The second season of Luke Cage is introducing a bunch of new characters, and it is also developing some side characters from Season 1 in totally new ways. Comanche falls in the latter category. The former prison fighter gets a lot more to do this time around. Some viewers may not remember his relatively brief appearance in the first season and might need a bit of a refresher — it did air two years ago, after all. So, who is Comanche in Luke Cage and what does his return really mean? Let's break this complicated character down. Warning: Spoilers for Luke Cage Season 1 and Season 2 follow.
Luke Cage first met Comanche during his time at Seagate Prison, which was shown through flashback in Season 1. Comanche was a fellow prisoner, who, along with Shades, was tasked with recruiting Luke for guard Albert Rackham's underground prison fight club. To test his fighting skills, Comanche and Shades jumped Luke shortly after he was admitted into the prison, and although this was before he got his powers, Luke was still able to fight them off and impressed Rackham. Comanche and Shades then blackmailed Luke into entering himself in one of Rackham's fights, where he beat Comanche again. Finally, Comanche and Shades got their revenge on Luke by beating him up in his cell, which is actually the event that got Luke sent to the experimental doctor Noah Burstein and resulted in Luke Cage gaining his bulletproof skin and superhuman strength. Soooo, I guess Luke can kind of thank Comanche?
In the new season, Comanche is out of prison and back to working with his constant ally, Shades. Instead of working for Rackham, Shades and Comanche are now part of Mariah Dillard's crew, as she has developed a romantic relationship with Shades and made him her right-hand man. She is less accepting of Comanche, however, as he is still a new face in her posse, and constantly sends him away when she and Shades do their scheming.
Spoiler alert: The rest of this post includes plot details from the fourth episode of Luke Cage Season 2. And it turns out, Mariah is right to distrust Comanche. At the end of the fourth episode, we see Comanche get into a car with the chief of police at Misty Knight's precinct, and the officer asks Comanche if he has gotten any information about Mariah's criminal dealings. When Comanche bemoans the fact that Mariah has been keeping him at arm's length, the police chief says that the only reason Comanche is out of jail is so that he can work for the police as a mole, and that he will be thrown back in prison if he doesn't deliver information on Mariah.
Yeah, it turns out Comanche is a double agent... or, maybe like a triple agent, since he is kind of being blackmailed by the police and still seems to genuinely want to help his old buddy Shades. It also seems like Luke Cage does not yet know that Comanche is out of prison and working with Mariah, since he has not yet come in contact with his prison rival.
There is also a chance that we may see Comanche grow into a larger villain as Season 2 progresses, becoming more similar to his comic book iteration. In the Marvel Comics, Comanche was once in a gang with Luke Cage and Shades before going to Seagate Prison, but once Luke decided to become a hero instead of a robber, he repeatedly clashed with his former friends. Comanche's particular skill was the bow and arrow — he was an expert marksman and employed super-powered trick arrows in his fights. The television version of Comanche has yet to pick up a bow and arrow, but there is still time.