The Marvel Cinematic Universe TV shows and movies feels less connected all the time, and the complete lack of “Civil War” references in “Luke Cage” certainly doesn’t help. However, it seems like the new Netflix show didn’t refer to the latest MCU movie because the show takes place in a different time.
(Spoiler Alert: There are minor plot points about “Marvel’s Luke Cage” revealed below.)
If “Luke Cage” had actually taken place in fall 2016, when it was released, Luke (Mike Colter) might have taken a different approach to defending Harlem. The Sokovia Accords, put into effect in “Captain America: Civil War,” don’t just affect the Avengers. All people with super powers, or as the government likes to call them “enhanced individuals,” need legal permission to use their powers to save the world. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is currently showing the registration of Inhumans, and they’re using local police and news reports to determine where super powered people are.
Luke (Mike Colter) doesn’t work in the shadows on the Netflix series. He is discussed on the local news and even nationally syndicated radio shows. He tells reporters his name, and it seems like all of Harlem knows who he is and his abilities. So why isn’t Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) team heading to New York? The Sokovia Accords apparently aren’t in effect yet.
Charlie Cox, who plays Matt Murdoch, revealed earlier this year that “Luke Cage” takes place at the same time as “Daredevil” Season 2. “One thing that I thought was really cool is that in the second season [of ‘Daredevil’], we had a scene together and in the storyline we hadn’t seen each other for a long time and it takes place at the hospital,” Cox told the audience at Wizard World Chicago. “Rosario [Dawson] had — Claire Temple has a cut in her eyebrow. So I was like, ‘What is that?’ Apparently it had nothing to do with our world but it’s part of ‘Luke Cage.’ The timeline had been thought through and worked out so that whatever’s going on in ‘Luke Cage,’ which we don’t know, I don’t know, somehow at some point during that show, the next day she’s in the hospital talking to me.”
The whole back and forth idea may have been nixed. The first time Claire (Rosario Dawson) shows up in Harlem, she tells her mother that she had to quit her job at the hospital, and that’s exactly what she did last time she showed up on “Daredevil.”
However, the two Netflix dramas clearly take place very close together. By the estimation of Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki, the hospital attack on “Daredevil” takes place in December 2016. “Luke Cage” clearly starts in summer, but it seems like it might take place over several months. By the time Claire gets to Harlem, it should be the beginning of 2016 (perhaps an unusually warm winter since no one is bundled up). Obviously, the season finishes before the spring events of “Captain America: Civil War.”
In the Marvel comics, Luke avoids the Superhuman Registration Act (the movies renamed the law). He joins Team Captain America, and even after Cap surrenders, he goes underground. He compares the law to Jim Crow laws. It’s possible that viewers could see something similar in “The Defenders” or “Luke Cage” Season 2, if Netflix renews the show. However, the TV show made many changes to the comics, so the source material doesn’t necessarily reveal the future.
“Marvel’s Luke Cage” Season 1 is now available on Netflix.