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First, there was Cottonmouth (played by Mahershala Ali). Then there was Diamondback (Eric LaRay Harvey). For his next antagonist, Luke Cage (Mike Colter) will go up against someone without much of a vicious nickname to speak of, but a mean streak all the same: Rosalie Carbone, a mobster with ties to a very different Marvel vigilante.
The second season of Netflix’s Luke Cage, one of six original Marvel shows on the streaming service, has added Sopranos veteran Annabella Sciorra to its cast as a new villain, the aforementioned Carbone. Sciorra, set to appear in season two of Netflix’s GLOW, was most recently seen at the Academy Awards, appearing onstage alongside Salma Hayek and Ashley Judd in support of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Luke Cage marks Sciorra’s first role since speaking out against Harvey Weinstein in October.
Sciorra’s Rosalie Carbone is described by Netflix as a dangerous downtown criminal-underworld power player with an eye, and an agenda, toward Harlem. With that in mind, Luke Cage fans can expect Carbone to go head to head against Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard), once again returning to the Marvel-Netflix universe for the second season of the Colter-led series.
In season one, Dillard was reconciling with the fine line between doing whatever was necessary for her neighborhood and going way above and beyond any ethical limits. She veered decisively toward the latter category by the end of the season, long after killing her cousin Cottonmouth in a fit of rage and joining forces with Diamondback and Shades (Theo Rossi) in the process. If Carbone is entering the series with an agenda in Harlem, she’s going to have to match wits with Dillard first.
What’s more, Rosalie Carbone is a character with roots in Marvel Comics lore and has a connection to another vigilante at the heart of his own Netflix series: Frank Castle, aka The Punisher. In the comics, Castle and Carbone have a brief fling, which ends once she realizes his true identity as the Punisher — not exactly a match made in heaven, and certainly one that could send her to hell, depending on Castle’s mood.
Does the arrival of Carbone in Luke Cage mean Castle (Jon Bernthal) isn’t far behind? It’s not likely, as the highest-profile players rarely cross over between Marvel’s Netflix offerings. Then again, rumors persist that The Defenders will not return for a second season, which could open up the possibilities for bigger crossovers within the specific Netflix shows moving forward.
With that said, it’s likelier that Colter’s Cage could wind up occupying a similar space as Castle in the comics — romantically entangled, or at least pursued by Carbone. Indeed, the description for the new season of Luke Cage offers a hint that could lead the hero in such a morally gray direction: “With the rise of a formidable foe, Luke is forced to confront the fine line that separates a hero from a villain.”
In any case, the full extent of Sciorra’s role as Rosalie Carbone will make itself known when season two of Luke Cage drops June 22 on Netflix in its 13-episode entirety.
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