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With the (generally well-received) release of The Defenders earlier this fall, all of the essential pieces of the Netflix Marvel universe finally fell into place. The four core heroes made their introductions with one another, and groundwork is in place for them to continue lending each other a hand when it's needed. As it turns out, that idea will come front and center in Luke Cage Season 2, and series star Mike Colter recently opened up and admitted that Danny Rand's inclusion in the season would allow them to explore the iconic Heroes For Hire dynamic. Colter said:
There are people that love the idea of Heroes for Hire. When people saw The Defenders, they thought the relationship was good between Finn and I and they are curious. They want to see more of that. He will bring some fresh blood in the new season and I'm hoping that people will respond to it well. We are teamed up for a bit. That's the whole point of bringing that flavor to it. I can see how this works. That's what good about it. We're giving people what they want. A lot of times people wanted to see Jessica Jones and Luke and what happens to them; but we went out on a limb, and decided to 'let's give a little Heroes for Hire somewhere in the season and see what happens.' Hopefully people will respond to it.
These remarks came during a recent interview with Blackfilm.com in which Mike Colter addressed Danny Rand's involvement as the Immortal Iron Fist on the upcoming season of Luke Cage. He explained that the show would explore their dynamic as the Heroes for Hire, which is the duo's moniker in the comics. The two developed an uneasy friendship/rivalry during the events of The Defenders Season 1, and Luke Cage Season 2 will pick things up from there to continue exploring how these two very different heroes learn to combine their abilities into something even more powerful.
That development builds off of ideas that have already been presented in The Defenders universe. Luke has consistently proven himself as one of the better team players in the gritty Netflix version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and pairing him with Danny Rand seems like a natural progression away from the now-defunct romance that we saw between him and everyone's favorite hard-drinking private detective during Season 1 of Jessica Jones. (He's currently involved with Rosario Dawson's Claire Temple.) If these crossover arcs continue to be successful, then it will only make sense for Netflix and Marvel to keep cross-pollinating these properties whenever it makes sense.
For longtime Marvel fans, the promise of a Heroes For Hire subplot in Luke Cage Season 2 has to be exciting, as Luke and Iron Fist have a long history of working together in the comics. Initially starting off with Luke Cage's singular Hero For Hire business, the independent venture eventually becomes profitable for Luke, and he enlists Iron Fist to help him with his security/investigation firm. As a result, we get some great street-level buddy-cop adventures between two wholly mismatched heroes as they try to fight their way through the gritty turf of Harlem. The Heroes organization has expanded over the years, and it has even included characters like Misty Knight (who is on the verge of getting her bionic arm), The Punisher (who is about to get his own series), and Elektra among its ranks at various points in time. She probably won't be interested in the Netflix shows, though.
It's worth noting that this doesn't necessarily mean that Heroes For Hire will become a central plot point as Season 2 of Luke Cage comes together. Colter's comments make it sound like they're attempting to dip their toes in the Heroes For Hire water without investing in a full-blown spinoff series yet. Finn Jones' Danny Rand is going to show up to lend a hand (or a glowing fist) here and there, and if successful with fans, this could pave the way for another season-length crossover to take place further down the line.
Luke Cage Season 2 is expected to debut on Netflix sometime next year. Until then, you can check out all of The Defenders series currently available to stream on the service, and take a look at our fall TV premiere guide to get more information on anything and everything set to debut within the next few months.