‘Luke Cage’ Season 2 Adds More LGBTQ Characters to the MCU

Luke Cage season 2 doesn't just have many twists and turns for its titular hero, but also for those surrounding him. Luke Cage's cast of supporting characters go through their own intense journeys in season 2, as we also get more dark backstory of Harlem's criminal underworld. Fans will surely be buzzing about one reveal in particular, as Luke Cage season 2 adds even more LGBTQ characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

As it turns out, Shades isn't just a one-note psycho. Not only does he have the capacity for love, but that love extends to both women and men. The MCU version of Shades Alvarez officially expands the Marvel's diversity initiative, representing for the LGBTQ community by being a gangster who is also bi-sexual.

WARNING - Big Spoilers Follow!

Luke Cage Shades Alvarez Gay Bisexual Comanche

In Luke Cage season 2 episode 6, "The Basement", Shades and his best friend Comanche (Thomas Q. Jones), come gunning for Luke Cage on Mariah's behalf, and Shades goes back to his old bag of tricks, setting an ambush in Pop's barbershop.

While the stakeout unfolds, Shades and Comanche discuss Mariah's merits as a leader, with Shades defending his devotion to Harlem's evil queen. When Comanche hears this, he questions how Shades' relationship with Mariah compares to their own relationship: not just their life-long friendship, but the romantic relationship that grew between them while they were in Seagate Prison together.

Shades doesn't avoid or deny the history, but he also explains that jail was its own world, and that the outside world of the streets would never understand the bond that he and Comanche formed. They agree to leave it at that.

Warning - Season 2 Ending Spoilers Follow!


Shades' connection to Comanche and their secret eventually push the Shades-Mariah-Comanche love triangle to a boiling point, when Mariah throws Shades' jailhouse romance back in his face, revealing that she could tell what had transpired between the two men, right from the start. Shades gets dealt an additional hard blow when he's forced to gun Comanche down in cold blood, after learning his friend was actually a snitch working for police Captain Tom Ridenhour, to bring Mariah down. Between that traumatic act, and Mariah's taunts, Shades finally snaps and tries to strangle Mariah, but opts instead to betray her and confess all of their respective crimes to Misty Knight.

Luke Cage season 2 is now streaming on Netflix. Iron Fist season 2 will follow it at a date TBA; The Punisher season 2 is also in production.