Luke Cage season 2 isn't afraid to drop some real-world socio-political references - including making mention of President Donald Tump and some of the more controversial aspects of his time in office. It's something that Marvel TV began, when Runaways referenced Hillary Clinton's loss in the 2016 election, but Luke Cage takes things a step further by establishing that the Marvel Cinematic Universe now has Trumpland as part of its fabric.
Read below for a breakdown of Luke Cage season 2's Trump references - but be warned, there are some minor Spoilers of events in the first few episodes.
The first reference comes right in Luke Cage season 2's premiere episode, "Soul Brother #1". In that episode we meet new villain character Dontrell "Cockroach" Hamilton, who is released from prison due to his case being tampered with by Misty Knight's former corrupt partner, Scarfe. Cockroach gets on Misty and Luke's radar when he gets into bed with Mariah and Shades - and also starts laying hands on his wife and son. Misty goes to see Cockroach and find out exactly how he managed to get out of jail, and the two-bit crook responds with, "Gotta love the loopholes. Making America Great Again, if you ask me."
Warning - Episode 1 &2 Plot Spoilers Follows!
Just THE Facts
In episode 2, "Straighten It Out", Mariah has tried to assassinate Luke Cage using the same Hammer Tech "Judas Bullet" that Diamondback used to nearly kill Luke in season 1. The hit fails, as Luke going through the Power Man process again left his skin even more unbreakable - now able to even stop a Judas. When Mariah learns of this, she flips out on Shades and Comanche, who are trying to explain that in theory, the Judas should work on Luke. Mariah responds that she doesn't need any "alternative facts" about the Judas, just the real ones.
WARNING - Major Season 2 Finale Spoilers Follow!
Make Harlem Great Again
In the season 2 finale, "They Reminisce Over You" Luke decides the best leader for Harlem isn't a gangster like Mariah or Bushmaster, but rather an immovable force like himself. He takes over Harlem's Paradise, and institutes himself as the ruling force on what any gang or syndicate does in Harlem - and it doesn't go over well. Despite Luke stating his goal to "Make Harlem Great Again" to his biggest fan and blogger, D.W., the young man just sees an even more powerful crimeboss taking the place of the old order. As a true sign of their falling out, D.W. refers to Luke as "Luke Trump."