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For other uses, see Shades (disambiguation)
"We don't have to be just gangsters. We could be so much more than that."
―Shades to Comanche[src]

Hernan Enrique Salazar Alvarez, also known as Shades, is a criminal who was a member of the Rivals before being sent to Seagate Penitentiary where he briefly worked for Seagate's prison warden, Albert Rackham, organizing the illegal prison fights. Once released from Seagate, Shades was recruited by Diamondback and was sent to Harlem with the order to watch over the failing criminal operations of Cottonmouth, which put him back into conflict with Luke Cage while also watching the rise of Mariah Dillard in the wake of Cottonmouth's death. As Diamondback arrived in Harlem to kill Cage, Shades stayed by his side although his constant questioning of his employer eventually made him a target, forcing him to side with Dillard and betray Diamondback in order to save his own life.

Shades had remained by Dillard's side as she ruled over her family's criminal empire from within Harlem's Paradise, with the intention to go straight and retire together. However, their attempts to sell the criminal empire were then derailed by the arrival of Bushmaster, who was on a mission to murder Dillard and take over. As a result, Shades found his loyalty to Dillard being put to the test, as he witnessed her become deranged and following in Cottonmouth's footsteps. Eventually, Shades made the decision to go to Misty Knight and snitch on Dillard, resulting in her arrest. However, when Dillard was murdered by Tilda Johnson, Shades was arrested as his deal fell apart upon Dillard's death, as Shades was sent back to prison.

Biography

Early Life

Help from Mama Mabel

"I didn't have shit, I grew up on the street, but the one name that always rang out was Stokes. You needed a thanksgiving turkey, go see Mama Mabel Stokes, school clothes, Mama Mabel Stokes. Your old man put his hands on you, Mama Mabel Stokes and it would never ever happen again."
―Shades[src]

Hernan Alvarez was born at May 11, 1977 in Ponce, Puerto Rico[3], growing up in Harlem with no money and almost no chance of living a good life as he lived on the streets of the city. During his youth, Alvarez learned to respect the name Stokes, going to Mama Mabel for any form of assistance that may be needed at any time.[4] At the age of seven, Alvarez met and soon became close friends with Darius Jones, who protected Alvarez from bullies who had teased him for his inability to speak English.[5] Once Alvarez and Jones stole hotdogs at Coney Island, leading to Jones' mother beating him, despite the fact that it had been Alvarez's idea.[6] While in Times Square, Alvarez and Jones stole some sunglasses which Alvarez wore for a year until they broke, gaining the nickname of Shades.[5]

Running with Cottonmouth

"Came up in Harlem, rolled around with Cottonmouth in the late '90s, spent some time at Spofford, Sing Sing, then you made it to the big time, went to Seagate."
Priscilla Ridley[src]

With the influence of Mama Mabel and the rest of the Stokes Crime Family, Alvarez joined the Rivals with Comanche and Romeo.[7] By the late 1990s, Alvarez had joined Cottonmouth's burgeoning criminal empire in Harlem, although he was arrested multiple times for minor incidents, being sent to Spofford Juvenile Center in the Bronx and also the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. However, he eventually escalated to more serious criminal activities, and was sent to Seagate Penitentiary in Georgia as a result.[8]

Incarceration

Time at Seagate

ShadesRackhamComanche

Shades gets his orders from Albert Rackham

"What's he in here for?"
"I've seen his jacket. With that amount of years for what they said he did, I'm guessing he pissed someone off good. Ah, he was sent here to rot. See if he bends or breaks."
―Shades and Albert Rackham[src]

During his time locked up within Seagate Prison, Shades built up a working relationship with one of the guards, Albert Rackham, who was organizing prison fights and needed Shades to recruit potential fighters for him. When Carl Lucas arrived at the prison, Rackham viewed him as a potential candidate for their fighting matches. Shades questioned what Lucas might have done to have earned his prison time but Rackham only speculated he had annoyed someone very badly and had been sent to rot in prison for so many years.

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Shades and Comanche attack Carl Lucas

Rackham sent Shades and Comanche to test Lucas' strength by attacking him in the middle of the night with knives. While Comanche covered Lucas' face with a bag, Shades hit him repeatedly in the chest until Lucas was able to recover his senses and threw Shades against a wall, at which point Comanche drew his knife. While Lucas bashed Shades repeatedly with his cell door, he was able to disarm Comanche and threw both of his attackers out of his room before allowing himself to be arrested by all the guards and put into solitary confinement where Rackham had continued tormenting him.

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Shades and Albert Rackham watch the fights

Despite Comanche and Shades being clearly seen to have attacked their fellow prisoner, they faced no consequences for the attack, as Rackham, who had been watching the whole time, declared that he found himself a gladiator in Lucas. Eventually due to threats against his friend Squabbles' life, Rackham was able to convince Lucas to join their fighting matches. Shades joined Rackham down inside the basement of the prison as Lucas got into the ring and quickly proved himself as a highly skilled and very dangerous fighter, beating all his enemies to a pulp until they could no longer even stand up.

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Shades follows and threatens Reva Connors

Despite now being actively involved in the illegal fights, Lucas had continued to resent his part, clearly hoping to get out of the racket somehow and continue serving his sentence without any involvement in illegal actions. In order to keep Lucas willing to stay involved with the fights, Rackham ordered Shades to build a relationship with Reva Connors, who Lucas was close to so that Rackham could threaten her life and keep him on his side. While Lucas watched, Shades then spoke with Connors as they had exited the hallway together, leaving Rackham to speak with Lucas to ensure he remained loyal.[9]

Betraying Carl Lucas

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Shades prepares to beat Carl Lucas to death

"See, I'm of the mind that we stomp your ass, and find a new dude to fight for Rackham, especially since you trying to expose some shit that's going on a Seagate."
"Guess I can't trust nobody around here, can I?"
―Shades and Carl Lucas[src]

When it was discovered that Carl Lucas was attempting to expose the illegal prison fights, Shades and Comanche had been ordered to attack Squabbles in order to learn more about Lucas' plans to bring down the fight ring, resulting in Squabbles' death. While Lucas went into his cell, he was approached by Shades, who complimented Lucas on his fighting in the ring, however, Lucas found his appearance suspicious. Comanche then approached, questioning why Lucas wanted out of the arena despite all of the money his illegal fights were bringing in for everybody else who was involved with them.

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Shades and Comanche beat down Carl Lucas

Admitting that they got the information through Squabbles by force, Shades and Comanche told Lucas that they were not happy about Lucas now planned on exposing all Seagate Prison's illegal actions, as Albert Rackham wanted them to deal with the situation. Before Lucas could defend himself, Shades and Comanche then beat him up with steel weapons until he was severely injured, which resulted Lucas being aided by Noah Burstein to save his life by experimenting on Lucas' fatally wounded body, resulting in a massive explosion which killed Rackham while Lucas also seemingly vanished.[9]

Controlling Cottonmouth

Hunting the Stolen Guns

Shades Profile

Shades having a meeting with Cottonmouth

"Y'all got hit last night, expensive and exclusive hard to get hardware that Diamondback gave you is in a police evidence lockup, and the money that Domingo and his crew were supposed to give you is gone. I'm with Diamondback now, you knew that right?"
―Shades to Cottonmouth[src]

Having been released, Shades was recruited by arms dealer known as Diamondback. When Diamondback learned that the Hammer Industries guns he had given to Cottonmouth to be sold to Colon Crime Family had been stolen, he sent Shades to deal with the situation. Shades arrived at Harlem's Paradise where he greeted Cottonmouth and explained the situation, while Tone insulted him. When Cottonmouth suggested this was a takeover, Shades noted that he would be powerless to stop Diamondback.

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Shades and Tone discuss finding the thieves

Shades then joined Cottonmouth and Tone as he had a meeting with his cousin Mariah Dillard during her political campaign. Shades kept his distance as Cottonmouth spoke with Dillard about the money he owed her before returning to them. Asking for an update, Shades listened as Tone explained that Dante Chapman was correct that the heist was planned with Shameek Smith and Chico Diaz's assistance. Shades questioned if they were any closer to finding their targets but Tone claimed they were not, so Cottonmouth ordered the hit for them both and find them as quickly as possible.

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Shades later returning into Harlem's Paradise

It did not take long for Shades and Tone to track down Smith, who they brought to Stokes under the concept that Domingo Colon's people were looking for him since the heist and Stokes wished to protect him, which was a lie as he simply wished to interrogate the man who had stolen his money from him in order to find the rest and repay Dillard. As Shades walked through the kitchen, he passed by a dishwasher called Luke Cage, who watched him closely as he walked by with Smith, although Shades payed the man almost no attention what-so-ever as he continued walking.

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Shades sees Cottonmouth kill Shameek Smith

Shades returned to Harlem's Paradise with the now captured Smith and watched as Cottonmouth proceeded to slap him repeatedly, calling him a little bitch and demanding to know where the rest of his money was. When Smith refused to answer and instead spit his own blood in Cottonmouth's face, Shades looked on as Cottonmouth proceeded to punch Smith in the skull until he had killed him. As Cottonmouth stood up, now covered in Smith's blood, he ordered Shades and Tone to find Chico Diaz and recover the rest of his stolen money and bring them both back to him.[10]

Hunting Chico Diaz

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Shades and Cottonmouth go to visit Pop

"I'm from around the way, grew up right here, everyone knows Pop. There's this little Puerto Rican kid, I can't remember his name, it's like Rico or Chico. Yeah, Chico, used to shape me up back in the day, he was real good too, was hoping he was still around."
"People come and go, you know how it is right?"
―Shades and Luke Cage[src]

Shades joined Cottonmouth as they traveled to Pop's Barber Shop in order to try and learn the location of Chico Diaz. As Cottonmouth got a shave with a razor from his old friend Pop, Shades and Tone sat down and watched while Cottonmouth and Pop's discussed life and the luxury of free time. As Shades listened on, Stokes noted that young people wanted everything too fast and would lie, cheat and steal to get what they wanted, clearly referencing Shameek Smith's recent robbery of their money and his death that followed.

Shades-PopsBarberShop-S1E2

Shades asks Luke Cage about Chico Diaz

At one point, Luke Cage accidentally broke his broom and Shades noted that it was clearly very cheap while Cage claimed it was just old. Shades then went on to explain that he had just left Seagate Prison and was looking for Diaz, claiming that he used to cut his hair for him and he wanted to reconnect now that he was back, but Cage told him that Diaz seemed to have gone and would not be returning. Shades joined Cottonmouth as he left, while Cage ordered him to pay for his shave as was Pop's policy, much to Shades' amusement as he left with Cottonmouth while Tone paid the bill.

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Shades laughs at Mariah Dillard's insult

Shades then stayed with Cottonmouth as they visited the office of Cottonmouth's cousin, Mariah Dillard to deliver the money they had recovered from Shameek Smith. Dillard however was not impressed and reminded Cottonmouth that she needed the rest and this was his fault as she had stolen the money to fund Harlem's Paradise before Stokes had made a failed gun deal with Domingo Colon which had endangered them all. She then mocked Shades by calling him a guard dog and asking if he needed water before completing her talk with Cottonmouth about reclaiming the money.

Luke-Cage-Still-6

Shades and Tone meet with Turk Barrett

Shades returned to Harlem's Paradise with Cottonmouth and Dillard and witnessed Luke Cage offering a peace deal to save Chico Diaz's life, which Cottonmouth agreed to. However when Tone got word of Diaz's location, both he and Shades met with Turk Barrett around the back of Harlem's Paradise and were informed that he had spotted Diaz hiding out in Pop's Barber Shop. Shades and Tone then walked away without paying Barrett, much to his annoyance, and drove to Diaz's location, with Tone arming himself as Shades recommended that they wait for the right moment to attack, but Tone just ignored him and prepared to go into the shop with guns blazing.

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Shades watches Tone murdering Pop

Tone however ignored Shades' advice and charged into the shop, firing two guns at once, wounding Diaz and killing Pop as well as seemingly Cage who was protecting a child. Once they entered the now destroyed Barber Shop, Shades once again reminded Tone that they should have waited for Diaz to step outside, as he knew what Cottonmouth's reaction to the death of Pop would be. However Tone continued to ignore the advice and they instead took Diaz's bag which was filled with the stolen money and made a fast retreat back out of the shop and headed back to Cottonmouth.

