all intense roller coasters. Don’t worry; with what Shades has on his plate in Season 2, he doesn’t go unnoticed.

Without going into spoilers, for any big Power Man/Iron Fist fans who want another taste of the Heroes for Hire: it will be one of the most memorable stories of the season. It becomes very clear how much Finn Jones and Colter’s chemistry has grown since their work on The Defenders. Fellow Iron Fist star Jessica Henwick (Colleen Wing) makes a visit as well for some quality time with Misty. For anyone who wants a Brothers of the Dragon spin-off with Henwick and Missick, will want it even more after what we see from the two kick-ass ladies in the season.

The addition of Gabrielle Dennis as Tilda Johnson is one of the larger mysteries of the new season, if not the largest. You will have to tune in on June 22 to see why she is such a mystery. One of the accomplishments of the new season is how focused it is. Surely it is busy, but it’s a steady and solid ride. For the issues Season 1 had, Season 2 makes it clear that it has learned from its previous season. Harlem continues to stand as a character of itself, hence why Season 2 acts as a war for Harlem’s soul. Luke Cage Season 2 needs to be on everyone’s watch list on June 22 as the new season continues the growth that the Marvel-Netflix franchise is delivering. Added with once again terrific music, outstanding superhero action, and overall compelling storytelling, Luke Cage continues to live up to his title as Power Man.

 “After clearing his name, Luke Cage (Mike Colter) has become a celebrity on the streets of Harlem, with a reputation as bulletproof as his skin. But being so visible has only increased his need to protect the community and find the limits of who he can and can’t save. With the rise of a formidable new foe, Luke is forced to confront the fine line that separates a hero from a villain.”

Marvel’s Luke Cage Season 2 debuts exclusively on Netflix on Friday, June 22 at – the first season is currently available for streaming.