What’s Next for Jessica Jones and Luke Cage?

What might the future hold for Marvel's Jessica Jones and Luke Cage?

Warning: minor Jessica Jones Season 2 spoilers ahead.

This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

Last year, Marvel’s The Defenders marked the culmination of a long-running plan to bring together the four main stars of the Marvel-Netflix shows (and their supporting casts) for a single crossover storyline. In in a world where those characters have met up once, audiences are primed to see team-ups occur more frequently and for those characters to play off one another, just like their big-screen cousins do.

But in a post-Defenders world, what can we expect from Jessica Jones and Luke Cage?

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Jessica Jones season 2 is now available on Netflix. The end of Defenders didn’t do a huge amount to Jessica’s status quo, but it put her back in the mindframe of someone ready to help others. The supporting cast of Jessica Jones was largely sidelined during Defenders – both Trish and Malcolm stayed away from any major plot roles, and while they were targeted by The Hand, the virtual dissolution of the organisation means there’s little chance of the ninjas coming out of the woodwork again. Jessica Jones Season 2 leaves them in an even more different place then before, and Jessica finds herself increasingly isolated.

In contrast to Jessica, Defenders left Luke Cage in considerably changed circumstances. Now released from prison and free of any obligation to return there, Luke is sure to plan a return to Harlem to investigate the crooks who screwed his life up once already. He does start Defenders on the trail of Mariah and Shades, naturally assuming they’re the cause of trouble, but he’s soon put on the right path. It serves as a reminder, however, of what’s coming in his second season.

Luke’s girlfriend – the Netflix MCU’s recurring guest star Claire Temple – will no doubt be there, too. It remains to be seen whether she’s going to continue turning up in more Defenders-family series, especially after she failed to appear in Jessica Jones Season 2. But some time in Luke Cage Season 2 would feel like the natural point to stop that. It’s not like Coulson kept turning up in Marvel’s movies once he’d helped bring everyone together.

However, the question we want to know the answer to is this: will Luke and Jessica be spending any time together?

Luke, after all, was introduced in Jessica’s first season, so he’s already an established member of her supporting cast. In the comics, these two are married with a child, so the very fact that they exist in the same cross-media continuity screams for them to be interacting, if only for the fan-service of it. Likewise, the production of both of these seasons happened more or less side-by-side, so you would imagine it wouldn’t be too difficult to get them in the same room for a few scenes.

But where do those characters go? In Defenders they admitted that they should’ve stayed in touch after their initial argument. Luke seemed to forgive Jessica for killing his wife while under Kilgrave’s control, and Jessica made it clear she doesn’t hold any grudges against Luke. But now Luke has a girlfriend, Jessica seems to be getting serious with her neighbor, and the romantic attachment between the two characters which once seemed inevitable (to comics fans at least) seems some way off any permanent rekindling.

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Not only are there logistical issues with putting them together from a production perspective, the stories the characters are used for almost demand that they be kept separate. If Luke and Jessica are together, their shared experiences naturally inform what’s going on – and that means keeping the spectre of Luke’s dead wife around, and Jessica’s inducement to murder. If the characters don’t move on, neither can their stories.

However, there is one avenue that could be explored using both of them, and which seems like a natural fit for the second round of the Marvel Netflix shows: is there any relationship between Dr. Malus, IGH, and the reasoning behind Luke’s powers? That, if they do it, would necessitate some crossover without having to get them too close to one another emotionally. Likewise, it could be that Krysten Ritter returns the favor for Mike Colter and guests in his series. God knows Luke Cage could’ve used a dose of her character’s acerbic humor.

The fact that the characters share a common enemy – and that Matt Murdock is “dead” – gives them a natural reason to hang out together again. With any luck, we’ll at least see Jessica show up in Luke Cage Season 2.