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Shades sees Tone being thrown off the roof

Returning to Harlem's Paradise, both Shades and Tone were forced to explain to Cottonmouth exactly what had happened, with Shades insisting that Tone had ignored his warnings to wait. Tone remained confident in his own decision and explained that he had fired into Pop's Barber Shop, killing Pop and wounding Diaz, which mortified Cottonmouth and the news of his friend's death. Shades watched as Turk Barrett arrived asking for his money, only for Cottonmouth to throw Tone off the roof and tell Barrett to collect his money from Tone's corpse while Shades offered his condolences.[11]

Luke Cage's Secret

ShadesQuestionsCottonmouth-S1E5

Shades questions Cottonmouth's plans

"You're gonna recoup seven million dollars just like that?"
"I don't even know why you back here."
"Look around, you know damn well why Diamondback sent me, Fort Knox, this makes the junk yard rip look like amateur night at the Apollo."
―Shades and Cottonmouth[src]

Back at Harlem's Paradise, Shades stood behind Cottonmouth as they listened to Jidenna performing on stage. He then went into Cottonmouth's office and listened as Darrell Mitchell informed him that he was officially broke, noting that the people supported Luke Cage. When Koko spoke out of turn, Shades witnessed Cottonmouth executing him with a shot to the head. As Cottonmouth ordered Zip and the others to steal the cash, Shades reminded him why Diamondback had sent him there in the first place but Cottonmouth just continued to ignore him.

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Shades recommends Cottonmouth surrender

As Shades and Cottonmouth looked over the money collected by Zip and his men, Shades recommended that he let this whole situation go as it was making him look weak and recommended that he sell Harlem's Paradise, which Cottonmouth refused as he felt the club was far too important. Shades continued to remind Cottonmouth that if he did not make the right decision now, he would soon lose everything, but Cottonmouth just insisted that the club was his own reputation, blood and legacy of him and Mama Mabel, and for that reason he would never sell it no matter what.

Shades knows

Shades figures out who Luke Cage really is

Cottonmouth then noticed that Luke Cage had entered the building to speak with him about the situation. While Cottonmouth and Cage began exchanging insults, Shades looked on in amusement. Eventually Cottonmouth ordered Zip, Sugar and Amos to attack Cage, only to watch as they were all very easily defeated, with Cage even surviving several gunshots to the chest without even reacting. Seeing how Cage fought, Shades finally realized that Cage was in fact Carl Lucas, who was assumed to have been killed in Seagate Prison many years earlier.

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Shades sees Cage threaten Cottonmouth

As Cottonmouth came downstairs, he declared war on Cage, only for Cage to note that he did not have enough people working still for him to stop him while also making it clear that he knew Shades, who noted that he should have been killed along with Albert Rackham. As he left the club, Cage ordered Cottonmouth not to use his name anymore, when Cottonmouth asked why Cage did not answer and walked away before Cottonmouth confronted Shades about how he knew Cage, demanding to know the details as Shades explained that it was a long story.[12]

Pitching the Judas

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Shades shows the power of a Judas Bullet

"Yo, if you wanted to kill Jesus, that's the bullet you'd use. That's why they call it the Judas."
"I can think of a few fools I'd love to baptize with that joint!"
―Shades and Cottonmouth[src]

As they rewatched the CCTV footage, Shades then explained to Cottonmouth who Luke Cage really was and that he was supposed to be dead before he had returned, now bulletproof. As Cottonmouth demanded a find a way to kill Cage, Shades showed off a video of the Judas Bullet which had been designed by Justin Hammer using Chitauri metal that had been recovered directly from the Battle of New York, Cottonmouth expressed his delight at the bullet's power.

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Shades explains Diamondback's demands

When Shades explained exactly how much the bullet would cost, Cottonmouth realized he was unable to afford it, and therefore his only option was to consider hiring Diamondback to kill Cage for him, with Shades noting that if that happened, Diamondback would take over Harlem. Refusing to allow this to happen, Cottonmouth decided that he would return the Hammer Industries guns back to Domingo Colon's people and sort out that situation so Diamondback would lend him the money he needed to get the Judas and finally kill Cage once and for all and go back to work again.

ShadesCottonmouth-Funeral

Shades and Cottonmouth at Pop's funeral

Shades later joined Cottonmouth in attending the funeral of Pop, where he listened as both Cottonmouth and Luke Cage gave speeches in which they tried to rally the people of Harlem onto their side, with Cottonmouth warning them of strangers with unknown and strange abilities while Cage demonstrated that he was taking on the lessons Pop had taught him and would be protecting the people from bullies. In the end, it was clear that it was Cage to had the support of the people, with Shades smirking at the result while Cottonmouth was furious about his humiliation.

CottonmouthShades-AfterFuneral

Shades listens to Luke Cage's threats

As they left the church, Shades and Cottonmouth were confronted by Cage, who claimed he was glad that Cottonmouth had come to the funeral as he had enjoyed humiliating him in public rather than just at Harlem's Paradise in private. As Shades looked on, Cottonmouth reminded Cage that although he had won this battle, the war was still ongoing, while Cage told him that if another one of Dapper Dan's suits got damaged, he would be billing Cottonmouth. As Cage left, Cottonmouth laughed while Shades opened the limo door for him and they departed the church.[12]

Making Arrangements

Shades-Shadeless-S1E7

Shades discusses how to kill Luke Cage

"I can talk to you anyway I want, because you got no power to shut me up. Do you like how it feels, being so powerless? Being pushed around by other people."
"What do you think."
"I think that when you get the nerve, you're gonna be surprised at just what you're capable of."
―Shades and Mariah Dillard[src]

With Cottonmouth having been swiftly freed from jail despite killing Detective Rafael Scarfe, Shades joined him in Harlem's Paradise as they discussed the recent events. When Cottonmouth asked when he could get his Judas Bullet to assassinate Luke Cage, Shades told him he would not. Knowing what Cage was doing his business, Cottonmouth told Shades that he wanted to call on the help of Diamondback to get the job done, so Shades left to make all of the necessary arrangements.

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Shades arrives at Mariah Dillard's home

Seeing that the situation with Cottonmouth was falling apart, Shades traveled to the home of Mariah Dillard, where he waited for her to complete her meeting with Damon Boone before revealing himself to Dillard and her assistant Alex Wesley. When Dillard demanded to know why he was there, Shades told her that they would need to talk once they were alone. Shades went on and explained that although she did not remember him, he remember her and her family name from when he was a child growing up in Harlem, as the reputation of Mama Mabel was known through the area of Harlem during this time.

Shades-ICanTalkToYouHoweverIWant

Shades reminds Dillard of the Stokes' history

Shades when on to insult Dillard's political reputation as he argued that the name Stokes no longer meant what it used to and this was down to her and Cottonmouth's actions. When Dillard attempted to slap Shades, he caught her hand and told her that he had the power right now to talk to her anyway that he wanted, going on to question how it felt to how no power left and to be pushed around by other people. Shades made a final point that he believed she would soon get the nerve to find out exactly what she was capable of doing before leaving Dillard's home to return to work.

Shades-IsHeGonnaRun

Shades learns Cottonmouth threatened Cage

Returning to Harlem's Paradise, Shades found Cottonmouth listening as D-Nice rehearsed on the stage. Cottonmouth apologized for his earlier outburst against Shades before revealing that he had invited Luke Cage to the Paradise and informed him of his knowledge of his past life as Carl Lucas and ordered him to fall in line or be sent back to Seagate Prison. However Shades then made it clear that this was exactly what Diamondback did not want to happen, fearing that now Cage would run away before Diamondback could kill him, although Cottonmouth remained confident he would not.[4]

Covering up Cottonmouth's Murder

Shades-PostCottonmouthMurder

Shades sees Mariah Dillard kill Cottonmouth

"I need you to hear me, I want you to win. Do what I say and when you get away with this, you can go back to being the sexy, domineering bitch that we all hate to love."
―Shades to Mariah Dillard[src]

When Shades arrived at Harlem's Paradise to kill Cottonmouth[13], he discovered Mariah Dillard in a rage beating him to death having pushed him out of his office window. Shades greeted Dillard and comforted her as she was clearly shaken by the incident, but he reminded her that the first kill was always the hardest. Shades began working out how to deal with the situation when he decided to blame Luke Cage for killing Cottonmouth in order to protect her and destroy Cage's reputation.[4]

ShadesComfortsMariah-RedLight

Shades tries to keep Mariah Dillard calm

Shades checked on Dillard shortly after he had gotten everything prepared for Cottonmouth's discovery, asking what she was thinking about. Dillard told Shades she really was not thinking about anything, questioning if that was normal while Shades made it clear that as long as she was still active, she was okay. Shades explained that he would have Joel Spurlock destroy the clothes she was wearing too keep Cottonmouth's DNA off her, ensuring that Alex Wesley brought her new clothes to change into as they then removed the bottle that Cottonmouth had been hit with which still had his blood on it.

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Shades deals with Cottonmouth's corpse

As Dillard questioned why Shades was speaking to her like she was a child, Shades explained that he only wanted her to get away with the murder, saying that once she had she could go back to being the sexy bitch he hated to love. Dillard left to get changed, but not before telling Shades to never call her a bitch again. Shades then proceeded to brutally punch into Cottonmouth's skull repeatedly before leaving him to be found by the New York City Police Department, with the waitress Candace Miller being their only witness to blame Cage for the murder by giving an official statement to the police.

Shades-ZipsNewOrders

Shades gives Zip's crew their new orders

While hanging out in the Paradise, Shades witnessed the arrival of Zip, Sugar and Amos who were looking to work out the situation now that Cottonmouth was dead. Shades informed the three that they now officially worked for him as while Dillard owned the Paradise, he would be taking charge of it. Once the three had finally agreed to the situation, Shades then handed Zip a wad of cash and told him to buy some new and more presentable clothes. When Zip asked what was to be done about Luke Cage, Shades did not answer and then calmly told them all to leave the Paradise as he enjoyed the moment.

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Shades waits for Mariah Dillard to finish

Shades later drove Mariah Dillard as she met with Candace Miller to pay her her bribe money for her lying to Detective Misty Knight about the death of Cottonmouth, with Miller noting that she had always hated Cottonmouth and would never had slept with him. Shades listened as Dillard explained that she should view this as a business deal and a way to change her and her family's life. Once Millar had left, Shades then asked Dillard what she was willing to do if Miller betrayed them, with Dillard explaining that they would have to kill her, much to Shades' delight as he drove her back to her home.[14]

Diamondback's Command

Search for Luke Cage

Shades-GrinningAtDesk

Shades take a place in Cottonmouth's office

"Cornell was losing it, you trusted me to take care of him."
"I trusted you to take care of it, not him. Why, did you think I was just gonna give it all to you? Give me one reason why I shouldn't splatter this pristine desk with your brain matter."
―Shades and Diamondback[src]

Shades took position in Cottonmouth's old office inside Harlem's Paradise, where he watched as The Delfonics rehearsed on stage and the glass window was repaired. Shades began questioning Zip and his men about their hunt for Luke Cage who had just recently been nearly killed during his battle against Diamondback the night before, with Zip noting that they had not yet found him despite checking every garbage truck where he may be hiding and recovering from his wounds.

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Shades is confronted by Diamondback

They were interrupted by the arrival of Diamondback himself, who made a point about the magic of smoke and fire by making a gun with his fingers and shooting Darnell in the shoulder with another gun. Once Zip and his men had left, Diamondback began mocking Shades for his attempts to seduce Mariah Dillard and take over from Cottonmouth. When Diamondback began blaming Shades for Cottonmouth's death, Shades defended his actions by noting that Cottonmouth was losing control and that Diamondback had trusted him with dealing with him however was necessary.

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Shades is threatened by Diamondback

As Diamondback explained that Cottonmouth was his best seller of Hammer Industries' weapons and mocked Shades for thinking he might get to keep Harlem's Paradise, he drew his gun and aimed it at Shades' head, asking for one reason not to kill him. While Shades kept calm and silent, Zip then reappeared and noted that killing Shades would not help him find Luke Cage any faster. Diamondback laughed and dropped his gun, before explaining that until they found Cage's corpse, he was not dead and needed to be found as soon as possible and brought back before him.

