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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

The first season of Luke Cage, like most first seasons of the Marvel/Netflix shows (sans Iron Fist), was pretty well received. It had solid, meditative pacing, good character development, and an interesting overall arc. But it wasn’t without its flaws. Mahershala Ali, the touted main villain of the season, was killed off in surprising fashion in the first half of the season.

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This was an amazing twist that really set the stage for things to come. It was executed to near perfection, but the big problem from then on out is that the follow-up villain, Diamondback, couldn’t hold a candle to Ali’s Cottonmouth. Speaking with Empire’s Pilot Magazine, showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker responded to that criticism, saying:

“The standard conventional wisdom is that the show was great up until episode 7, and then went downhill because Diamondback wasn’t as good a villain as Cottonmouth. But as Jeph Loeb, the President of Marvel Television jokes, Mahershala couldn’t have followed Mahershala!”

Sure, he’s got a good point, but when going with villains, it’s very difficult for audiences to leap from a threatening, yet sympathetic one, to a villain that feels more in line with a cartoon than it does a live-action one. When all said and done, his motivations weren’t nearly as nuanced as Cottonmouth’s.

What do you think of Coker’s comments? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: Pilot Magazine (via CBM)

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.