How Did Luke Cage Get His Powers? Here's What Fans Should Remember Before Season 2
In the Marvel comics system, the superheroes are made up of two separate yet equally important groups: The products of experimentation and the naturally gifted, who hone their god given gifts to take down the offenders. In the Netflix Marvel-verse, Daredevil and Iron Fist are part of the latter group, while Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are part of the former. Jessica Jones Season 2 revealed she was experimented on by Dr. Karl Malus. But how about Luke? How did Luke Cage get his powers?
Some fans believed Jessica and Luke were experimented on by the same people, or via the same corporation, known only as "IGH." This was due to how the two characters were originally connected. Luke guest starred on Jessica's first season, as the widower of Reva Conners, a woman Kilgrave had Jessica murder. By the end of the season, Jessica discovered Reva's murder might not have been a random Kilgrave demand. There was evidence Reva might have known about the experiments which turned Kilgrave into a psychopath able to control others with his mind.
How does a woman end up married to one powered person ordered murdered by another and killed by a third? It seems probable the three might be connected.
But the reveal of IGH stood for the store which was a front of the lab "Industrial Garments and Handling" and Malus was based in New York, and obsessed with Jessica's mother's makes it far less likely he was involved with Luke Cage.
This doesn't mean Cage's actual path doesn't sound like Jessica's, whose experiments were done to her in a last ditch effort to save her life after a car crash, or Kilgrave's which were done to save his life as a little boy. The experiment done on Luke Cage also happened when he was at death's door.
Known then as Carl Lucas, Cage was framed for a crime he didn't commit. (The show never tells us what he did.) He served time in Seagate Prison, located in Georgia. Reva Conners was his therapist during this time, and they became fast friends.
While in prison, Lucas got pulled into an illegal fighting ring, run by crooked cops and staffed with inmates by Albert Rackham. He attempted to rat it out to Conners but got himself badly beaten down in the process and left in his cell for dead.
Stuck on life support, Lucas was sent to the prison doctor, Noah Burstein, who has been eyeing him previously. When Conners learned he was probably not going to survive, she demanded Burstein "put him under the experiment." Burstein protested, he didn't think Lucas had it in him to survive, especially not in this state. But Reva demanded it.
Burstein agreed to try, figuring the man was dead either way. He popped Lucas in a sensory-deprivation type tank, injected him with chemicals, stuck a breathing tube in his mouth and started the process.
But before things could proceed normally, Rackham burst in and demanded Lucas' whereabouts. Seeing him in the tank, Rackham turned the dial all the way up, causing the heat to spike, the water to boil, and lights in the lab to spark and explode. As the tank overheated, all Lucas' injuries magically healed themselves. Then the tank burst into flames and exploded for good measure.
The explosion killed Rackham and injured Burstein, but Lucas stood up entirely unharmed. Now endowed with super-strength and unbreakable skin, he punched his way through the wall and jumped into the sea, using his newfound abilities to swim the distance to shore.
Desperate for help, Lucas called Conners. She helped him change his name to Luke Cage, deleted him from the prison files, and the two of them left to start a new life in New York City.
Will the new series reveal that Burstein and Malus were connected after all? Or are Cage and Jones similar experiments a coincidence? Fan will find out when Luke Cage Season 2 premieres on June 22, 2018.