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Shades calmly speaks with Mariah Dillard

Shades later found Mariah Dillard in Joel Spurlock's funeral home, speaking to the body of her cousin. Shades explained to Dillard that Diamondback was unhappy about the current situation, although Dillard was highly confused about how Diamondback was exactly, explaining that now she would now be effectively taking over all of Cottonmouth's business, she would need to find Luke Cage to frame him for the murder. Shades then explained that she needed to ensure Cottonmouth's clients were dealt with effectively to stop any kind of criminal war breaking out within Harlem.[15]

Losing Control

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Shades tries to keep Mariah Dillard focused

"That footage, of Cage and the cops, it went viral. What do you want to do about it?"
"That's great, that's great. He's got nowhere to run now, we'll find him. It's all coming together."
―Shades and Diamondback[src]

Shades escorted Mariah Dillard to Colon's Gym for a meeting with Domingo Colon and other mobsters based in Harlem. Before the meeting began, Shades reminded her not to show weakness as not only would she be done politically, but she would likely become a target of assassination. Shades stood behind Dillard as she greeted them and explained she would be making changes in the wake of Cottonmouth's death.

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Shades witnesses Diamondback's massacre

However the meeting was soon interrupted by the sudden arrival of Diamondback, who proceeded to murder Jacques Alef, Neville Barnwell, Juan Carlos Castro and Peter Hong, leaving Colon alive. Shades watched on as Diamondback showed no regard for the war he would be starting by committing such random acts of violence before giving new orders of Dillard, who suggested that he begin selling the Judas Bullets to the New York City Police Department in order to kill Luke Cage. Diamondback noted how impressed he was to Shades before leaving with him to eat.

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Shades fails to speak with Diamondback

Returning to Harlem's Paradise, Diamondback then watched the performance of The Delfonics until he was interrupted by Shades, who informed him that a video of Cage attacking some police officers had gone viral. When Shades asked what should be done about this, Diamondback told him that it was great news as it meant Cage no longer had anywhere to run and they would soon be able to find and kill him. When Shades tried to question this new logic, Diamondback rudely sent him away, claiming that he was enjoying the song and wished to listen to it in peace.[15]

Hostage Situation

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Shades witnesses a gun fight breaking out

"You shot a female cop in front of a hundred people!"
"All people will remember is Luke Cage going all King Kong with a bitch and jumping off a balcony."
"What they're gonna remember, is Luke Cage running from the bullets."
―Shades and Diamondback[src]

When Shades returned to Harlem's Paradise, he soon discovered the attendees were now fleeing in terror. Stepping inside, Shades was informed that Luke Cage was hiding behind the bar and the men were attempting to kill Misty Knight and him. Before long Cage made his move, carrying Knight as the men fired at him before taking refuge in the kitchen and blocking the door with a fridge to keep Shades and the other men out, while Shades looked on in shock.

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Shades questions Diamondback's plans

As Zip explained the situation, Shades reminded Diamondback that the New York City Police Department would soon be arriving on the scene and they all would need to escape before that happened. Diamondback however refused, noting that maybe they should now freestyle their situation, much to Shades' dismay as he reminded Diamondback that he only had one Judas Bullet remaining, but Diamondback was not concerned as he gave orders to Zip and Sugar to take hostages while Shades looked on at the situation in disgust as he complained about Diamondback's actions.

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Shades watches Diamondback's actions

While the hostages were collected, Shades watched in even more dismay as Diamondback was given a grenade launcher by Zip and fired a single shot into the kitchen, destroying the door into the kitchen and the fridge that was blocking it with a large fireball which shook the whole building and altered those outside. As Shades stepped into the burning kitchen with his gun raised, he discovered that Cage and Knight were nowhere to be found. Diamondback then stepped into the room and ordered his men to search every inch of the kitchen to find them and pull them out dead or alive.

ShadesQuestionsDiamondback2

Shades questions Diamondback yet again

Shades once again questioned Diamondback's decision making as the police would soon be breaking down the doors to arrest them, claiming that he was not being clear headed, but Diamondback only argued that his was making the right moves as they could easily claim that violence had broken out at this anti Luke Cage rally as soon as Cage arrived. Although Shades remained unconvinced, he confirmed that he had spoke with Mariah Dillard could now close their deal who could not sell the Judas Bullets to the police due to their fear of Cage and what he could possibly do.

DiamondbackShades-FaceOff

Shades is threatened by Diamondback

Shades informed Diamondback that the hostages had been sent to the New York City Police Department as he had ordered, noting that he was not concerned about what they would tell them as either he or Cage would soon be dead. Shades confronted Diamondback on the fact that he had taken these hostages with no plan whatsoever. They were then informed by Sugar that Claire Temple had managed to disappear after attacking Lopes to help Candace Miller, whom Shades noted was the one who Mariah Dillard had bribed earlier so Diamondback sent him to deal with the situation.[16]

Confronting Misty Knight

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Shades considering his own next actions

"I see Luke Cage was here."
―Shades to Misty Knight[src]

Once Diamondback had used his own Judas Gauntlet to brutally murder Damon Boone by crushing his bones with a powerful punch, he then ordered Shades to drop his corpse out the door for the New York City to collect. Having done the deed, Shades had gone to the kitchen inside Harlem's Paradise to wash his hands of all of Boone's blood. While there however, Shades had accidentally discovered the secret loose panel on the floor which he found led to the basement, while going down the stairs, the lights in the club were shut off while Shades still continued making his way down the stairs despite the sudden darkness.

Shades-HuntingGirls

Shades manages to locate Misty Knight

Going down the stairs, Shades discovered Misty Knight clutching her wounded arm which she gained when Diamondback shot her, as well as a large hole in the wall which Luke Cage had used to escape and was currently fighting his way towards Diamondback. When Shades proceeded to draw his own gun and pushed Detective Knight against the wall, preparing to execute her, he was suddenly attacked from behind by Claire Temple, who used a weapon to knock the gun out of Shades' hands before hitting him repeatedly. Despite being taken off guard, Shades managed to disarm Temple before moving to kill her as she tried to keep him at bay by kicking at her attacker.

Shades-vs-Temple

Shades fights both Knight and Claire Temple

Before Shades could gain the upper hand and murder Temple, Knight returned to the fight and managed to pull him away from Temple. Due to the dark lighting, Shades struggled to regain control of the fight and before long, Knight and Temple succeeded in ganging up on him before they pulled him across the room and slamming his head hard against a steel pipe, which knocked Shades out cold. Knight then proceeded to handcuff Shades to the pipe and left him there, joking with Temple about how badass they had both successfully proved themselves to be during their fight against Shades.

Shades-LeavingParadise-Arrest

Shades is arrested by the police department

Having been found by the New York City Police Department and named as one of the gang leaders by Detective Knight, Shades was arrested by the SWAT teams that stormed Harlem's Paradise and taken outside under the orders of Priscilla Ridley. While walking to the police van, Shades tripped and dropped his own trademark sunglasses, but before he could pick them back up again, Temple appeared and stepped on them, breaking the glass while Shades was put into the van to begin his interrogation and sentencing for his many crimes that he had just recently committed.[16]

Questioned by Police

Shades Arrested

Shades has his mugshot taken by the police

"I was in the club, I saw what happened, I know who did it."
"Okay, we can protect you, but I need a name to verify, who was it? Was it Stryker?"
"He goes by... Lawyer... You need me to spell it?"
―Shades and Priscilla Ridley[src]

Arriving at the 29th Precinct Police Station, Shades had his mugshot taken and awaited his questioning over the hostage situation. While in the waiting room, Shades relaxed while he made eye contact with both Priscilla Ridley and Misty Knight, confidently aware that he would be able to get off these charges against him. As Detective Knight was sent home to recover from the gunshot would caused by Diamondback, Shades looked at her and smiled, before he was taken into the interrogation and left there to wait for somebody.

Shades-Law-Yer-Demands

Shades being questioned by Priscilla Ridley

Before long Shades was interrogated by Ridley who threatened to sent Shades to Ryker's Island if he did not cooperate with her, but Shades only ignored her and calmly requested a lawyer. Ridley noted she knew Shades' history with meeting Cottonmouth while a young man before being sent to Seagate Prison before he explained that somebody had already bailed him out, but Shades still requested a lawyer again. When Ridley even threatened to send Shades back to Seagate for twenty years, Shades mockingly asked for a lawyer while laughing in her face while she then walked out of the room.

Shades-MockedByMKnight

Shades is mocked by Detective Misty Knight

As was requested, Ridley presented Shades with his lawyer, Kerry Duggan who soon got him released. While Shades was making his way out of the police station, he was confronted by Detective Knight who asked him if he felt he had everything figured out about his situation and future, but even Shades admitted that he no longer did have everything figured out, as he considered how he had witnessed Diamondback acting so foolishly during the heist at the Paradise the night before. He then walked out of the police station with Duggan by his side without another word to Detective Knight.[8]

Assassination Attempt

Shades-ElevatorRide-Zip

Shades is collected by Zip and his men

"You're a goddamn puppet, who gave you the order? Who?"
"Diamondback! You stopped playing your position, asked too many questions. Diamondback said you needed to be dealt with."
―Shades and Zip[src]

Having been collected by Zip and some others, Shades was taken to an empty building on the outskirts of New York City, with Zip then claiming that Diamondback had changed things around and recruited new men ever since the shootout at Harlem's Paradise. When Zip noted that Shades may have sold them all out to the police, Shades grabbed his arm and warned him to never question his loyalty to Diamondback ever again before they all then stepped into the elevator together.

Shades-Threatens-Zip

Shades overpowers the traitorous Zip

As they made their way up, Shades questioned if Diamondback was on the roof, at which point Zip noted that he was full of questions before he suddenly then wrapped a rope around Shades' throat and attempting to strangle him to death. Determined to stay alive, Shades began hitting Zip against the walls of the elevator but soon found himself running quickly out of breath. In a last ditch effort to gain the upper hand, Shades reached for the gun of one of the other men in the lift, stealing it and quickly shooting them both dead before aiming the gun directly at Zip's own head and laughing in his face.

Shades executes

Shades prepares to shoot Zip in the head

Taking Zip onto the roof, Shades called his would be killer a puppet before demanding to know who it was who had given him the order to assassinate him, hitting him repeatedly with the gun before Zip finally admitted that it was Diamondback who wanted him dead for overstepping his position. Shades then calmly told Zip that he was a disappointment to Romeo before aiming the gun at his head and firing a single shot through his brain, killing him. As Shades prepared to walk away, he noticed Zip had a pair of sunglasses in his pocket which he stole from his corpse before walking away.[8]

Desperate Times

Shades-DillardHome-S1E12

Shades arrives inside of Mariah Dillard's home

"You both framed me for murder. There's nothing you can offer me that'll make me let that go."
"How about your freedom? Right here is everything you need to prove that Diamondback framed Carl Lucas."
Luke Cage and Shades[src]

Needing an ally, Shades went into Mariah Dillard's home and soon found her holding her gun. He asked her if Diamondback had already told her that he was dead and she insisted that she was not loyal to him at all. As a sign of goodwill, Shades gave her the bottle she used to kill Cottonmouth, explaining that he had kept it to use against her if he had to, but now he wanted her to destroy it and therefore all evidence.

Shades-DillardHomeGrin-S1E12

Shades requesting the help of Mariah Dillard

Changing the subject, Shades and Dillard both agreed that their best move against Diamondback was to recruit Luke Cage onto their side, although Dillard then reminded him how he had beaten him up and caused him to gain his powers while they were at Seagate Prison together and how Tone had killed Pop earlier. Shades however still insisted that they had a way to get Cage on their side by giving him a chance to finally clear his name and become Carl Lucas once again, while Dillard made it clear she wanted Cage and Diamondback to kill each other and solve all their problems in one go.

Shades-DarkCar-S1E12

Shades confesses the truth to Mariah Dillard

While sitting in their car within New York City, Shades and Dillard continued discussing how to get Cage on their side, with Dillard noting that Cage would not have forgiven them for having him framed for Cottonmouth's murder. When Shades noted that only they knew what had really happened in Harlem's Paradise that night, Dillard reminded him that Candace Miller also knew. When Dillard asked Shades why he had been at the club that night, he confessed that he had gone there to kill Cottonmouth too, she just happened to have beaten him to it by the time he had arrived at the club.

ShadesMariah-Folder

Shades offers to give Luke Cage his life back

Together they entered Pop's Barber Shop where Dillard was almost immediately insulted by Bobby Fish before Luke Cage then revealed himself and expressed his desire to attack them both. When Shades tried to explain they were there to make peace now, Cage became enraged as he reminded them what had happened to Pop before demanding to know where Diamondback was, reminding Shades that he had beaten him senseless before while they were at Seagate. Dillard tried to calm the situation, but Cage was still furious for being framed for murder, only calming down when Shades handed him the file that would clear Carl Lucas' name for good.

