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     Post Release Theories 
Luke will wear a yellow T-shirt in a couple episodes.
Specifically, in the first and last episodes of the first season. First as a Mythology Gag, then in his last fight with the remaining antagonist(s).
  • Confirmed. He briefly wore a yellow shirt and a chain belt when he stole some clothes after his experiment while still wearing the tiara and bracelets from his restraints. He soon tore it all off after declaring "I look like a damn fool."

Luke's name is an alias.
His legal name is Carl Lucas, just like in the 616 continuity.
  • Confirmed.

The experiment that gave Luke his powers was a covert attempt by HYDRA to recreate Captain America.
The procedure is remarkably similar, and we know that HYDRA had long since both infiltrated the US Government and been trying to make their own super-soldiers. Also, much like Steve, Luke was a good man who just wanted to do the right thing, which is why the procedure was so successful with him.

Shades will off handedly mention that he has a teenage son.
That son is Victor Alvarez, the second Marvel character to call himself Power Man, who has appeared in comics featuring Luke before. It will be foreshadowing the MCU version of the character appearing in a potential second season.
  • Jossed.

Mariah's plans to "change" Harlem are actually to bring it into absolute ruin.
Ruins that she and her non-politician buddies can rule over.

Turk will try and become a pimp. And fail.
Turk fails because he'll will wear one of those stereotypical pimp hats, which immediately tips off Luke to it and gets him angry enough to punch Turk until he promises to not try and be a pimp.
  • Jossed. Luke does beat up Turk, though it's to find out where Diamondback is. Turk himself tries to get back into the gunrunning business in the show.

Trish will make Luke a superhero outfit.
Just like she did for Jessica, Trish will make Luke a costume for superheroing. It will be the yellow shirt, blue pants, and yes, the tiara too. The first thing Luke will say when he sees it is "Sweet Christmas", and the second thing will be "hell no".
  • Jossed, Trish only "appears" via a voice on the radio. However, Luke does wear the Tiara at one point in a flashback. It's a remnant of the machine that gave him his powers.

Misty Knight will lose an arm.
It's just a given. Presumably we'll hear something about Tony Stark being the guy to write the check for her prosthetic.
  • Jossed. It's teased at one point, though, when she has a serious gunshot wound on her arm.

Mariah Dillard will be the Big Bad
She and Cottonmouth will be in a Big-Bad Ensemble with her coming out the victor and it will be revealed she had a role in framing Luke for the crime that got him into prison or the experiment that gave him his powers.
  • Confirmed, at least on the first count. She's definitely the most omnipresent villain in the series And she's the only one not out of commission by the end of the first season.

Cottonmouth and Mariah Dillard will come to power due to Wilson Fisk going to prison.
In the second season of Daredevil, we learn that after Wilson Fisk was arrested, there was a power vacuum in the criminal underworld of New York, which resulted in a gang war. At some point, this show will reveal Cottonmouth and Dillard came to power during that time.
  • Jossed. The two descended from a long-standing Harlem crime family. Although the fallout from Fisk's arrest is heavily referenced, with Mariah invoking it while Cottonmouth and Domingo are shaking hands on an arms deal as a way of telling them to exercise caution.

Mariah Dillard will have some level of Adaptational Heroism.
From her speech in the main trailer and the fact she is described as a politician whose life is thrown in turmoil thanks to Luke Cage and her cousin. While she might turn out to be crooked, she could turn out to be a better person than the crime lord from the comics.
  • Jossed. By series end, she has become just as awful as her comic counterpart.

Iron Fist (2017) will overlap with the first season.
It has recently been revealed that the second season of Daredevil overlapped with the first season of this series. With the rumors of Iron Fist appearing in this series at some point, it's likely the first season of Iron Fist will be happening at the same time in the timeline.

Cottonmouth will be a Composite Character.
Of the HYDRA/Serpent Society version and the traditional Luke Cage enemy. Probably not going to the extendable jaw, but will have HYDRA connections in some way and is trying to bring Luke in to either restart the Super Soldier program, or supplement the research into Deathlok.
  • Jossed. He has no connections to HYDRA and is just a reimagining of the old Luke Cage villain, whose entire grudge with Luke is because Luke is messing with his criminal empire.

Shades is a superhuman.
Hernan Alvarez either was an experiment in Seagate or a low-level activated Inhuman. His power is the ability to see probabilities and results in a target before they develop. He wears the dark sunglasses to keep himself focused and not overwhelmed by all the data influx.

