Luke Cage is scheduled to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) on September 30th when the series debuts on Netflix. The character Luke Cage played a major role in the firstseason ofMarvel's Jessica Jones, and is set to play an integral role inMarvel's Defenders, the Netflix/MCU miniseries featuring Cage, Jones, Daredevil, and Iron Fist.

In a 13-episode season, superheroes like Luke Cage must endure minor opponents en route to the final battle with the supervillain that has been evading themall season long. While it doesn't look as though he'll appear in the first season of Luke Cage, I think Marvel character "Hardcore" — and the group of Untouchables that he trains —would make a great addition to theLuke Cage series, or any of the other MCU series based in Hell's Kitchen on Netflix.

Rummaging through a box of comics I purchased in the early 90s, I discovered that I owned the first issue of Marvel'sCage, printed in April of 1992 (nine years before the character "Jessica Jones" ever appeared in any Marvel universe). After taking it out of the plastic-sleeve-and-cardboard-backing it had been subjected to more than two decades and flipping through it a few times, I looked it up online and found that a "graded" copy in "mint" condition could be worth $80!

Living in a world where he hated the moniker"Power Man" and had already been accused of (and acquitted from) the murder of Iron Fist, his time in prison for crimes he did not commit led to him volunteering for an experiment that gave him the powers he has inMarvel's Jessica Jones today.Fighting evil on a for-hire basis, the first villain he faces in his own Marvel series goes by the name "Hardcore."

Hardcore is a weapons-expert-for-hire who eventually trains a group of villains called the Untouchables (consisting of Nitro, Tombstone and Kickback) in his quest to kill Luke Cage.

He has claws that can penetrate Cage's skin and Japanese weapons capable of restraining the former Power Man.Hardcore would make a great opponent for Luke Cage (played by Mike Colter)or any of the superheroes from the Hell's Kitchen/Netflix neighborhood in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

"Cottonmouth" and aCaribbean

While we know that Mahershala Ali will play Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes in the first season of Luke Cage, there's no reason yet to think he wouldn't still be around for a second season. Assuming, at some point, he wants to get rid of Cage, he could hire St. Croix-born Hardcore (whose Caribbean accent is apparent even in mycomic book from the early 90s) to eliminate the Hell's Kitchen hero.

When Hardcore's first attempt fails, a two or three-episode arc could develop in which Hardcore gathers a group of Untouchables and has a final showdown with Cage.

Make Hell's Kitchen more colorful

So far, the MCU's version of Hell's Kitchen has been pretty dark, and I don't just mean the mood of the shows. Aside from scenes with bloodshed, the aesthetics are pretty dark forDaredevil andJessica Jones.

The purple/pink suit with shiny silver spikes could provide great inspiration for an outfit that would make Hardcore truly stand out among the Hell's Kitchen villainous elite— with a marketable look to boot.

Expose Cage's weaknesses

Every great superhero needs a villain who can expose his Achilles tendon. Hardcore can provide Luke Cage with that vulnerability in his Netflix series.

Other Marvel Cinematic Universe possibilities

IfLuke Cage never sees a second season, Hardcore and the Untouchable could fit in other parts of the Hell's Kitchen story. With a history connecting him to corrupt politicians and crime lords, Hardcore is a perfect fit forDaredevil. With the Untouchables at his side, theDefenders could have some worthy opposition.

With the ever-expanding MCU, Hardcore and the Untouchables could show up anywhere!

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