Shades-MKnight-Standoff

Shades during a standoff with Misty Knight

Just as their current deal was being sorted out however, they were interrupted by the arrival of Detective Misty Knight who attempted to arrest Dillard for the murder of Cottonmouth, with Cage noting that he thought she had gone after Turk Barrett instead. Rather than let this happen, Shades drew his gun leading to a standoff between him and Knight, which Cage tried to resolve peacefully but the pair only made things worse as Knight accused Cage of working with the criminals now while Shades began denying that he knew where to find Diamondback in order to still protect himself.

ShadesShootsDiamondback-Pops

Shades attempting to shoot at Diamondback

Before a shootout could breakout, Cage spotted a grenade being dropped outside the shop and shielded Shades and the rest from the blast. As they turned around, Diamondback revealed himself now wearing his Specialised Battle Suit which Fish insulted as he then compared Diamondback to a pimp Stormtrooper. Shades quickly stole Knight's phone during the chaos before asking if Dillard had brought him there. Diamondback personally insulted Shades who attempted to shoot his former ally, only to discover that the suit was bulletproof, forcing Shades to escape outside with the others while Cage and Diamondback then began to fight one another.[8]

Covering their Tracks

Shades-DarkCar-S1E13

Shades speaks with Mariah Dillard

"Come on... Where are you Misty?"
"Right here."
Candace Miller and Shades[src]

As the fight began breaking out in Pop's Barber Shop, both Shades and Mariah Dillard had then made their hasty retreat back to their car while the furious battle between Luke Cage and Diamondback had continued. However Shades quickly realized that he had left the Carl Lucas folder back inside Pop's Barber Shop, Dillard remained calm and instead contacted her assistant Alex Wesley, telling him to get Thembi Wallace on the scene to film the fight, noting that Misty Knight would be arresting her but she could still spin the story in order to ensure her safety.

AOCM

Shades calmly executes Candace Miller

While Dillard was being questioned by Detective Knight and Priscilla Ridley, Shades used Knight's phone which he had stolen earlier to contact Candace Miller, knowing that she was the only person who could prove that Dillard had murdered Cottonmouth. Pretending to be Knight, Shades text Miller and asked her to meet him in a corner within New York City. Once she arrived she began nervously looking around for Knight to arrive, however Shades then appeared behind her and fired a single bullet through the head, killing her instantly before Shades calmly walked away into the darkness.

Shades-CarMeeting-S1E13

Shades gives Mariah Dillard a new gun

The death of Miller allowed Dillard to walk free and take her place as the new crime lord of Harlem, while Cage was arrested in order to be sent back to Seagate Prison to continue his sentence. Shades met with Dillard outside of the 29th Precinct Police Station where she was giving interviews before getting into the car, being driven by Alex Wesley who was thanked by Dillard for his good work. To celebrate her freedom, Shades handed Dillard a gun owned by Cottonmouth, telling her it suited her better, which she then agreed with before they departed together to celebrate their victory against the police.

Shades-LC-S1E13

Shades begins working for Black Mariah

With Shades now by her side, Dillard reopened Harlem's Paradise as she watched as Sharon Jones performed on stage while the filled out audience danced and enjoyed the performance, seemingly already forgetting the many connections to the crime world that the club had become known for. Shades watched as Cottonmouth's Biggie Smalls poster was removed and replaced with a work of art from Dillard's own collection, before Dillard turned towards Shades and kissed him, biting his lip seductively before walking away, leaving Shades with a satisfied smile on his face. Shades later joined Dillard on the balcony to watch the performance and drinking champagne together.[17]

Planning Retirement

Meeting with Piranha Jones

"Nobody knows about this yet besides Glenn Industries."
"So that's why you want our money."
"Atreus' stock is low. You buy a controlling interest before they announce this new tech, a $20 million investment could be worth billions. That's inside information."
Piranha Jones and Shades[src]

During his rise in power, Shades began planning his own retirement, considering ways to ensure he and Mariah Dillard continued making money once outside of the criminal underworld which had once all been controlled by Cottonmouth. Having also heard that Comanche was finally being released from Seagate Penitentiary, Shades went to personally meet with his friend just outside of Graham Court where the pair embraced, happy to be reunited after so many years.

Once Shades had reminded Comanche of their Rivals greeting, by making Comanche note that they did not have any rivals, Shades gave Comanche the keys to a car which was parked directly outside of Graham Court and provided him with employment at Harlem's Paradise, where he would begin working as security for Dillard. With his friend set up with work upon gaining his freedom, Shades then returned to Dillard and had continued pushing her towards a possible retirement so they could focus on their relationship while still making considerable money away from working in the world of crime.

Luge-cage-seasontwoimage-03

Shades and Dillard meet with Piranha Jones

Shades and Dillard then went to Ginny's Supper Club where they had a meeting with Raymond "Piranha" Jones who suggested that they invest their money into plastics, which Dillard simply began laughing out loud at. Jones however explained that Mark Higgins and his own company, Atreus Plastics were sitting on some brand new plastic based technology which the rest of the world were still unaware of, giving Dillard and Shades the perfect opportunity to get involved. As Jones continued his pitch, he explained that he wanted them to take over control in Higgins' company before their latest technology was announced, so they could all come away with a massive profit.

While Jones noted that their best move was to use both Dillard and Shades' criminal technics to attempt to persuade Higgins to give up his company to them, their conversation was then interrupted by the arrival of the waiter who mistook Dillard for Shades' aunt, much to Shades' considerable annoyance. Dillard however had responded by sucking on Shades' thumb seductively until the waiter walked away. Shades and Dillard then shared a kiss, while Comanche and Jones watched on awkwardly during Shades and Dillard's sexual flirting as they then continued speaking with Jones about his ideas.[7]

Meeting of Criminals

"Runs an off-book casino. Might not have the pedigree yet, but he has the high-rollin' rapper and athlete clientele. These are our best customers. Why sell the business when there's so much more money to be made?"
―Shades to Black Mariah[src]

Back in Harlem's Paradise, Shades and Mariah Dillard were watching a performance by Joi, before Dillard asked Shades to brief her on the men she would be meeting to take over her criminal empire. Shades pointed out Arturo Rey III, noting how Rey smuggled the drugs in his sofas and had taken the cocaine business upon Domingo Colon's death. Shades then briefed Dillard on Nigel Garrison of the Yardies, as Shades reminded Dillard of how they had previously witnessed Diamondback killing Neville Barnwell, the brother of Garrison.

Finally Shades pointed out Cockroach Hamilton who was speaking with Comanche, as Shades noted that Cockroach had been put in prison by Rafael Scarfe and had to then be freed when Scarfe was revealed to be dirty. Shades suggested that Dillard changed her mind about selling their business, suggesting they could sell her Jean-Michel Basquiat painting instead, but Dillard refused, noting that if their deal with Piranha Jones was successful then all of the sins of the Stokes family would wash away, allowing them to live without any risk, which Shades accepted before then collecting Cockroach.

Shades stood by in the meeting as Rey and Garrison discussed a partnership to get ahold of Dillard's guns, putting protection around New York City, while Cockroach confidently expressed a desire to take up a controlling interest in Dillard's business and they could continue making money together. As Cockroach suggested that through his influence and a potential partnership with Dillard, they could focus on keeping Harlem black, appealing to Dillard's personal values while Shades reminded silent while Dillard took ahold of his arm and continued holding him tightly throughout the meeting.

The meeting was interrupted by the arrival of Luke Cage, who calmly walked up the stairs and knocked out Comanche with a slap on the forehead. As Shades and the others came out, Rey, Hamilton and Garrison all drew their guns while Cage threw Shades Comache's now twisted gun. While Shades stood by, he watched as Cage and Dillard exchanging insults and threats, with Dillard reminding Cage of his time in Seagate Penitentiary. Their standoff ended when Dillard threatened the life of Claire Temple, who had just entered the club, forcing Cage to leave with Temple while Shades smirked.[7]

Advising Mariah Dillard

"You could have all the money in the world, you still ain't nothing but a nigga to some people."
"Ms. Nigga. Tell me you're not sick of all this bullshit. Hmm? Don't you want to give Hernan a chance, instead of Shades?"
―Shades and Mariah Dillard[src]

Returning to her Brownstone, Shades found Mariah Dillard drinking a bottle of whiskey alone, when he commented that this was not her usual brand, Dillard noted that it was Mama Mabel's favourite and it was Mabel's birthday, although Shades questioned why she would celebrate somebody who she hated. Sitting down, Shades advised Dillard to go with Cockroach Hamilton's offer to buy their guns, noting that it would be the deal which would bring them the most risk free income which would allow them both to retire.

While Shades noted that selling to Arturo Rey III would not be selling to the top dog in the crime would, however Dillard still insisted that selling to Cockroach would put Harlem at risk as she viewed him as a lunatic. Dillard explained that Shades how the income from this deal could finally allow her to be free of the name of Stokes, which had haunted her throughout her entire life. Shades however noted that even with all the money in the world, some people would still look down on her, but this did not seem to phase Dillard who had jokingly claimed that people would be referring to her as "Ms Nigga".

As Dillard seductively climbed onto Shades' lap, she questioned if he was getting sick of being the gangster for so long, questioning if he wanted to go by his real name rather than Shades, allowing them to finally begin living their normal, crime free life. Aroused by Dillard's touch, Shades informed her that Rey III would make his deal to buy their guns that same evening, also commenting that he had already given him a Judas Rifle as well as a Judas Bullet in order to sweeten the deal. Dillard then passionately kissed Shades while still sat on his lap, commenting to him that she trusted him, like nobody else.

While back at Harlem's Paradise, while waiting for Rey III to make their deal, Shades witnessed Luke Cage burst into Dillard's office, wearing a recently burned hoody. As Comanche and Shades drew guns at Cage, he calmly walked over to Dillard and presented her with a fired Judas Bullet, noting that it had bounced right off him. Noting that no bullet could kill him, Cage warned Dillard that if she mentioned Claire Temple's name again, he would kill her and happily go to jail. Shades watched on as Cage gave this warning to Dillard before walking out, which had left Dillard completely enraged.[7]

Discussing Luke Cage

"It's not what they know, it's what they can prove. And they can't prove shit. Comanche and I are gonna get every dime of Arturo's money. And this weight is not yours to carry alone, baby. This is what I'm here for. This is what I do."
―Shades to Mariah Dillard[src]

With the revaluation of the Judas Bullet was now no longer capable of killing Luke Cage, Shades was then forced to return into Harlem's Paradise where he sat down with Mariah Dillard to discuss a possible alternative solution, with Comanche being sent out the room when he attempted to speak out of turn to Dillard. Once Comanche was out of the room, Shades then told Dillard that it was too early in the morning for her to be drinking hard alcohol, despite all of the stress she was now under with dealing with the current Cage situation.

As they had discussed the situation as Cage's actions as a vigilante determined to end the crime around his beloved city was disrupting all of their current attempts to sell their illegal gun business with the criminal underworld of Harlem, Dillard argued that they could not go legit without Arturo Rey III's cash. While Dillard continued making her point that the situation could not allow her to finally begin making money outside of Harlem's criminal underworld, Shades argued that they could still sell the Jean-Michel Basquiat painting instead in order to fund their retirement and allow them to begin moving forward.

Dillard still refused as she insisted that the life of crime had taken too much of her family, including Mama Mabel and Cottonmouth. When Dillard questioned if Rey III had already spoken with the New York City Police Department, Shades insisted that it did not matter what the police knew, but what they could prove in the court of law. As he then proceeded to take Dillard's hands into his hands, Shades then promised her that the weight of the current situation was not hers to carry alone, while promising that dealing with such a situation was what he specialised in, before holding her close into him.[18]

Assassination of Arturo Rey III

"Our lawyer got you out, and a judge we control allowed us to bail you out. You should show me a little more respect."
"You and the defective Judas Bullet is why I was even locked up. You and Mariah set me up."
"Why would we set you up? You're our customer."
―Shades and Arturo Rey III[src]

Under the orders of Mariah Dillard, Shades and Comanche had then gone to collect the money which was owed to Dillard from Arturo Rey III, while Comanche was complaining about being disrespected by Dillard while in Harlem's Paradise, claiming that Dillard had treated him like a dog while he was there. As Comanche began complaining to Shades for not standing up for him and insulting his dress, Shades stood up to his friend until he stopped speaking out.

