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Luke Cage Down for the Count as Netflix Severs More Marvel Ties

by Eric Frederiksen | October 20, 2018October 20, 2018 5:00 am PST

Hot on the heels of the cancellation of Iron Fist, it seems Netflix is ready to dump another show: Luke Cage. After two seasons, Netflix has announced Harlem’s Hero is done swinging.

“Unfortunately, ‘Marvel’s Luke Cage‘ will not return for a third season. Everyone at Marvel Television and Netflix is grateful dedicated showrunner, writers, cast and crew who brought Harlem’s Hero to life for the past two seasons, and to all the fans who have supported the series,” Netflix and Marvel Television said in a joint statement (via Variety).

Variety writes that talks had taken place for a third season, but decided not to move forward.

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Hot Deal Gone Cold

When Marvel and Netflix inked the original deal, it was set for five shows, starting with Daredevil and continuing on with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders. What started out as a very good deal – Daredevil and Jessica Jones had stellar freshmen outings – slowly cooled over the last couple years as shows took a dive in quality. It’s likely things froze up completely when Disney decided not only to start its own competing streaming service, but to stop putting the eyeball-tugging Marvel movies on Netflix’s gigantic streaming service.

This streaming war is starting to look like it’s own Marvel’s Civil War. On one side, you have the high-tech newcomer, Netflix, a company that accounts for 15 percent of all internet traffic at the minimum, and it’s only that low because their compression algorithms are really good. On the other side is Disney, the old guard of motion picture media, around since before movies even had sound. And also the owner of basically everything you like. In addition to its own legendary catalog, Disney owns Marvel comics, Lucasfilm, Pixar, ESPN, and now the massive entertainment catalog of 21st Century Fox. From Ant-Man to Zootopia.

In other words, if anyone can punch at Netflix’s weight in a streaming war, it’s Disney.

It seems, then, like Netflix and Disney’s disconnect has become mutual at this point.

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Where are our heroes?

When Iron Fist was canceled late last week, we took some time to look on the bright side of it. The cancellation of the show opened up chances for Danny Rand to appear on the third season of Luke Cage and for Misty and Colleen to get a Daughters of the Dragon spin-off. And if we wanted to be delusional, we could even pretend like canning both of these shows so close together is a precursor to the announcement of a Heroes for Hire show, but that horse is dead, so let’s stop giving it CPR. We’re not horse surgeons.

It’s unlikely that we’ll see any of these characters in this incarnation again, I think. Luke, Danny, Misty, and Colleen are all out on their butts. With that Netflix-Marvel relationship souring, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jessica Jones drop off shortly after, followed by Daredevil and The Punisher. The latter already has a second season planned for release next year, while the former is the most successful of this bunch of programs. They have the best chance at surviving, but it seems like both are on life support at this point.

But hey, Daredevil season 3 is streaming on Netflix right now, so let’s go watch that while we cry into our drinks.


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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