After a long wait of almost two years since Luke Cage‘s first season, a whole new set of episodes is set to drop — finally — on June 22nd. The Netflix superhero series had such an exciting first season that it will be hard to top, but the new Luke Cage Season 2 trailer dropped on Tuesday morning proves that the show’s upcoming season could be even more eventful than the first. The new trailer for Luke Cage‘s second season focuses on Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard), who is ready to take her throne as a powerful club owner in Harlem after her brother died.
Even though Mariah wants to prove that she can help the city thrive with her club, Harlem’s Paradise, she finds herself getting entangled in the underground gun-selling business and she ends up going head to head with this new season’s powerful villain, Bushmaster (Mustafa Shakir). Fortunately, it looks like Luke Cage (Mike Colter) will offer backup to Mariah, though he isn’t exactly thrilled by the idea. The only question is whether or not Luke can actually stop Bushmaster, because, as the trailer reveals, Bushmaster is bulletproof, just like Luke.
While the prospect of two powerful bulletproof men facing each other sounds exciting, the new trailer that just came out reveals that Mariah will prove to be an incredibly important character in the upcoming season too, even if she can’t naturally stop a bullet with her flesh. As Mariah says at the beginning of the new trailer, “You don’t have to be bulletproof to be a superhero.”
In the trailer, Mariah continues on to say, "Black women have always had superpowers. Turn pain into progress. Harlem doesn’t need any hero, it needs a queen." In that moment, she turns to look at one of the most iconic images of Notorious B.I.G. with his crown on, to make it look perfectly perched on her own head. Spoilers ahead for Season 1. As you’ll most likely remember (because it’s quite difficult to forget), Mariah killed her cousin Cornell Stokes (Mahershala Ali) in Season 1 and took over his Harlem Club afterwards.
It was always Mariah’s dream to become the head club owner of Harlem, but in the new Luke Cage trailer it seems like that new role will lead to even more threats to her power. Based on what Mariah said about Black women’s inherent super-powers, though, she makes a case for her own resilience that might not even cause her to need Luke Cage’s help. It seems like a big power-struggle in the new season will definitely take place in the relationship between Luke and Mariah, the latter of whom constantly denigrates the superhero’s constant interventions in her life.
"My dark chocolate Boy Scout, of course you’re going to save me" Mariah says to Luke. In a way, it seems like Mariah eventually finds a way to manipulate Luke so that he, as she says, does her "dirty work" for her. Knowing Luke Cage, though, he probably won’t stand for being used like that, so it will be interesting to see what ends up happening in the face of Bushmaster’s perils. As Marvel comics fans know, Mariah eventually plays a totally different role in the comic versions of Luke Cage than in the show, but it seems like her character could be heading more towards the comic-book version in Season 2.
The comic book character who Mariah Dillard is based on was called Black Mariah, and she was much more of a villain than the Netflix character. Sure, Alfre Woodard’s character has her flaws — she’s not afraid to work with underground crime rings — but she mainly wants to work towards the betterment of Harlem, her neighborhood.
In Marvel’s comics, though, Black Mariah and Luke Cage were often posed against each other rather than working together. Perhaps that’s what will end up happening at the end of Season 2, and if that’s true, it might actually be hard to root against Mariah Dillard just because she’s such a bad ass character. Fortunately, you won’t have to wait too much longer to find out what happens in the Harlem saga, because Season 2 is on its way.
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