On the eve of New York Comic-Con 2017, Marvel debuted a photo revealing that the second season of Luke Cage (starring Mike Colter yet again as the Unbreakable Man) will feature Finn Jones’ Danny Rand, aka the Immortal Iron Fist.
After meeting together and butting heads (and fists) in The Defenders, it was only natural that the two of them would come together once again to battle less world-ending threats. They are, after all, the Heroes for Hire, one of Marvel Comics’ most important and historical relationships.
The Heroes for Hire first formed in 1978 as a partnership between Rand and Cage that combined private investigator work with classic superheroics. Power Man and Iron Fist quickly bonded, and have been virtually inseparable over the subsequent decades; despite their differences in background and wealth, the two have been what truly defines Heroes for Hire, even when other characters have joined their ranks, or on rare occasions outright replaced them. Really, theirs is the only relationship in the Marvel Universe that has yet to truly be fractured. Luke and Danny have, in some ways, quietly been the most important dynamic in the Marvel Universe; during Civil War II, for example, the pair made the wise decision to stay out of the conflict because neither wanted to see their friends fight each other anymore. As a result, they happened to star in the most interesting and nuanced tie-in story of the entire event.
In the comics, Heroes for Hire eventually gained a worldwide reputation on par with the Avengers, though they’re arguably more known for their street-level work than for full scale superheroics. Despite being on one of the many Avengers teams for the better part of the late 2000s and early 2010s, they both eventually left the larger superhero life in 2016. The latest Power Man & Iron Fist comic took them back to their street roots to do what they do best, and everyone in the Marvel Universe was wondering if the photos of them walking together through New York meant H4H was back. The possibility of seeing them on the streets is likely more of a selling point for many tourists than Avengers Tower or a glimpse of Spider-Man.
It’s virtually impossible to talk about either of the two without mentioning the other, and the seeds of a similar relationship were planted intermittently throughout Netflix's Defenders. If there’s one thing many fans agree on, it’s that the typically divisive Danny was a much better character when he and Luke were on screen together. Colter and Jones have natural chemistry with each other, like you’d hope, and it was more than a little awesome watching the them stand together, ready to fight the Hand. But the fun doesn’t have to stop there, if Luke Cage's showrunners play their cards right, this could be the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe being a genuine, living world.