Sweet Christmas! The hero of Harlem is back, and oh, does the next installment of his journey look good. On Monday, May 7, Netflix released the Season 2 trailer for Luke Cage, and the thrilling teaser reveals that the bulletproof superhero is officially a celebrity in his neighborhood. However, as viewers are warned in the trailer, "One man alone cannot save a community." And that truth becomes clear when Luke comes face to face with the one man who can actually physically hurt him.
Luke's status as the only bulletproof man in Harlem is challenged by the Bushmaster, a man who appears to be just as untouchable as the show's hero. Mustafa Shakir is joining the cast as the mysterious bad guy who can actually go toe-to-toe with Luke in a fight and win. His moves in the trailer are seriously impressive — and scary. One of Season 1's biggest weaknesses was how long it took for the show to figure out a way to introduce a credible threat to the hero's well-being. However, Season 2 is pairing Luke with a villain that can actually put up a fight, and that challenge could end up pushing him to new extremes.
All 13 episodes of Season 2 will premiere June 22 on Netflix, and this time around the stakes are even higher for Luke. He's no longer hiding out; he's served his time in prison, and now he's basically a celebrity. In the first scene of the trailer, he appears to be shooting a commercial of all things, and if you're thinking that his joy at being praised as a hero so openly will be short-lived, then you would be right.
Compared to his fellow street-level heroes like Daredevil and Jessica Jones, Luke's moral stance has always felt clear. The death of his wife pushed him to a dark place, for sure, but since then he's been committed to making his community a safer place. He wants the streets of Harlem to be free from crime, and if that means embracing his celebrity status then so be it. Unfortunately, his newfound fame also appears to come with challenges that threaten his ability to help people.
In the world of Marvel, things are never simple, and the introduction of the Bushmaster, as well as Mariah Dillard's dreams of becoming the Queen of Harlem, are about to lead Luke down a much darker path. Season 2 is set to blur the line between hero and villain, and that's an intriguing position to put Luke in. Throughout the trailer, he appears to be perilously close to crossing a line in order to maintain his status as Harlem's go-to crime fighter, but there's a danger in allowing himself to embrace his darker impulses. "I've seen you raw, but never brutal," a concerned Claire says.
It may be time for Luke to accept that he needs help from the people around him — especially the wonderful Misty Knight, who's definitely not Luke's sidekick, no matter what he says. Otherwise, the darkness he's warned about could consume him, and nobody wants that. If Season 1 was about Luke finding his place in Harlem, then Season 2 appears to be about the hero learning the importance of not taking on every challenge alone.
And if that means that fans can look forward to seeing more of the show's wonderful supporting characters like Misty, Claire, and Bobby Fish, then that's an arc that can only lead to good things for Luke. For now, it's enough to know that Luke Cage Season 2 is preparing to push the Marvel character to new heights, while also keeping him grounded by his family and friends. Now, who's ready to return to Harlem?