As they entered the building, Comanche continued commenting on how he wished that Albert Rackham gave them Carl Lucas' treatment and made them bulletproof, until Shades told him to stop talking. As they entered Merlin Discount Furniture, Shades and Comanche told Rey III that it was due to Benjamin Donovan that he was allowed to get free in the first place, however Rey III argued that it was due to the Judas Rifle and the Judas Bullet which Shades had already sold him which had actually failed to successfully kill Luke Cage that was why he had been taken back into custody in the first place.

As Rey III insisted that he would not longer be doing any business with Dillard in the wake of the current situation, he began threatening to then go up to Detective Misty Knight of the New York City Police Department with evidence against Dillard which would put her in risk of being sent straight to Ryker's Island for several years of her life, which greatly angered Shades who stood up against Rey III. While Rey III's henchmen attempted to show their strength against him, Shades initially attempted to laugh at Rey III's insults, until he began insulting Dillard personally which had greatly annoyed Shades.

As Rey III began calling Dillard a "nigga" in Spanish, Shades lost his temper and shot Rey III directly in the forehead, forcing Comanche to kill Rey III's henchmen. While Shades then looked down at Rey III's bleeding corpse, Comanche commented on how sex with Dillard must be incredible to cause him to be so reckless. Shades then went back to his senses and had ordered Comamche to collect the video tapes from the store in order to ensure that they would not be filmed committing murder before they made their escape from their crime scene, considering how they would get they money for Dillard.[18]

Updating Black Mariah

"I'll handle Comanche. But Che's right. We still have two buyers."
"Who? Cockroach and Nigel? The first is too impulsive. The latter too ambitious. Neither one is a good option."
"I messed up. I admit it. But I couldn't let Arturo snitch or do anything to bring you down."
―Shades and Mariah Dillard[src]

Returning back to her Brownstone, Shades and Comanche then met with Mariah Dillard to discuss their current situation. Shades chose to confess that their dealing with Arturo Rey III had been cut short, which Dillard soon realized meant that Rey III had been killed by Shades, and despite Comanche backing him that Rey III had been insulting the organization, Dillard still remained furious that Shades had failed to get the money which Rey III had owed to them.

While Dillard had questioned why Shades had killed Rey III, Shades explained how he had threatened to go to Misty Knight of the New York City Police Department and expose all of their entire criminal operation. While Shades insisted that he was protecting them from being exposed, Comanche stepped in and then told Dillard that she should sell the Jean-Michel Basquiat painting if she still wanted to earn some cash, to which Dillard responded by ordering him to get out of her house, furious that anyone who was ranked below Shades was still daring to even speak against any of her decisions.

While insisting that while he had messed it up, Shades insisted that they still had two buyers who they could still sell to, although Dillard had claimed that Cockroach Hamilton who too impulsive while Nigel Garrison who too ambitious and neither one would be a good option for them. Seeking to calm Dillard down, Shades still promised that he could not allow Arturo III to snitch on them, while still promising that they would get their money to Piranha Jones on time to make their deal without risking being exposed to the police investigation, while Dillard relaxed and took comfort within Shades' embrace.[18]

Dealings with Yardies

"Can't understand a word these guys say half the time."
"What about Cockroach?"
"Forget Cockroach. The Jamaicans'll never give us what Arturo was gonna pay. It's enough to get us clean."
―Shades and Mariah Dillard[src]

Seeking to make up for his mistake with Arturo Rey III, Shades then reached out to the Yardies and, although he could still not make an actual deal with Nigel Garrison, he made a deal instead with the seeming new leader of the Yardies, Bushmaster, for the cash that they needed. Shades had returned to Harlem's Paradise and informed Mariah Dillard of this update, insisting that they could still make up their remaining cash which they Yardies could not afford to make up what Rey III would have paid them for their supply of guns.

Shades' meeting with Dillard as they discussed their latest dealing with the newest leader of the Yardies had been then unexpectedly interrupted by the arrival of Tilda Johnson, Dillard's daughter who had come to speak with her mother in complete private. Shades watched on with some surprise as Comanche at first questioned Johnson before Dillard gave her access to their private booth. Dillard then asked Shades to give them a moment, as Shades collected his sunglasses and awkwardly left the booth with Comanche, leaving Dillard to speak with her daughter Johnson in private.

Taking their spot by the bar of Harlem's Paradise, both Shades and Comanche listened to Gary Clark Jr. while Shades continued looking at while Dillard was still currently having her private meeting with her long lost daughter Johnson. Seeing his friend's discomfort, Comanche leaned over and jokingly commenting that Dillard's daughter had now taken Shades' spot within the prime position of Harlem's Paradise. Despite knowing full well that the return of her daughter put him in a risky position, Shades chose to ignore while he continued listening to Clark Jr. while watching over Dillard and Johnson's interaction.[18]

Mariah Dillard's Insult

"Who are you talking to like that? I'm not the help. I'm your partner, among other things."
"You really gonna talk to me about your feelings right now?"
―Shades and Mariah Dillard[src]

Having learned that Cockroach Hamilton had been arrested, Shades went to speak with Mariah Dillard to inform her of the situation that was putting their deal once again into serious danger of falling apart. Arriving back at her Brownstone, Shades had found Dillard having lunch with Tilda Johnson, who was still clearly highly unnerved by Shades' unexpected arrival. Dillard then took Shades aside for a private conversation, while also confronting him over showing up there unexpectedly.

Despite being annoyed by how Dillard had spoken to him, Shades explained how Luke Cage had gotten to Cockroach, resulting in him being arrested by the New York City Police Department, although he was currently recovering from his beating within the hospital. While Dillard reminded Shades of how they needed all of the money to make the deal with Piranha Jones, as she began questioning who was left who they could make a deal with, as Shades pointed out that Nigel Garrison of the Yardies was the last remaining potential buyer for them to finally complete their deal with Piranha.

Dillard immediately ordered Shades to travel to Brooklyn in order to complete the deal, only for Shades to become annoyed by how she was speaking to him, pointing out that he was not her personal assistant, but her partner as well as her lover. Unwilling to have this discussion however, Dillard simply responded by licking Shades' lip and mocking him over his wish to talk about his personal feelings. Dillard then returned to eating her lunch with her daughter, while the now irritated Shades went to Brooklyn in order to make the deal with the Yardies in order to finally sell their illegal gun business.[19]

Meeting with Bushmaster

LCS2 Shades & Bushmaster (Money Deal)

Shades being first introduced to Bushmaster

"I'm here to speak to Nigel."
"Nigel's business is my business now."
"I don't know you. I'm here on behalf of Mariah Dillard."
"Stokes. Mariah Stokes."
―Shades and Bushmaster[src]

As instructed, Shades went into the Hideout of the Yardies where he was escorted inside and asked to speak with Nigel Garrison. Shades however was instead greeted by Bushmaster who insisted that all of Garrison's businesses was now his business. Unsure by Bushmaster, Shades explained he represented Mariah Dillard, only to get cut off by Bushmaster insisting that she should not be referred to as Dillard but as Stokes.

Their tense negotiation continued as Bushmaster told Sheldon to throw Shades the bag of money. Still remaining on guard, Shades walked over to the bag and opened it up, while Bushmaster and Shades watched closely. Opening the bag, Shades discovered that not only was all the money in there, but also Garrison's severed head with the eyes having been brutally slashed, as Bushmaster insisted that Garrison had a big mouth and small ideas. Bushmaster then noted that he had reevaluated the value of their gun deal and wished for Shades to convince him to still continue with their deal.

Having gotten the money from Bushmaster and the Yardies, Shades had then returned to Harlem's Paradise and had again found Dillard speaking with Tilda Johnson about finally beginning to rebuild her relationship with her long estranged mother. However when Shades entered the room with Alex Wesley, Johnson was promptly sent out of the room in order to allow Shades and Dillard to still discuss their business in private. With a large grin on his face, Shades had handed Dillard the two bags of cash which Bushmaster had handed him with ten more bags still to come in with considerably more money.

Shades noted that the Jamaicans had paid considerably more than their original asking price. Utterly delighted, Dillard noted her surprise that Garrison had paid so much, as Shades had then told her about Bushmaster making the deal with him instead of Garrison, not mentioning finding Garrison's severed head. Delighted, Dillard passionately kissed Shades before demanding that Piranha Jones be brought into the office so they could finally complete their deal and begin moving towards their retirement at last, while Dillard continued going through the cash which had been given to her by Shades.[19]

War for Harlem

Luke Cage's Beatdown

"He's sending a message. If Bushmaster is capable of taking down Luke Cage with his bare hands, what does he need our guns for? Unless it's to weaken us."
"We have $350 million. We are done with this shit."
"What if this shit ain't done with us? I don't think Bushmaster is in Harlem for Luke Cage. I think he's in Harlem for you."
―Shades and Mariah Dillard[src]

Shades and Mariah Dillard then welcomed Piranha Jones into their office, where Piranha noted how their deal had been successful and despite them blackmailing him through the seduction of Stephanie Miller, it had appeared that Mark Higgins had just handed over the company willingly, meaning their investment was already worth at least three hundred million dollars and would continue to grow, however while Dillard and Piranha celebrated, Shades sat silently, considering what their next step would be.

Interrupting the celebrations, Shades demanded to know what the next step would be, although Piranha attempted to dismiss his worries. However, when Piranha was noting how Dillard had given him complete power of attorney over her money, he also revealed that Dillard had put up Harlem's Paradise as part of the deal, much to Shades' horror. Dillard argued that she had to make it appear that the club was part of the deal so it would cover up for the illegal money they had gained on the street to finance the deal, although Shades still remained unconvinced that this was a good move.

Their conversation was then interrupted by Comanche, who stormed into the office and put on the television while insisting that they needed to check out some footage, much to Dillard's great fury. However Comanche was in fact showing footage of Luke Cage being attacked and brutally subdued by Bushmaster. While Comanche and Dillard celebrated seeing Cage being knocked down so brutally by this new enemy, Shades looked at the footage of Bushmaster, who he remembered from their earlier meeting, and became nervous that Bushmaster could be a potential threat for them down the line.

Before long, the footage that Dave Griffith had shot of Bushmaster beating down Cage went viral and Shades went to speak with Dillard about it, although Dillard insisted that Comanche was not allowed to also be in the room during their meeting. Although Shades tried to stand up for his friend, Dillard warned Comanche to never bust into her office again or she would cut off his testicles. When Comanche continued to mock Dillard, Shades told him to leave, although he still smirked at Comanche's comments, leaving Dillard to demand that Shades finally tell her why he had come to talk with her.

Shades finally explained to Dillard that Bushmaster was also the same man who took over the Yardies, warning that Bushmaster had ambitions to take over Harlem. When Dillard attempted to dismiss these warnings, Shades noted that one of the bags of money had contained the severed head of Nigel Garrison, as Shades pointed out that Bushmaster clearly did not actually need all of their Hammer Industries guns unless his only goal was to weaken them ahead of his takeover, although Dillard insisted that as they had their money, Bushmaster taking over was no longer a concern for them.

Although Dillard still tried to dismiss the threat, Shades claimed that Bushmaster was likely in Harlem to get to her, while Dillard believed he likely had a grudge against Cottonmouth. Shades however noted how nervous Dillard had gotten when the name Bushmaster had been mentioned, as Shades insisted that Dillard tell him everything so he could protect her. Dillard noted that her grandfather had once had a Business called Bushmaster and tried to dismiss the threat, insisting that they focus on making massive profits from their recent investments, although Shades had still remained concerned.

Deciding to step out for a short time, Shades had told Comanche to stand guard over Harlem's Paradise so they could complete all their business with Bushmaster as soon as he got back. However, while he was walking outside of the building, Shades was then stopped by Comanche who had mocked his relationship with Dillard, questioning what it was like to have his balls so far inside Dillard's purse, asking if she rolled them around which she had previously threatened to do to Comanche earlier that day. Ignoring the mockery, Shades simply put on his sunglasses and then walked out of Harlem's Paradise.[20]

Threat of Bushmaster

"Stay with Mariah."
"Of course. I'm on her every step."
"Where's Comanche? I left him in charge."
"His mama called him. Needed something."
―Shades and Ray Ray[src]

Back at Harlem's Paradise, Shades was stood with Mariah Dillard and listening to the music of Christone "Kingfish" Ingram when they noticed that Bushmaster had entered the club and was coming upstairs. Shades then whispered to Dillard before stepping aside, watching closely as Dillard had commented that she had expected Bushmaster to be taller before attempting to shake his hand. As Shades watched, Bushmaster eventually shook Dillard's hand before accepting her offer for a drink as they sat down together.

