Spoilers ahead for Luke Cage Season 2. As if the bulletproof hero doesn't get enough trouble from Mariah Dillard and Bushmaster, Rosalie Carbone also shows up in Luke Cage Season 2. Annabella Sciorra's character is the queen of the Italian organized crime scene in New York City and a scathing villain who seems untouchable. But, who is Rosalie, and how did she rise to power in the Marvel universe? Carbone’s comic roots connect her to another infamous character.
According to i09, Rosalie Carbone first appeared in Punisher: War Zone #2 in 1992. She was the daughter of Mafia leader Julius Carbone and fell in love with Johnny Tower, who was actually The Punisher (Frank Castle) in disguise. Rosalie’s Uncle Sal, a.k.a. the villain Thorn, kills her father and she soon discovers The Punisher’s true identity, which left her bitter and furious. Rosalie took control of the Carbone family business after killing off the remaining leaders and attempted to exact revenge on The Punisher. Her quest to kill Frank Castle finally ended when she was murdered during a crime lord meeting.
The TV version of Rosalie hasn’t been linked to the Punisher yet, but her Luke Cage appearance is setting her up to be a formidable foe for all of the New York City vigilantes. In Season 2, councilwoman Mariah Stokes Dillard (Alfre Woodard) offers Rosalie and several other crime bosses her political and social connections to maximize their profits in the heroin circuit. Rosalie throws verbal jabs at Mariah, who took over the Harlem crime scene after murdering former leader/her cousin Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali), before agreeing to Dillard’s terms.
But, this deal doesn’t go much farther after Mariah’s new archnemesis Bushmaster (Mustafa Shakir) takes out a boss in his quest to destroy the Stokes family. Rosalie’s deep crime connections and massive street soldier army keep her alive, but now she is on Luke Cage’s (Mike Colter) radar. He has successfully helped Detective Misty Knight (Simone Missick) and (surprisingly) Mariah’s lover/second-in-command “Shades” Alvarez (Theo Rossi) put Mariah behind bars. And Luke won’t allow more drugs to flow into his community.
Luke pays Rosalie a visit in the season finale, telling her to stay out of Harlem. Rosalie is unfazed by his threat and says she was born and raised in Harlem, so she will do as she pleases. She also reminds Luke how deep her power runs, including her ties with Russian criminals. “You could kill me,” says Rosalie. “That would be easy for you. But, my Russian friends from Brighton Beach would have no qualms shooting up school yards and taking out whole families Moscow-style, if you did that. We make too much money together.” Luke quickly realizes he’s outmatched, so he makes an agreement with her to set parameters on where her men will go. The episode wraps up with Rosalie meeting with Luke at Harlem’s Paradise, the popular nightclub left in Luke’s possession after Mariah’s death.
If Luke Cage comes back for another season, Rosalie Carbone will likely play a major role as she either violates or continues to hold their tenuous agreement to keep her affairs out of Harlem. But, the criminal power player’s next moves will happen in Hell’s Kitchen. Sciorra revealed via Instagram that she just finished wrapping up her scenes for Daredevil Season 3 in May. There is no confirmed release date for the upcoming season nor any details about her role in the plot, but Rosalie could cross paths with the Punisher. Matt Murdock battled the broken antihero in the previous season, which led to Frank Castle getting his own spinoff series. But, Rosalie’s activities may find the Punisher and Daredevil at odds (again) about how to eliminate the same threat.
In the wake of Mariah’s demise, Rosalie is the last lady standing in the crime boss game. She’s got the cold side-eye, unflinching personality, and street connections to become an intriguing and nefarious villain. She's playing nice for now, but it won’t be long before she expands into new territory.