SPOILERS for Luke Cage season 2 & Avengers: Infinity War
Luke Cage season 2 completely ignores Avengers: Infinity War, with the Marvel TV show not dealing with the ending of the latest movie. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with its debut film – Iron Man – having hit theaters in 2008. In the decade since, the MCU has grown to become a massive multi-media franchise spanning film, television and comics. The TV side launched in 2013 with the premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC, but Marvel TV has since greatly expanded to include shows on ABC, Netflix, Hulu and Freeform.
However, while Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb likes to say “It’s all connected,” the release of Avengers: Infinity War has put the MCU’s connectivity to the test. Infinity War is the first half of a two-part narrative that will conclude next year in Avengers 4. But until Phase 3 capper premieres, fans are left with the ending of Avengers: Infinity War – in which Thanos wiped out half the universe using the Infinity Gauntlet. Unfortunately for fans who like to see the MCU connect as much as possible, none of the Marvel TV shows have dealt with Infinity War’s ending, including the latest Netflix release.
Luke Cage season 2 debuted on Netflix this week and though it offers a compelling continuation of Luke’s (Mike Colter) story, it doesn’t include any kind of overlap with the film side of the MCU. At no point in the season does the show reference Iron Man, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man battling members of the Black Order in lower Manhattan, let alone Thanos’ universe-altering snap. As such, it must be assumed that Luke Cage season 2 takes place before the events of Avengers: Infinity War.
This isn’t too much of a surprise. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the most connective Marvel TV property, and even that series didn’t deal with the fallout from Thanos’ actions – though Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. did at least reference Infinity War by name-dropping Thanos a few times. After S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 concluded with no mention of Thanos’ snap, Loeb confirmed all the Marvel TV shows take place before Infinity War. As we see with Luke Cage, this is true of all the shows that debut between Infinity War and Avengers 4.
It makes sense since Infinity War is the first half of a two-part arc, so the TV shows are simply waiting for the story to conclude before dealing with the fallout. Previous Avengers films were one-offs, so it was easier for the TV side to do tie-ins or deal with the fallout from the movies. But since it seems Avengers 4 will include time travel, and the events of Infinity War may be changed, it would have become a timeline/continuity issue if the TV shows had mentioned those events. So ignoring Infinity War may be Marvel TV’s way of ensuring the shows don’t mess up the MCU’s continuity.
Fans may still be disappointed that the television side of the MCU isn’t dealing with Infinity War’s ending, but they may get more connectivity once Avengers 4 debuts next year. Plus, the Marvel Netflix shows are generally less concerned with connecting to the larger MCU, so it makes sense for Luke Cage season 2 to ignore Infinity War’s cliffhanger ending.
Luke Cage season 2 is now available on Netflix.
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