Mahershala Ali as Cottonmouth in Marvel’s Luke Cage

Who he is: Cottonmouth, a.k.a. Cornell Stokes

His power: No superpowers, but he’s a talented piano player and a tenacious criminal mastermind who will do whatever it takes to succeed.

His story: As seen on Marvel’s Luke Cage, Cottonmouth is the grandson of Harlem mob boss Mama Mabel Stokes and the cousin of Mariah Dillard. Although he was a talented piano player from a young age, Mama Mabel wanted to groom him for taking over her criminal empire instead of pursuing a career in music. Years later, he’s running Harlem through his Harlem’s Paradise nightclub, the base of operations for his various money-making schemes. After a gun deal goes awry, criminal overlord Diamondback sends Shades to help him keep the neighborhood under control, but that problem is exacerbated thanks to the arrival of Luke Cage.

When Cottonmouth’s villainy begins to put people Cage cares about in danger, a mini war between the two of them breaks out. Thanks to his bulletproof skin, Cage is able to dismantle Cottonmouth’s empire with relative ease, causing him to become more and more unhinged and desperate. Without the means to take out Cage, Cottonmouth turns on Mariah. Pushed to her limit, Mariah pushes back, knocking Cottonmouth out of a window and then subsequently beating him to death with a bottle and a microphone stand.

Played by: Mahershala Ali

Currently, Cottonmouth is: Dead

Where will we see him next? We almost certainly won’t.

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