Luke's return to Seagate is not without protest
I imagine that the publicity surrounding Luke's deeds in Harlem, given much of it has been of the positive kind that see Luke as a role model, lingers on, and I can't imagine there won't be people protesting his re-incarceration and petitioning the Innocence Project to look into the charges that sent Luke to Seagate.

Theories on who owns Seagate Prison
Seagate Prison is privately owned. It has yet to be revealed who owns it.
  • Rand Corps owns it and this sets Cage up to meet Iron Fist. Danny will find out the Meachums bought the prison after his parents died and will set out to right that wrong.
  • IGH from Jessica Jones (2015) owns it. There has already been a great deal of overlapping between the two shows, especially involving Reeva and the idea of human experimentation.
  • The Real Mandarin owns it. In the Marvel One-Shot Hail To The King, we learn Trevor Slattery was sent to Seagate where he was killed by the real Mandarin. Perhaps it is no coincidence.
    • Unlikely, given that in the one-shot the Mandarin had an agent infiltrate in as a media producer, kill the guard and Slattery's in-prison bodyguard/mook, and abduct him. If the Mandarin actually owned Seagate, it would be a far simpler solution to either (a) have the guards sequester Slattery for a nice long discussion, after which he would regrettably turn up dead and/or disappear, or (b) transfer him to an "undisclosed location". That neither of those happened suggests that the Mandarin was driven to take more overt action.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Moses Magnum who has a long history with Luke Cage in the comics. It is hard to tell what movie studio owns him since he first appeared as a Spider-Man foe and has an origin tied to Apocalypse form the X-Men franchise, which many mean he belongs to either Sony or Fox. If not, then he belongs to Marvel Studios.

Luke Cage and Frank Castle have a history
  • Why else make Luke a former Marine, in addition to being a former cop? Mike Colter and Jon Bernthal are also just two years apart in age, so it's plausible that Luke and Frank Castle served in the same platoons.

The Chitauri metal bullets the NYPD purchased from Diamondback will cause disaster.
Waaay back in the first season of Agents of SHIELD, a single piece of leftover Chitauri junk kills dozens of people in Highlander fashion. The NYPD bought a huge stockpile of it for killing "freaks." Anything could happen due to exposure to the metal, especially when you're trusting police officers to handle them. Imagine the comic-book equivalent of the health considerations concerning depleted uranium; numerous illnesses starting at brain damage and going all the way up to cancer.

Diamondback's connection inside Hammer Industries is Justin Hammer himself
Justin Hammer is an inmate in Seagate Prison, a place inside which Diamondback was shown to be able to place Shades, Comanche, Rackham and more. It's therefore easy to perceive that perhaps Diamondback was able to get Hammer Industries to bulk-sell him advanced weapons under the table in return for Hammer's protection from other inmates or to keep Diamondback's own goons from killing Hammer very, very badly.

Pop's Barbershop will become the Night Nurse's clinic in Season Two
With the trouble that Luke and Bobby have keeping it a barbershop, they will eventually decide in light of Diamondback's tearing up the facade, that it's better off as something else. The natural choice is turning it into a clinic for Claire. She needs a permanent work area and dedicating the space to fixing up the heroes that are helping New York City's population is something Pop would approve of. They may even try to keep the name to honor Pop's legacy.
  • Or more likely it will be the Heroes for Hire/Defenders office since it's already a well known neutral spot and still honor Pop's legacy.

Donovan was defending members of the Stokes-Dillard crew as a mole for Wilson Fisk
We see Wilson Fisk's attorney Ben Donovan providing legal defense to Mariah, Cottonmouth, and other members of the Stokes-Dillard gang. At first this seems like Suicidal Overconfidence on Donovan's part, since Fisk would probably not respond well to his criminal lawyer helping to keep his rivals in power...unless that is Fisk's plan all along, and intentionally had sent Donovan out to get information from the crime lords. Donovan is acting as Fisk's eyes and ears on the streets. He provides Fisk with continuous up to date information on the crime situation in Harlem, either through the clients themselves (like Cottonmouth) or by access to the NYPD files (from corrupt cops who escaped the FBI probing caused by Hoffman's snitching), allowing him to tie Mariah's, Diamondback's and Cottonmouth's interests to his own.

Fisk is collecting enough information to effectively manipulate the Harlem weapon trade. So in the future, Mariah will owe Fisk a considerable debt for all of Donovan's help, and Fisk is in need of a new weapons supplier for his enterprise after having wiped out the Russians, while Frank Castle had effectively wiped out the majority of his rivals in Hell's Kitchen, except for the Hand. As Fisk told Frank Castle during "Seven Minutes in Heaven", he is using his time behind bars to effectively establish control over organized crime in New York City's five boroughs. And similar to his orchestrating the bombing of the Russian hideouts and the shooting of the cops in "Condemned," he's doing so without having to throw a single punch himself.

