Luke Cage star Mike Colter teases an even more unique story for the Netflix show’s second season. The upcoming season of The Defenders, along with the second season of Luke Cage, will spend a great deal of time tackling Luke’s public identity. Out of prison and back in New York City, Luke will have several new non-friends thanks to The Defenders, but showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker stresses that the crossover series will not dictate the solo series’ second season arc. Many fans are hoping for a build-up toward Heroes For Hire, but there is no confirmation that will be the case.

After some leaked set photos, Marvel confirmed that Lucy Liu will be directing the first episode of this second season, with several episodes of Elementary already on her director’s resume. With so many open ended storylines from the first season, it’s going to be interesting to see where the second season will pick up.

Related: Luke Cage Hits the Streets of Brooklyn in Set Video

In The Defenders panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Luke Cage star Mike Colter took time to address questions about what fans can expect with his series’ second season. When the show began streaming on Netflix, it quickly worked its way to the top of the list as one of the most popular and widely streamed shows in the the platform’s history. Toeing the line between over-the-top comic fare and showing a real appreciation for its Harlem setting, Luke Cage set a high bar for what fans have come to expect with the highly anticipated follow-up season. Colter praises the writing, saying:

“The writing this season has been very unique because we know the show now. We know the world that we’re in and we know sort of what works and what doesn’t work and we’re just gonna double down on that stuff, so look forward to a very exciting and very relevant and pop culture-heavy show.”

Mike Colter in Luke Cage Season 1 Luke Cage Season 2 Will Be Exciting, Relevant & Pop Culture Heavy

The tid-bit was little more than a tease, with no further elaboration on what all pop culture entails. In light of what has happened elsewhere in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, his reference could mean more connections to the other Marvel properties (a Spider-Man: Homecoming connection). Though many Luke Cage fans would probably expect the series to continue to address real social issues like racism, police brutality, and socioeconomic equity like in the first season.

Luke Cage‘s second season will see the return of Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard) and Shades (Theo Rossi), but there has been no indication as to whether or not the crime duo will be the main villains for the season. Additions to the cast include Gabrielle Dennis as Tilda Johnson and Mustafa Shakir as John McIver. Both are characters from the comics with McIver being a wealthy crime boss (his alias is Bushmaster), and Johnson a scientist better known as the sometimes good, sometimes bad Nightshade.

Next: Luke Cage Season 2 Casts Mustafa Shakir & Gabrielle Dennis

Marvel’s The Defenders premieres on August 18th, followed by The Punisher season 1 later this fall. Premiere dates for the new seasons of DaredevilJessica JonesLuke Cage and Iron Fist have yet to be announced.

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