Iron Fist vs. Luke Cage: Let's Count Up Their Season 2 Similarities


Did you hear the one about the hoodied hero who in the midst of navigating a gang war squared off with his evil counterpart?

If the similarities between the second seasons of Marvel’s Iron Fist (which released this past Friday) and Marvel’s Luke Cage (which premiered in late June) ended there, it’d be mildly amusing. Meriting a chuckle and a shoulder shrug. But if one kept an eye out for other shared themes/plot points, the list gets a bit longer. (As I said in my Iron First review, this is perhaps the risk you run airing multiple superhero series; identical beats will be hit).

Here’s a few similarities that jumped out at me; there perhaps were others. SEASON 2 SPOILERS AHEAD FOR BOTH SHOWS!

LUKE CAGE: Wears a hoodie as part of his “costume”
IRON FIST: Wears a hoodie as part of his “costume” (though accessorized by an identity-concealing kerchief!)

LUKE CAGE: Spent much of Season 2 trying to keep the peace between two local gangs (Mariah Stokes’ crew and the up-and-coming Jamaicans)
IRON FIST: Spent much of Season 2 trying to keep the peace between two local gangs (the Hatchets and the Golden Tigers

LUKE CAGE: After the events of Season 1, Pop’s is not so much a barbershop anymore but more a home base for the superhero
IRON FIST: After the events of Season 1, the Chikara is not a dojo anymore but more a home base for the superhero

LUKE CAGE: Got into a fight with girlfriend Claire after he became a bit consumed by his heroic responsibilities, even leading to aggressive outbursts
IRON FIST: Got into a fight with girlfriend Colleen after he became a bit consumed by his heroic responsibilities, even leading to aggressive outbursts

LUKE CAGE: His new adversary, Bushmaster, was out for revenge because he felt he had been denied his legacy. Oh, and he has an accent!
IRON FIST: His new adversary, Davos, was out for revenge because he felt he had been denied his legacy. Oh, and he has an accent!

LUKE CAGE: In the name of claiming what he felt was owed him, Bushmaster utilized an elaborate ritual involving exotic ingredients and a rare element — Nightshade — to acquire a power on par with Luke Cage’s
IRON FIST: In the name of claiming what he felt was owed him, Davos employed an elaborate ritual involving exotic ingredients and a rare element — a Tibetan bowl — to acquire a power on par with Danny Rand’s

LUKE CAGE: In flashback, we learned that Bushmaster lost his mother to a fire
IRON FIST: In flashback, we learned that Davos lost his mother’s respect

LUKE CAGE: Misty and Colleen are minding their own business at a bar when a brawl breaks out and the ladies team up to kick all the ass
IRON FIST: Misty, with Colleen, is on police business at a tattoo parlor when a brawl breaks out and the ladies team up to kick all the ass

LUKE CAGE: In one of his first face-offs with the superpowered Bushmaster, Luke gets his ass handed to him, and then is lobbed off a bridge and left for dead
IRON FIST: In one of his first face-offs with the superpowered Davos, Danny gets his ass handed to him, and his leg shattered

LUKE CAGE: The more that Bushmaster used his newfound power, the more insane he became
IRON FIST: The more that Davos used his newfound power, the more insane he became

LUKE CAGE: In a pivotal fight, Luke gained the upper hand on Bushmaster and put him in a choke hold until he fell unconscious
IRON FIST: In a pivotal fight, Danny gained the upper hand on Davos and put him in a choke hold until he fell unconscious

That, by my count, is where the more overt similarities end. After all, Bushmaster and Davos meet quite dissimilar fates. Danny and Colleen mend their relationship, whereas Claire remained AWOL. The Mariah/Tilda B-story doesn’t match up with the Meachums’ own family squabbles, and Mary Walker, as a peripheral threat, has no counterpart on Luke Cage.

That said, Luke and Danny did both end their seasons in strange, unexpected places: respectively as the new boss of Harlem’s Paradise, and in Japan wielding chi-shooting pistols!