All of Luke Cage season 1 overlaps with Daredevil season 2
It is common consensus that Luke Cage season 1 starts during Daredevil season 2. We know this because in Claire's first episode, she mentions the Hand's hospital attack to her mother and we know from the dialogue that it's just happened. Likewise, Turk's remark of "You Harlem niggers are off the hook. I'm going back to Hell's Kitchen where it's safe" upon watching Cottonmouth throw Tone off the roof only makes sense as a Tempting Fate line regarding the near-loss of his foot in "A Cold Day in Hell's Kitchen".

However, a few things suggest that all or most of the events of Luke Cage took place before the last scene in Daredevil with Matt disclosing his secret identity to Karen. For one, in both shows, we can tell from the characters' choice of clothing that the plotlines of both seasons clearly start during the late summer/early fall when it's still very hot outside and end during the cold winter months.

Secondly, based on everything that we see during Karen's monologue in "A Cold Day in Hell's Kitchen," Matt's reveal happens around Christmas Eve 2015 if not Christmas Day proper. This puts that scene after the police car dashcam incident, as the dashcam footage is date-stamped to December 1st. Based on the progress of the plot, everything that happens in Luke Cage between the dashcam incident, when Diamondback gets captured, and when the US Marshals arrest Luke at the precinct takes place within the timeframe of about two weeks, ending the show before December 18th of 2015.

This would be the likely way to make a good tie-in to The Defenders if Matt's reveal to Karen then gets interrupted by him being solicited to defend Luke. After all, throughout Luke Cage, Claire had repeatedly been trying to convince Luke to get hooked up with Matt.

Tone was in on the robbery
It would certainly explain a lot, like why he's so quick to open fire on Chico in the barbershop, or his cockiness when recounting what happened to Cottonmouth.

Diamondback will become Coldfire
He's already a Composite Character of the comic's Diamondback and Cage's younger brother. Instead of gaining Super Strength he will develop Coldfire's plasma powers.

The Hand were behind the gun heist
The Hand thrive on chaos, and are able to orchestrate large events without leaving a trace. One of the three may have been enticed by Sowande into conducting the shootout at the junkyard to stir up chaos between the Harlem organizations so that Sowande would have an opportunity to move in.

     Post-Defenders 
Season 2 will focus on a recovered Diamondback sending enhanced individuals after Luke
Using advanced weaponry didn't work so Willis decides to fight superpowers with superpowers. He recruits them, Burstein gives them powers, and Mariah is cooperating with them to kill Luke. The season will delve further into the Superhero Paradox by showcasing the higher damage that battles between superpowered beings can cause while focusing on it on a more personal level than was seen in Captain America: Civil War.
  • Nope, Willis has absolutely nothing to do with Season 2.

Diamondback will gather the Serpent Society in Season 2
Tying into the above idea is that Diamondback will recruit powered individuals but they will be members of the Serpent Society, who have easily translatable to screen powers. He could even reach out to HYDRA for support, which will bring in Madame Hydra who will want to cause as much damage as she can to New York as a symbolic gesture of getting even with the Avengers.
  • As above, Willis has nothing to do with Season 2 nor does the Serpent Society.

John McIver will be the Big Bad of Season 2
He'll be more powerful than any of the previous villains, who will be his rivals. He will draw many to his side in accomplishing his goal, which will be gaining Luke's powers. He'll also be very hands-on. Shades and Mariah may even make an alliance with him.

It would also explain why Danny will be getting involved with the plot. McIver was one of the first rogues that Luke and Danny took on together in the Heroes for Hire, and Luke may need someone like Danny to teach him how to fight someone else with his superstrength.

  • Yes, though it's a bit more complicated than that. He had already gained similar powers to Luke at the beginning of the Season, and his brief business with Mariah was only to indirectly leave her open to a takeover so he could thoroughly destroy her. He's ultimately supplanted by Mariah in the end.
Misty will have an arc concerning her new cybernetic arm.
Misty will spend the first few episodes of season 2 getting used to her new bionic arm and will be struggling with depression. This will lead her to eventually find hope in her new condition, just in time to help Luke out in a fight by sending one or two bad guys into the air with cybernetic punches. Bailey will take Scarfe's place as Misty's partner who is there for her as she adjusts to the arm.
  • Kind of. Her arc was about not having a limb at all. Once she actually obtains her cybernetic arm she adjusts pretty quickly. Bailey also doesn't become her partner as she ends up taking over the precinct entirely.

