Now that fans have had a week to absorb Luke Cage’s second season on Netflix, it’s time to once again speak with Mustafa Shakir. This season, Shakir joined the cast as John “Bushmaster” McIver, a new rival who could match Luke’s strength and potentially defeat him. As we explained in our feature about Bushmaster’s Marvel comic book counterpart, he was a crime lord before he gained his powers. However, Bushmaster’s origin was tweaked in an intriguing way for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As you can see in this video, when SYFY WIRE spoke with Shakir, he clarified where Bushmaster’s powers came from.
**Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers for Luke Cage Season 2 below, and in the video interview.**
“The deal with Johnny is he was already supposed to have latent powers,” explained Shakir. “He was always strong. The Nightshade... it reveals. Whatever the alchemical process is, it’s actually similar to Luke. How it was done is different... I would make it akin to activating DNA. We all have latent DNA, but it’s not on. But if you take a substance like Nightshade, you can activate [it]. I think Nightshade is one of those things.”
To be more specific, Bushmaster is not an Inhuman, and he wasn’t taking “Terrigenesis pills.” It might be too soon to say the word “mutant” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at least until the Disney and Fox deal is finished. But Bushmaster’s abilities could potentially be evidence that the MCU has more latent superhumans than we’ve previously been led to believe.
Shakir also expands upon Bushmaster’s character and offers more interesting tidbits in the full interview below! Check it out, then let us know in the comments what you thought of Shakir's performance in Luke Cage Season 2, available now on Netflix.
Additional material provided by Blair Marnell.