Dillard thanked Bushmaster for doing a public service for Harlem as he had taken down Luke Cage, noting what a shame it would be for him to return to Jamaica. While Shades stood by, Bushmaster and Dillard discussed Harlem's Paradise and what had built it originally, as Bushmaster noted that Buggy Stokes had designed much of it with the aid of Quincy McIver, although Dillard denied any knowledge of him. Dillard and Bushmaster engaged in subtle threats while also discussing their Bushmaster Rum which they were drinking, before Bushmaster left and called Dillard by Stokes on the way out.

Seeking to learn more, Shades went to follow Bushmaster, before asking Ray Ray to stay and watch over Dillard while questioning where Comanche had gone as he had previously left him in charge while he was gone, with Ray Ray claiming Comanche's mother had called him. Shades then followed Bushmaster to Gwen's where he had observed Bushmaster happily socializing with all his friends and family, celebrating his coming to New York City. While sitting in his car and watching Bushmaster, Shades attempted to call Comanche but got no answer, much to Shades' considerable annoyance.[20]

Offer for Paradise

"My legacy is right here. Harlem's Paradise. I want to use some of my share and buy it from you outright. Title and all. This place is the only thing left that ties you to the life. You really want out? Sell it. To me."
―Shades to Mariah Dillard[src]

During their search for the Stylers, Shades was informed that his men had failed to come up with any information on Bushmaster or what his plans could be. During the discussion, Shades became annoyed at Comanche for making light of the situation, only for Comanche to question why Shades had sold Bushmaster their supply of guns if he was so concerned about a possible attack coming from the Stylers, only for Shades to simply refuse to acknowledge these questions by saying they should not concern themselves with the why.

Shades then told his men that they should merely answer yes and no to his questions, never question what the reasons were. Looking around the room, Shades demanded that his men continue to focus on locating Bushmaster before he questioned where Ray Ray was, only to be informed that he simply had not shown up, as Comanche noted that even Ray Ray's girlfriend Coco did not know where he was. Their meeting was then interrupted by Mariah Dillard's arrival, as she ordered Shades' men to leave the room so she could speak with him in private about the current situation with Bushmaster.

Going over to Dillard, Shades had then recommended that they get her out of Harlem as quickly as possible, as Dillard recommended they go over to Paris or Milan. Shades insisted that Dillard take the situation more seriously, noting that Bushmaster had more or less threatened her life when he had visited her, although Dillard insisted that Bushmaster's money was still green and was not concerned over Bushmaster's intentions for their guns. Dillard had insisted that through her Family First work, they would soon be untouchable and ready to reinvent themselves as new law abiding people.

All the talk of their legacy however led to Shades making Dillard an offer to use his share of the profits to buy Harlem's Paradise from her outright, noting that the club would be the only thing left which tied Dillard to her life of crime, so selling it would finally allow her to be free. Dillard however still refused, claiming it was not the right time. Shades smirked at this and prepared to leave the building, noting that Piranha Jones was having a party and he wanted to check in on him. Dillard then told Shades that Mark Bailey and Nandi Tyler had told her that Mark Higgins had unexpectedly disappeared.[21]

Piranha Jones' Party

"You do parties now? 'Cause my cousin's quinceañera is next week."
"Cut the shit. Are you with the Jamaicans? Where's Bushmaster?"
"Bushmaster? Where?"
―Shades and Luke Cage[src]

As Shades was preparing to leave Harlem's Paradise, he first briefly caught up with Comanche and questioned where Ray Ray was, only to be told he was still not answering his phone. Comanche asked if everything was alright between Shades and Mariah Dillard, noting how he expecting them to be having sex on a bed of cash which had annoyed Shades. Ignoring Comanche's joke, Shades questioned if Ray Ray was talking to the New York City Police Department, while Comanche still insisted that this would not be the case.

Shades still continued expressing his fears about Ray Ray turning against them, noting how he had previously always been incredibly reliable, while Comanche noted that he could be in love, comparing the situation to Shades' change in his personality since being with Dillard. Shades then ordered Comanche to find Ray Ray and bring him back, which Comanche promised to do. Seeing that Shades was leaving, Comanche questioned if he would be joining him on this mission or not, to which Shades explained that he instead had to attend a party before and Comanche exchanged some jokes.

Luke Cage and Shades at the party

Shades meeting Luke Cage during the party

Before long, Shades arrived at Piranha Jones' party to check on the situation, only to find Luke Cage was also in attendance. Shade then mocked Cage for agreeing to attend the party in order to showcase his powers in exchange for Jones' money, as Shades jokingly asked him to attend his cousin's quinceañera was the following week, however Cage ignored the mockery and questioned if Shades was connected to the Stylers or to Bushmaster, which shocked Shades as he questioned if Bushmaster was at the party or not, seemingly confirming to Cage that they were both against Bushmaster.

Their conversation was interrupted when Piranha called Cage onto the stage and pulled a gun on him, inviting his guests to shoot the bulletproof man. Shades then watched on as Cage ordered Piranha to put the gun away, insisting that a bullet could bounce off his skin and kill somebody, however Piranha threatened to not pay Cage for his time if he did not do as instructed. However, before Piranha could shoot the gun, it was then shot out of his hand by a member of the Stylers who had attacked. As the crowd panicked and ran for cover, while Shades and Cage joined forces to take out the Stylers.

During the fight, Shades successfully disarmed one Styler, taking his gun from him while making eye contact with Cage. As Shades had ensured that the Stylers inside the club were dealt with, Cage then had to go after Piranha who was being kidnapped on Bushmaster's orders. Shades ran outside as Cage destroyed the Stylers' car and got Piranha free, demanding to know why Bushmaster was targeting him, which Shades knew was due working for Mariah Dillard. Having heard the sound of the New York City Police Department on their way to the scene, Shades took his chance and made his escape.[21]

Preparing for an Ambush

"They want Piranha because they must be after the money. That fool has access to every dime we earned on that Atreus Plastics deal. If we're gonna find him, we don't need to go big. That's probably what they expect. We need to go special forces with this shit. Like old times. Me and you."
―Shades to Comanche[src]

Following the ambush during Piranha Jones' party, Shades had then returned to Harlem's Paradise and ordered all his men to prepare for another attack, telling Sugar to guard the backdoor and then shoot anybody who came close. While Sugar still questioned who would guard the front of the building, Shades assured him that he would get more men to aid them, although Sugar questioned if they would actually have enough time to do this. Shades promised he would take care of it as Sugar and the men did as they were instructed and immediately went to guard the building.

While Shades was still contemplating how to handle the situation, he was joined by Comanche who compared the situation to the Battle of the Alamo. Shades demanded to know where Comanche had been before he explained how Bushmaster had just murdered Ray Ray as well as Cockroach Hamilton and Mark Higgins before placing the cut off heads onto spikes inside of the Shirley Chisholm Complex. Upon hearing this, Comanche noted how Bushmaster was putting Mariah Dillard on high alert, insisting that Shades should make decisions for himself as Dillard's actions were putting them all in danger.

Although Shades still tried to put his faith into Dillard, Comanche had insisted that this was not a plan they could all follow, telling him that they should cut Dillard out of their own business while she was being questioned by the New York City Police Department in order to then protect themselves. Shades however simply refused to betray Dillard, to which Comanche had questioned what advice Shades would have given himself, noting that Shades was becoming far too emotionally attached to make rational decisions, which Shades finally accepted was indeed the truth as he then walked away from the bar.

Going down into the basement, Shades told Comanche how he had believed that the Stylers had targeted Piranha as he had access to Dillard's money, before noting that the best was to retaliate was not a full assault but a quieter ambush with just the pair of them. Shades revealed that he had a stockpile of the Hammer Industries weapons which they had seemingly sold, including a Josh, as Shades noted that the first rule of business was not to sell all the good stuff. Having armed themselves, Shades and Comanche then departed from the Paradise together in order to track down Bushmaster's men.[13]

Confessions with Comanche

"Inside was inside. Lack of human interaction. Lack of trust. We did what we had to do to keep from going crazy."
"We didn't have to do shit. I wanted to. You did, too."
"Life inside is inside. Prison has its own set of rules that no one in the outside world would ever understand. We're out now. It's different. I'm different. We're different."
―Shades and Comanche[src]

Knowing that Luke Cage had escaped with Piranha Jones, Shades knew that the Stylers would be continuing to search throughout New York City in order to recapture Piranha and force him to hand over the money. Together with Comanche, Shades then broke into Pop's Barber Shop, where he assumed the Stylers would be going to in order to locate Piranha. Once it was clear to them that the Barber Shop was empty, Shades and Comanche turned off the lights in order not to attract unwanted attention.

Waiting for the perfect moment to strike, Shades and Comanche had then got a pair of chairs and sat facing opposite ends of the Barber Shop, awaiting Bushmaster's arrival. While they were still waiting, Comanche jokingly complained to Shades about how he had finally gotten out of Seagate Penitentiary only to then almost immediately put his own life into danger for Mariah Dillard's messes, while Shades noted had that Dillard did not have their level of experience to predict how things could go wrong, to which Comanche simply questioned why Shades was not the one running things instead of Dillard.

Explaining why he followed Dillard, Shades told Comanche how Luke Cage's arrival had caused Cottonmouth to mentally unravel, noting how he had seen Cottonmouth beating Shameek Smith to death with his bare hands, explaining how Dillard had finally fixed the problem of Cottonmouth by beating him to death, promising that when it came time to deal with the Stylers, Dillard would not hesitate. Shades then confirmed that nobody else but them knew that Dillard had killed Cottonmouth, to which Comanche told him that he was a born leader who should finally take the crown from the unworthy Dillard.

Shades told Comanche that while they could enjoy their expensive suits, women and drinks for a while, as long as they were getting that money through murder, that would eventually catch up with them, suggesting that there was a better life that they could aim for. While Shades noted they could become more than gangsters, Comanche told him that they were more than that, reminding Shades of when they became lovers while inside Seagate. Shades initially attempted to dismiss this, noting that what happened inside their cell should not affect their lives in the real world once they got their freedom.

Comanche insisted it meant more to both of them to be dismissed as something they needed to do to keep from going crazy, noting how they had both wanted it. Shades claimed that now they were on the outside things were different, and they were now different, although Comanche still insisted he was the same person. Comanche ended the talk by noting that while Bushmaster was decapitating people and they were at risk, he wanted to say how he really felt, as Shades responded by noting that he would die for him. Comanche said they should find Luke Cage, claiming they were wasting their time.[13]

Mariah Dillard's Frustration

"It's time now to take care of our enemies. Do you hear me?"
"I'm listening."
"The night after you closed the gun deal, I followed Bushmaster back to Brooklyn. Wasn't easy. He's paranoid as hell. And I found his go-to spot. A Jamaican restaurant called Gwen's."
―Shades and Mariah Dillard[src]

Once Shades had returned to Harlem's Paradise, he had soon found that Mariah Dillard had been drinking as she complained to Shades that everything was now gone, all of her dreams of living a straight life away from crime now that the Family First had been a disaster. Shades listened as Dillard ranted about how she had wanted to turn Mama Mabel's saying into something good which would wash away all the blood money that had been associated with her family.

Shades insisted that it did not have to be over, although Dillard noted how Shades had warned her about Bushmaster but she had been too foolish to accept his advice. Shades however insisted that what was done was done and it was now time for them to focus on getting their revenge against the Stylers for what had gone down. Shades then informed Dillard that the night following their deal with him, he had followed Bushmaster and found Gwen's which was clearly his favourite place to go as it contained his friends and family. This had caused Dillard to consider how she could gain her revenge.

Seeing that he had brought Dillard back onto his side, Shades asked her how she wanted to proceed, as she told Shades to wait until they got Piranha Jones back, since he was still being protected by Luke Cage, and then they would get their revenge. Hearing this, Shades began kissing Dillard's neck and touching her body, before Dillard questioned who else knew that Cottonmouth had killed Tone, as he confirmed only Turk Barrett and Joel Spurlock were also aware as Barrett was there and Spurlock burned Tone's body, although Dillard still did not explain why she was asking these questions.[13]

Hunt for Piranha

"Fear doesn't always inspire. It alienates. Be better than Mama Mabel. Be better than Cornell. Otherwise, you're always gonna be looking over your shoulder."
"Get our money."
"Oh, I'm gonna get our money, baby. Don't you worry."
―Shades and Mariah Dillard[src]

Gathering at Harlem's Paradise, Shades sat with his men and had listened while Mariah Dillard had demanded to know where Piranha Jones was, questioning if Luke Cage or Bushmaster still had Piranha, despite Shades insisting that they were still searching everywhere for Piranha. As Shades had still listened closely, Dillard then noted how she had just been speaking with Tom Ridenhour of the New York City Police Department who clearly knew of Tone's death which the police should not have been aware of, hinting that there could be a snitch within their ranks.

