Comic-Con 2016 Video | Mahershala Ali on ‘Luke Cage’

Behind every great superhero, there’s usually a great villain. But for Marvel’s Luke Cage, that isn’t necessarily true. Cage was a very blaxploitation inspired character when he was introduced in the ’70s, and his rogues gallery reflected this. Take, for example, Cottonmouth.


In the comics, his name was actually Cornell Cottonmouth, and he was a drug lord who inadvertently played a part in framing Luke Cage for a crime he didn’t commit. Cottonmouth has barely appeared in the Marvel Universe since the ’70s, and another snake-themed villain has adopted the Cottonmouth name.

For the Luke Cage TV series, Marvel and Netflix are updating and modernizing the original Cottonmouth, with Mahershala Ali stepping up to play Cornell Stokes, a nemesis for both Mike Colter’s Luke Cage as well as Simone Missick’s Misty Knight. At Comic-Con, CraveOnline managed to catch up with Ali, and he gave us some intel about his role this season.

Related: Simone Missick & Frank Whaley on ‘Luke Cage’

In this series, Cottonmouth is still a drug lord, but he’s being envisioned as a more morally complex individual than his comic book counterpart. He’s got some sympathetic qualities like Wilson Fisk, but Cottonmouth is also hiding his illegal operations behind his legitimate businesses. He may not have superpowers, but he does have real power in the city.

Also at Comic-Con, we spoke with Mike Colter alongside Theo Rossi, showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker and executive producer Jeph Loeb, as well as Simone Missick and Frank Whaley.

All 13 episodes of Luke Cage will drop on Friday, September 30 on Netflix. 

What did you think about our Ali’s interview? Let us know in the comment section below!

Photo Credit: CraveOnline