Diamondback & 'Luke Cage' Have A Long History

by Rosie Narasaki

New Netflix Defenders series Luke Cage is finally here, and with it? A whole slew of characters, most of them new to us. We know Luke from Jessica Jones and Claire from both Jessica Jones and Daredevil, but the rest are all fresh faces — albeit faces recognizable from Marvel comics. One such character on Luke Cage is Diamondback, aka Willis Stryker, whose comic book history is tied to Luke's.

In the comics, Stryker was an old friend of Luke's back in the day. The two grew up together, and were best friends until a love triangle with Reva Connors tore them apart, eventually leading to Willis framing Luke for a drug deal. Luke was wrongfully accused and sent to prison, where he was experimented on — experiments that led to him getting his powers, which in turn led to his escape, and the rest is history.

Erik LaRay Harvey of Boardwalk Empire fame plays Willis Stryker/Diamondback on the Netflix series, and he'll be another antagonist to Luke, along with fellow baddies Cornell Stokes, Mariah Dillard, and Shades Alverez. In the comics, he's something of an expert with knives (he even has specially-engineered weapons), so I think we can expect some cool and inventive fight scenes, especially given Luke's unbreakable skin and super strength. In fact, there are a few set photos floating around the internet of Diamondback and Luke duking it out, and it already looks quite promising.

Besides those set photos, there hasn't been much information released about Diamondback's arc in Luke Cage, but in the comics, there is a storyline where he kidnaps Claire Temple in order to lure Luke into a fight. I definitely wouldn't that rule out as possibility, especially since Claire is returning to Netflix with Luke Cage. Unfortunately for Diamondback, this wouldn't be her first kidnapping attempt, and she knows how to hold her own.

Luke and Diamondback's shared history will likely be a big part of his endgame on the Netflix show. Reva Connors — who you might recall was Luke's deceased wife we first met in Jessica Joneshad important information about the experiments that created Kilgrave's powers that ultimately led to her death, which seems primed to play a major role in Luke Cage.

Any way you cut it, Diamondback is quite the multi-faceted villain and between his ties to Luke's past and threat in the present, he's sure to bring an interesting layer to Luke Cage.