Luke Cage season 2 is now streaming on Netflix, and with it comes the big debut of a new Marvel Cinematic Universe villain, the Jamaican gangster known as "Bushmaster" (Mustafa Shakir). Luke Cage season 2 trailers have already revealed that Bushmaster will be as much a physical threat to Luke as he is a psychological one, and with the season now out in full, we have much more information as to why and how Bushmaster achieves his power.
What Are Bushmaster's Powers?
As shown in the trailers, Bushmaster has a similar "unbreakable skin" power as Luke, though not nearly as bulletproof. Bushmaster's body takes bullets like a Terminator does: the bullets break the skin, but do no real damage to the organs or bones. With some effort, Bushmaster can expel the bullets from his body, with minimal damage.
Warning - MILD SPOILERS Follow!
Where Do Bushmaster's Powers Come From?
Bushmaster's powers aren't a permanent fixture like Luke's, as he did not receive them from extensive experimentation like Luke underwent. Instead, Bushmaster's heightened strength, speed, and durability all stem from manipulation of an herb that grows in Jamaica, known as "Nightshade." Using a dark ritual to harvest, burn, and inhale the herb, Bushmaster is regularly able to increase his power, or heal himself from injury.
However, as with anything in life, there is a cost to the rewards that Nightshade bestows, and its a heavy one. As Bushmaster learns firsthand, Nightshade is as much a poison as it is a miracle cure. Ingesting the herb has two noted dangers: it breaks down the body, and can also cause significant deterioration to the mind, as well. As we learn later in season 2, Nightsahde has been a major source of pain in Bushmaster's life, ever since the first time he encountered it...
Warning - MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW!
Episode 11 of Luke Cage season 2, "The Creator" takes us back in time to Bushmaster's childhood in Jamaica, where we learn how he first discovered the potential that Nightshade could unleash in him.
After being orphaned at a young age, young John "Bushmaster" McIver was rounded up with many young boys of his village, in order to be given a special "vaccine" being distributed by foreign doctors. It turns out, that vaccine was an experimental serum - one that killed all the other boys except for "Johnny," who had the unexpected reaction of hardening his skin, and increasing his physical prowess. It turns out to be a blessing in disguise, as soon after the experiment, Johnny is the victim of an assassination attempt, when Peter Stokes tries to shoot him down in the street.
Johnny's powers keep him alive, and his best friend rushes him home, where the friend's mother, a local witch doctor, must make the hard choice of using Nightshade to fully unlock Johnny's power, while also knowing that doing so would set the boy on a dangerous path of side effects.
Are you liking Bushmaster in Luke Cage season 2? Let us know in the comments!
Luke Cage season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.