comanchefilmLast character from Luke Cage‘s first episode is very briefly seen, but he’s there nevertheless (he’ll be properly introduced only in episode 4). In Moment of Truth, when Luke Cage is sleeping with Misty Knight, he has a nightmare about his time at Seagate Prison, and we see him been beaten by two thugs: one of them is Shades, whose presence is strongly felt during the whole season, while the other is Comanche, portrayed by Thomas Q. Jones. Comanche only appears in flashbacks throughout the season, and he’s one of Luke’s tormentors in prison: in the comics, he’s pretty much inseparable from his pal Shades, until recently they finally parted ways. Luckily enough, the show’s version of the character is not as flashy and gaudy as he is in the comics. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about the man who would have become Comanche, not even his real name. He was born and raised in HarlemNew York City, and as a young man he entered one of the local gangs, the Rivals. Along with his best friend Alvarez (called “Shades” for his habit of always wearing sunglasses), the usual members included also Carl Lucas and Willis Stryker: together, the four of them often started gang wars with the Diablos, another local group. Not particularly smart, but gifted with an incredible aim (that was the origin of his nickname, “Comanche”), he always followed Shades, the smart one, in his plans, and while they were with the Rivals they also started working for a local crime boss, Sonny Caputo. Petty crime after petty crime, inevitably Comanche and Shades got caught, and they were both arrested and sent to Seagate Prison. Their time in prison was all but pleasurable, especially because one of the guards, the racist and brutal Billy Bob Rackham, enjoyed to torture them and beat them up every time he liked. Finally, Seagate welcomed a new director, and as soon as Rackham’s brutality was exposed he was fired; this obviously wasn’t enough for Comanche and his friend, as they preferred an old-fashioned revenge: they escaped from prison with a classic tunnel, and started looking for the ex-guard to kill him. Rackham was in New York, so they came back to the old neighborhood. A man from there, Flea, told them where to find their old comrade, Carl Lucas, comanchecomics1who was now going by the name Luke Cage: they tried to enlist him in their revenge, knowing that even him had had a bad time with Rackham, and apparently Cage accepted, even if he had allegedly gone straight (he was actually trying to prove the innocence of a friend of him, Claire Temple, in a case involving Rackham). The three Rivals found the ex-guard, but when it was time kill him, Cage stepped in the middle, revealing his true colors: at the end of the day, Cage had saved Comanche and Shades from a collapsing building, but he had denied them their revenge. They were arrested again, swearing next time they would have had no problem in killing their old friend.

Despite being caught again for Luke Cage’s fault, however, Comanche and Shades never told the cops that Power Man was actually the escaped convinct Carl Lucas, a sign of respect for their old comrade…but that was as far as they went: out of prison again, they were recruited by Bushmaster, who sent them against the Heroes for Hire. They spied on their old friend Luke Cage and witnessed what appeared to be his death (they would have learned about his invulnerability soon enough), and reported to their employer; they eventually got defeated by Cage’s partner, Iron Fist, who hadn’t much difficulties in disposing of them. Following that, it was Ward Meachum, Iron Fist’s nemesis, who broke them out of prison and enlisted them. They were both given a new equipment to face the heroes, and Comanche got a number of trick arrows he could use with extreme accuracy. First, the two goons ambushed Luke Cage, who was took by surprise and knocked out by their new weapons; to the people gathered, Comanche and Shades left a message for Cage, to reach them to the George Washington Bridge for a final showdown. Their overconfidence proved to be misplaced, as this time Cage met them with Iron Fist: the two heroes managed to had the goons arrested once again, even if at the end Shades managed to blast them off the bridge. Meachum bailed them out of jail, and the two friends battled the comanchecomics2Heroes for Hire some other times for him, until Cage dropped a concrete pillar on them. After years of partnership, eventually, Shades broke with Comanche, since he wanted to go straight for his son: alone for the first time in his life, Comanche joined Flashmob, the group led by Nightshade. Pretty ironically, Flashmob was defeated and arrested by Luke Cage, Iron Fist…and the new Power Man, who was actually Shades’ son. In jail, Comanche was one of the few villains Big Ben Donovan didn’t manage to bail out: maybe it was really time for him to retire to a more tranquil life…

Comanche is not exactly the smartest man in town, but he’s pretty resourceful when it comes to survive in the streets, and he’s a loyal friend and partner. Thanks to Meachum, he has at disposal a bow and an arsenal of trick arrows (explosive ones, adhesive ones and so on), which he uses with proficiency and accuracy; he’s also a skilled hand-to-hand combatant and a nearly infallible marksman. A criminal born to follow other people’s orders, Comanche is the perfect muscle to Shades’ brain…not that the two of them separately have much to offer otherwise.



  1. […] Comanche […]

  2. […] Comanche […]

  3. […] came in handy. The two soon became ambitious, and along with two other friends, Shades and Comanche, they founded their own gang, The Rivals. With their group, Stryker and Lucas fought for power and […]

  4. […] his old style, and had hired some goons to do the dirty job for him: he enlisted Shades and Comanche, and even gave them advanced tech to pass through Danny’s ever-present bodyguards, Iron Fist […]

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