Jennifer "White Jennie" Royce will make a cameo
Probably as a partner of Mariah's.
  • Nope, not even a mention.

Mister Fish will appear
Instead of Mort Norris being a Maggia goon who gets mutated into a fish man by some strange isotopes, they'll go with something that's still comic book-esque, but fits in better with the shows tone and style. He is instead an assassin for hire who wears a hi-tech, armored diving suit provided to him by Cottonmouth that will still somewhat resemble the original version. "Mister Fish" is just what people take to calling him since the suit's mask looks vaguely fish-like and they don't know who he is underneath it, probably taken from a comment about his crimes on a TV news broadcast.
  • Well he does show up, but only to get the crap kicked out of him by the future Daughters of the Dragon.

The season will, even if briefly, highlight how being cheated on by one's husband can emotionally hurt a woman
Luke's father cheated on his mother with another woman, which I think he would be rather bitter about even outside of the whole aspect of Diamondback being his evil half-brother. It's a betrayal, and it's possible that it'll be mentioned in some capacity, even if not much. The flashbacks could be a good way to do it as well; Luke's mother could appear in them and be revealed to have had some knowledge of her husband's affair.
  • Well the effects of cheating come into play but it's about Luke's initial inability to forgive his father for what he's done (and even then it's more for his actions after the fact and not the actual cheating itself). But instead the season highlights more the effects of abusive relationships.

Bushmaster will misblame Luke for the deaths of the other gangsters

Maybe he's related to one of the gangsters Diamondback killed when he crashed the secret meeting at Colon's Gym, and is going to target Luke seeing as Diamondback is in custody.

  • Nope. The only issue he had (at least initially) with Luke was that Luke had Harlem's heart which he felt would undercut him if he were to take over the underground. After that only a rivalry.

Luke and Mariah will be working together to defeat Bushmaster

The second trailer suggests that the main conflict is going to not be between Luke and Bushmaster, but between Bushmaster and Mariah. As in, Bushmaster wants Mariah's territory for himself. But Mariah and Shades are just normal people with no special abilities of their own, aside from Shades' street-smarts and Mariah's political connections. The trailer shows the two taking major hits from Bushmaster, such as Luke rescuing Mariah after Bushmaster tries to kill her by burning down her brownstone, Bushmaster laying siege to Harlem's Paradise, Bushmaster delivering a threatening message to a captive Shades, and a later point where we see Shades and Mariah trying to shoot Bushmaster. These, combined with another point where we see Luke and Mariah conversing in the private office at Harlem's Paradise, suggest that Mariah and Shades are going to realize that Luke is really the only person who stands a chance of stopping Bushmaster for good.

Luke, for his part, will be reluctant to work with the councilwoman who framed him for murder and threw him back in Seagate, but the more time goes on, the more he'll realize that he has to pick his poison, and protect Mariah to defeat Bushmaster. Which will line up perfectly with what Mike Colter has said in interviews about Luke crossing some new moral lines that were never explored in season 1.

  • At first that was the case as Bushmaster had gone nuts with terroristic attacks trying to get at her. But in the process, Mariah ends up completely snapping and going into Let Me Be Evil territory in revenge. After creating a nasty massacre at an innocent restaurant and even burning Bushmaster's uncle alive, the script flips. Not only does Luke help Bushmaster periodically, but pretty much every single character in the entire season makes it a mission to put Mariah down once and for all (outside of her lawyer).

     Post-Season 2 

Luke will be corrupted by his ownership of Harlem's Paradise.

And after he gets corrupted, Misty tries to bring him in. Luke will prove too much, so Misty calls in Jessica, Danny, and Colleen to help bring him in, turning it into a sort of Defenders vs Cage situation.

Diamondback will return in Season 3
I mean, yeah, I get that he wasn't as liked as the other antagonists, but the way the show left him makes it obvious that he's going to return. They might as well do it, right?

Luke will have to take on the Iron Fist
Given that Misty said to Colleen that she might hold one of the few weapons that can put a dent to the bullet-proof man, it would not be surprising if the two come face to face.

Sugar and/or Bobby Fish is a Wakandan spy
Both manage to get close to powerful figures in Harlem and, in Fish's case, influence them, without getting hurt. If Wakanda had operatives in Oakland, it stands to reason they'd be keeping an eye on post-Incedent Harlem as well.
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