Shades watched on while Dillard took a blade and then commented on how Mama Mabel focused on loyalty, before proving her point by stabbing one of her henchmen in the hand, telling her men to remain a part of her family who she remained only loyal to. Dillard had then furiously sent out all of her men to continue the search for Piranha, as Shades watched Comanche and the rest leave while he had stayed behind to speak with Dillard. Although she did not wish to speak to him, Shades told Dillard to listen as he noted that fear did not always inspire but often alienated followers and could lead to mutiny.

While DIllard listened to him, Shades advised that Dillard be better than Mabel or even Cottonmouth, before he then wiped her mouth carefully before he passionately kissed her on the lips. Pulling away from his mouth, Dillard had then ordered Shades to reclaim all their money, as Shades promised that not only would he get them all their money back, but he would defeat the Stylers, bring back Piranha so that they could finally complete their deal and bring everything back to normal, before then leaving Dillard's office, still seeking out to go complete his take and finally appease all Dillard's demands.[6]

Lunch with Comanche

"The gun connect was yours to begin with. Plus all that work you put in with Cottonmouth and Diamondback. You the king, and she treating you like a jump-off."
"She doesn't see me like that."
"She's only loyal to family. And you ain't family."
Comanche and Shades[src]

While having lunch with Comanche in Harlem, Shades listened as his friend insisted that Shades should have more power due to his role not only with recent successful the gun deal, but with his work with Cottonmouth and Diamondback, noting that he should be the king while Mariah Dillard was still disrespecting him. However Shades insisted that this was not the case, and that he and Dillard still had a good partnership now going between them, while Comanche noted that Dillard was only loyal to her own family and that Shades was still actually not a part of her true family.

Shades however noted that Piranha Jones was not their main focus at this time, but that they still needed to find the snitch who had been betraying them. Comanche however seemed to remain confident that he knew who the snitch was, blaming Sugar, noting that Sugar had left their work and came back, while he had become a father which Comanche noted could easily change a person's worldview. Shades however was unsure that Comanche was being honest, knowing that Comonche was the only other person who knew how Tone had been killed by Cottonmouth, which the police had now known about.

Suspecting that he was not being honest, Shades had then begun to question how long Comanche had been watching Sugar for as they shared a joke about crying over This is Us as Shades noted that both he and Sugar had cried at the television show. Shades however then got a text message informing him that Piranha had indeed just been murdered by Bushmaster and Dillard was losing her mind as a result. Shades ordered Comanche to focus on following Sugar to confirm if he was a snitch. As Comanche got his text from his mother, Shades briefly checked that he was all good before walking away.[6]

Losing Faith

Comanche's Betrayal

Shades as the Witness (LC207)

Shades sees Comanche killing Tom Ridenhour

"I love you. I was blinded by that shit. I didn't see the snitch in you. What the hell does that say about me?"
―Shades to Comanche[src]

Believing that Comanche was betraying them, Shades had followed his friend and soon discovered him talking with Tom Ridenhour as Comanche drew his gun and tried to pretend that Ridenhour was the one who Sugar had been speaking to. Shades remained silent while Ridenhour had then calmly noted that Comanche had told him how Shades had seen Mariah Dillard killing Cottonmouth, promising that he could get Shades the same deal that was promised to Comanche if he testified against Dillard in court, which included immunity and less time served.

Shades kills Comanche

Shades is forced to then shoot at Comanche

Comanche responded by shooting Ridenhour dead as Shades had continued to watch in silence. Having seen his friend shooting a cop of the New York City Police Department, Shades remained calm and claimed to be seeking to find a way of explaining the situation during the enviable investigation into Ridenhour's death. Noting that there were no camera, Shades leaned down to Ridenhour's body, claiming they could say Ridenhour was dirty and threatened to put Comanche back ino Seagate Penitentiary. During their discussion, Shades then took Ridenhour's gun and shot Comanche directly in the gut.

Shades Reminisces (LC107)

Shades stays with Comanche while he dies

Walking over to Comanche, Shades listened while his dying friend insisted that he had planned to get them both out of the crime world, although Shades insisted that he never wanted to get out. While he was dying, Shades reminded Comanche of a time they had stolen hot dogs in Coney Island, leading to Comanche's mother beating him, despite the fact that it had been Shades' idea. Shades then confessed that he loved Comanche and had been blinded by his love, before firing a final shot into Comanche's chest, finally killing him before Shades then walked away from the crime scene.[6]

Mourning Comanche

"You may be the only person in this world grieving as hard as I am. Romeo's gone. Comanche's gone..."
"Don't use that name for my Darius."
"Darius would've wanted me to take care of you. And I will. You may not want it. We both know that you need it."
―Shades and Janis Jones[src]

In the wake of being forced to execute Comanche, Shades went onto an empty rooftop and burned all the clothes he had been wearing to ensure there was no evidence which could be linked to him. He relived the murder as he watched his clothing burn. He then put his sunglasses back on and left the rooftop, while making plans for how to deal with the situation.

Seeking to clear his conscience over killing his best friend, Shades then visited Janis Jones, Comanche's mother, while they discussed how he and Comanche had met and become friends while they were young children. Jones then accused Shades of being a bad liar and insisted that his claim that Comanche died due to a corrupt Police Officer was untrue, claiming that Comanche was a soldier and would have never snitched. Just as Shades began to tell Jones what had happened, he was then unexpectedly called up by Sugar as Shades apologized before stepping away to answer the phone call.

Shades was then informed by Sugar that Mariah Dillard had been attacked by Bushmaster the night before as he had attempted to kill her, leading to her Brownstone being burned down before she was saved by Luke Cage. Preparing to go and see to Dillard, Shades had turned to Jones and noted that she was the only person who might be grieving as much as he was, noting that Romeo was also dead and promised that Comanche would have wanted him to take care of his mother, putting some money on the table before walking out, as he noted that Jones needed the money despite not wanting it.[5]

Questioned by Misty Knight

"I didn't say I killed anybody."
"Then you did it for Mariah. She's not worth it. She's the one I want. Not you. Make a deal. Save yourself."
"I'm not saying one more word until I get another lawyer."
―Shades and Misty Knight[src]

Having been informed that Mariah Dillard was being questioned while at the 29th Precinct Police Station, Shades went to collect her, while also bringing her lawyer Benjamin Donovan with him, as Donovan was able to get Dillard released almost immediately by noting how she had been the victim of an attack who had offered full cooperation, and that Knight did not have anything to charge her with and therefore Dillard had every right to leave their Precinct. However Nandi Tyler then entered and gave Knight new information, allowing Knight to force Shades to answer questions due to his car being discovered to be in the vicinity of the crime scene.

Shades was then led inside the interrogation room where Knight had explained how she believed Tom Ridenhour and Comanche had both died, noting that while Ridenhour had been surprised by being shot by Comanche, while the concept that Ridenhour raising his gun for two final shots to kill Comanche seemed unlikely, noting that the final shot was from above and was likely fired by somebody else who was too emotional to think things through fully. Donovan however merely applauded what he called an outlandish story, working hard to deny that Shades was ever anywhere near the crime scene.

As Donovan was forced to leave to answer a phonecall, Shades was left with Knight who questioned if he ever got tired of this situation, to which Shades said he could ask her the same question. However Donovan then returned inside the room and informed Shades that he was no longer representing him before leaving the room, as Shades struggled to understand the reason for Donovan walking out. Knight then noted that Dillard would throw him under the bus and that with his record, Shades would undoubtedly be sent straight into Seagate Penitentiary, which had left Shades considerably more nervous.

While in their interrogation room, Shades told Knight how he gained his nickname as he and Comanche had gone to Times Square and Shades stole some sunglasses which he wore for an entire year. As Shades insisted that his brother had died the previous evening and insisted Knight could not understand this, while Knight asked him to explain what Comanche did to deserve to die. Discussing his career, it was noted how Shades and Comanche had both been members of the Rivals, as Knight noted how they ran with Romeo before Shades met Zip while working for Cottonmouth and Zip was now dead.

Seeking to turn the interrogation around, Shades compared his work to what Rafael Scarfe had been involved with, although Knight still insisted that Scarfe was emotional following his son's death which lead him down a dark path. Showing him the crime scene photos of Comanche's corpse, Knight asked why he had killed his friend for Dillard, although Shades insisted he had not killed anybody. Knight told Shades that Dillard was her real target, advising him to make a deal as Dillard would soon betray him, but Shades had refused to say another word until he got another lawyer to replace Donovan.

However the interrogation was interrupted by Nandi Tyler who had pulled Knight outside, leaving Shades alone in the room. Before long Knight returned and informed Shades that he was free to leave. As Shades prepared to leave however, Knight had asked for one more question, promising this was not regarding Comanche's murder, but instead questioned why Dillard would have abandoned him, noting that Benjamin Donovan would never have dropped him as his client without Dillard's permission. Despite knowing Knight was right about this, Shades did up his jacket and walked out of the precinct.[5]

Reunion with Mariah Dillard

"Look at me. The second you pushed Cornell through that window, you became a gangster. And this ain't how gangsters do."
"How do gangsters do?"
"They adapt. They boogie. Bushmaster thinks he's won. He's cocky. He'll let his guard down, and that's when we come at what he loves. The same as he did for us. We can do this. Together."
―Shades and Mariah Dillard[src]

Shades reuninited with Mariah Dillard as she was looking through the burnt out wreakage of her Brownstone. Upon seeing him, Dillard claimed that she was not happy to see Shades, also claiming that the entire situation was due to him bringing Comanche into their lives, as she ignored Shades' explanations and even accused him of being a snitch, noting how he killed both Tom Ridenhour and Comanche, allowing him to take control of the narrative, as Dillard mockingly searched for a wire on Shades' chest.

However Shades accused Dillard of abandoning him, pointing to how she had pulled Benjamin Donovan as his lawyer, leaving Shades in a difficult situation, however Dillard then explained that Donovan had walked on his own due to them losing all of their own money. Shades furiously accused Dillard of causing the situation, reminding her that back within Harlem's Paradise he had warned her not to sell all the gun business but she had refused to listen to him, noting this is what had lead straight to Bushmaster's arrival while she could have simply sold her Jean-Michel Basquiat painting instead for the profit.

Clearly distraught by her situation, Dillard began hitting Shades as he questioned if she was scared, to which Dillard claimed that she was as she was being targeted by Bushmaster as well as Luke Cage and the entire New York City Police Department. Shades then laughed at Dillard's claims that her career was now over, noting that when she had pushed Cottonmouth out of his window she became a gangster, noting that Bushmaster was now cocky and they should wait for the perfect time to strike back against him. Dillard kissed Shades before leaving, as Shades then found her gun within the wreckage.[5]

Kidnapping of Anansi

"I've got you. Always."
"I'm done playing by the rules. Denying who I really am. No more. I am who I am. And I want what's mine."
"I have something for you. Family first, right?"
―Shades and Mariah Dillard[src]

Seeking to gain an advantage over Bushmaster, Shades had gone to have a drink at Gwen's, where he knew that Bushmaster had family and friends who he deeply cared about. While he was still sat down by himself, Shades got a phone call from Mariah Dillard, which he chose not to answer as she was using another phone and he did not recognise the number, instead accepted Ingrid Mackintosh's offer to bring him a new drink as he continued to look over Gwen's to find the perfect target in order to get an advantage over Bushmaster.

As the night wore on, Shades learned that Dillard had been attacked by Bushmaster and went out to find her, eventually coming across Dillard while she walked across the outskirts of Harlem alone, armed with a gun she had taken from the Stylers. Dillard expressed her relief at being found by Shades before then telling him that she wanted to regain her power from Bushmaster. Hearing this, Shades opened the trunk of his car and revealed the kidnapped Anansi, the only uncle of Bushmaster, while Shades recited Mama Mabel's favourite saying of Family First before shutting the trunk on the terrified Anansi.[22]

Return to Harlem's Paradise

"What about the police?"
"What about them? They'll roll around in litigation for years and still lose. Until then, your money is yours. Your club. Everything. I hope this settles matters between us."
―Shades and Benjamin Donovan[src]

Once all of their money had seemingly been returned back to them, Shades and Mariah Dillard returned back into Harlem's Paradise and found the remains of Bushmaster's experiments on Nightshade. The pair were joined by Benjamin Donovan who then explained that their money had been returned to them due to Piranha Jones being forced to hand it all over while being kidnapped and threatened with torture by the Stylers. Donovan then attempted to insist that he had also gone the extra mile in order to protect his clients' interests.

Shades and Dillard remained unsure about this explanation however as Donovan had walked out on both Shades and Dillard when there appeared to be no money left to pay him for his legal services. While Shades then questioned what would happen with the New York City Police Department, Donovan insisted that they would not be able to challenge them and had asked if everything was back to normal with them. Shades then watched as Dillard warned Donovan that he still owed them while grabbing his crotch tightly to cause him pain as his punishment for having turned against them for his own profit.

Before Donovan then walked out, with Dillard mockingly questioning why people had called him "Big Ben". Shades and Dillard were then left alone in the club as she insisted that they call up all their criminal contacts to regain power, noting that she wanted Bushmaster's head on a platter. Shades promised that he would get this done, as he had noted that all they needed to do now was to find where Bushmaster was hiding and then they could kill him. Shades and Dillard had then embraced each other to celebrate getting their all money and power back in the wake of all of Bushmaster's attacks against them.

Shades soon found Dillard standing on the Paradise's balcony as she claimed to be thinking about Mama Mabel and Cottonmouth and all the other members of her family who had stood in that same position throughout the years. Shades then handed Dillard her gun which he had found within the wreckage of her Brownstone, noting that he had to be sure he could still trust her again before giving it back to her. Dillard then explained that the gun was originally given over to Mama Mabel from Buggy Stokes before Mabel gave it to Cottonmouth, and since Cottonmouth was death it now belonged to Dillard.[23]

Iron Fist's Arrival

"Luke Cage is here, with Danny Rand."
"I'm going out there."
"Why?"
"So they won't come upstairs."
―Shades and Mariah Dillard[src]

Both Shades and Sugar then brought the kidnapped Anansi into the office of Mariah Dillard for her to question him in her attempt to bring down the Stylers, although Anansi had remained defiant and claimed Dillard was a fearful woman. However their questioning was briefly halted when Shades had noticed that Luke Cage had walked into the building, accompanied by Danny Rand, while Dillard agreed to greet them in order to stop them from coming upstairs and discovering the kidnapped Anansi who was currently sat in her office.

Shades joined Dillard as she stepped onto her balcony to confront Cage, who explained he was looking for Bushmaster, Shades still remained silent while Dillard then warned that she intended to kill Bushmaster for targeting her family, while ignoring Cage's questions about where Tilda Johnson currently was. Dillard asked after James Lucas before acknowledging Rand, offering him a drink which Rand refused. Shades still remained silent as Cage and Dillard had both warned they would soon be targeting Bushmaster and would also be putting all of Harlem at risk before Cage and Rand walked out.

With Cage and Rand gone, Shades and Dillard returned to speak with the captured Anansi, who still refused to give up Bushmaster, insisting there was nothing they could do that would make him break. Dillard then ordered Shades to untie Anansi while she offered him some Bushmaster Rum which he refused. Shades then listened as Dillard explained how Buggy Stokes stole Quincy McIver's designs for the Rum allowing the Stokes to make a massive profit, while she explained how her family had fought to gain Harlem's Paradise and had thrown the McIver family under the bus to build their power.

While Dillard and Anansi discussed the history of Jamaica and how it's people had been enslaved, Anansi noted how his family wanted to fight for freedom, only to be abandoned by the Stokes. As Anansi threatened Dillard, Shades drew his gun to force him into silence while Anansi claimed that he had initially been against Bushmaster's intention to punish Dillard for her family's crimes against their family, but now had changed his mind and felt that Dillad deserved to burn for her crimes. Dillard asked one more time where Bushmaster was, but Anansi still refused to give him up to Dillard to destroy him.[23]

Turning Snitch

Massacre at Gwen's

"This is not what we talked about."
"We're sending a message. Just like we said."
―Shades and Mariah Dillard[src]

Shades and Mariah Dillard then took the captured Anansi down the streets of Harlem, where Shades was informed that the Stylers' Grow House had just been burnt down to the ground, most likely due to all the vigilante actions of Luke Cage and Danny Rand. Upon hearing this, Dillard noted that Cage and Rand were doing their dirty work for them, and now was the perfect time for them to finally strike back against Bushmaster, as Shades had assumed she meant to send his family an ultimatum in order to end their conflict against Bushmaster once and for all.

Arriving at Gwen's, one of Dillard's henchmen shot out the cameras before Dillard and Shades stepped inside, with guns aimed at all of the terrified customers inside the restaurant. Shades watched on as Dillard found Stephanie Miller, and realised it was Miller who had told Bushmaster all about Piranha Jones and caused the entire situation. Although Miller begged for her life, Dillard gave one of her men the order as Miller was then shot through the head, before another man attempted to escape and was also shot and killed. Shades looked at the situation in horror before personally killing another man.

This resulted in several more gunshots as the customers and workers inside Gwen's were all shot down, including Ingrid Mackintosh. Once the shooting stopped, Dillard then had Anansi's mask removed so he could look over his dead friends and family, while Shades went over to Dillard and noted this was not what they planned, although Dillard insisted that they were sending her message to Bushmaster. Shades looked on in horror as Dillard then had Anansi covered in Bushmaster Rum and set on fire right before them, as Anansi had screamed while painfully burning alive until Dillard finally shot and killed him.

As Anansi's corpse had continued burning, Dillard told Shades that now his family were dead, Bushmaster would be forced to come to them, while Dillard insisted that Anansi had been wrong and she was nobody's slave. They both then returned to Harlem's Paradise where Dillard removed Bushmaster's artwork and replaced it with the poster of Notorious B.I.G. which had been owned by Cottonmouth. Shades watched as Dillard enjoyed Faith Evans and Jadakiss' performance while drinking some champaign before Shades had walked out of the building, utterly disgusted by Dillard's recent violent actions.[23]

Dillard's Protection

"You think that this plastic bullshit is gonna prevent that man from coming to get you after what you did last night?"
"What we did. When the time is right, we will pop him in his bumbaclaat ass once and for all. We're building this safe room for a reason, Hernan. Bushmaster's coming."
―Shades and Mariah Dillard[src]

With the threat of Bushmaster still strong, Shades had joined Mariah Dillard as they went for a tour around their new security basement at Harlem's Paradise. Shades watched on while Dillard and Alex Wesley then delighted at the new facility and the technology which had been provided to them by Atreus Plastics, including a hand scanner which ensured that only they could be granted access through their large steel door which was designed to protect against nuclear attacks, while Wesley focused much of his attention on deciding where they should place their artworks.

Despite all of Dillard and Wesley's enthusiasm, Shades had remained unconvinced that these protections they had just put in place would actually keep them safe from Bushmaster, following the Massacre at Gwen's, as he knew Bushmaster would soon furiously seek out his revenge. Dillard however still remained confident despite all Shades' warnings, promising that she knew that Bushmaster would still be coming there for his revenge soon, and she wanted to be ready so they could finally kill him, although Shades had still remained highly skeptical that they would be able to stop Bushmaster.

Shades had later returned inside Dillard's office where he then found her watching Misty Knight and Priscilla Ridley giving a statement on the news. Shades was then informed that there was actually one survivor from their recent massacre, Ingrid Mackintosh, who was the wife of Anansi. Dillard had immediately ordered Shades to hunt down and kill Mackintosh, although Shades insisted that if Mackintosh had indeed survived an incident as horrific as their massacre, then there was no way that she would actually make a statement to the police about it and would instead be focused on making her escape.

Taking a seat, Shades demanded that Dillard tell him what had made her commit such a horrific Act of Violence, to which Dillard noted that it was Bushmaster who had first targeted her. While Dillard noted that Wesley had already sent Tony and Ricky to track down Mackintosh, although Shades was offended that Dillard promoted Wesley without conferring with him first, which Dillard simply dismissed. Dillard then reminded Shades of all their promises to make big moves together, telling her to focus on being the criminal Shades rather than the man Hernan, telling him to take care of their business for them.[24]

Attack on Ingrid Mackintosh

Shades and Ingrid

Shades finds and threatens Ingrid Mackintosh

"Shut up! Close your eyes! Close your eyes."
"Oh, my God! Have mercy. Mercy. Please have mercy. Please don't shoot me. Please, please, don't shoot me."
―Shades and Ingrid Mackintosh[src]

Following his orders, Shades soon tracked Ingrid Mackintosh down to the Clinica Sonando where Luke Cage was attempting to get her to safety. While Cage was looking for a way to get Mackintosh to safety, Shades was able to grab her and pulled her back inside the building, where he locked her inside one of the rooms and held his gun to her head, ordering her to be quiet as he prepared to execute her, only for Mackintosh to then note that she had remembered Shades' face.

Still haunted by the memories of the Massacre at Gwen's which he deemed to be a needless act of violence, Shades demanded that Mackintosh close her eyes as he kept his gun aimed at her. However Shades continued recalling Stephanie Miller being shot in the head and Anansi's screams as he was burned alive by Mariah Dillard. As Mackintosh continued begging for her life, Shades questioned with himself whether or not to pull the trigger, remembering Comanche's death, before he finally put his gun away and then walked out of the building, leaving Mackintosh to be found and saved by Cage.[24]

Confronting Mariah Dillard

"You lost your heart, Mariah. It was the best part of you. I saw your face when that old man was burning. You never even blinked."
"I'm still all heart, my bae. Best believe. But I am done babysitting. You said, your first is always the hardest, and then it gets easier. You were correct, you were right there for me Hernan."
―Shades and Mariah Dillard[src]

Shades returned into Harlem's Paradise where he then found Mariah Dillard drinking and flirting with Alex Wesley. Annoyed at this, Shades ordered Wesley to leave, and when Dillard then insisted that only she could tell Wesley when he could leave and not him, Shades had then responded by drawing his gun as Wesley quickly got out. Dillard had asked if Shades was jealous, which he insisted that he was not, claiming it was like he was seeing Dillard for the first time.

Telling her that there were rules to their criminal underworld, Shades noted that Dillard broke these rules by committing the Massacre at Gwen's in which innocent people had been killed, although Dillard noted that Shades had no problem killing Candace Miller despite her innocence, although Shades argued that Miller broke the rules when she snitched. Dillard began mocking Shades, questioning if he had become a vegan, noting that she had loved him being the predator. Dillard asked if Ingrid Mackintosh was dead, but instead Shades had instead informed Dillard that he was done with her business.

While Shades had noted that they should have used Anansi for their leverage instead of killing all the people, Dillard argued that Shades knew what was coming when he had scouted out Gwen's, noting it was Bushmaster who was instead to blame for everything that had happened. Shades told Dillard that she had lost her heart which was the best part of her, commenting on how he had seen her face while Anansi was screaming in agony while he was being burned alive, noting that Dillard never blinked. Dillard however noted that Shades himself had once told her that the first kill was the hardest.

Dillard recalled the day when she murdered Cottonmouth before she then found Shades coming to her aid, as Dillard seductively touched Shades' skin and noted how when she had been scared out of her life, Shades come to her and protected her. Dillard also noted that if she had not been covered in Cottonmouth's blood she would have had sex with him immediately. When Dillard noted that Shades knew what she was and had wanted it, Shades had pulled her hands away from his face and called Dillard a crazy arse bitch before preparing to then walk out of the building and finally leave Dillard behind.

Furious at seeing him walking away from her, Dillard claimed Shades had been off kilter ever since Comanche had died. As he stopped in his tracks, Dillard began mocking Shades by noting how Comanche had often given her dirty looks before she asked if they had had sex while in Seagate Penitentiary together. Dillard claimed that a woman always knew whoever her man had slept with, claiming that she only wished she had been the one who had killed him, claiming that if she was the one who fired the gun then she would have shot Comanche twice in the gut to ensure that he bled out slowly and painfully.

This last comment threw Shades into a blind rage as he had grabbed ahold of Dillard and threw her down onto her desk, tightening his grip around her throat as Dillard struggled to break free while desperately trying to breath. However, despite wanting her dead for her actions and comments against Comanche, Shades instead loosened his grip and told Dillard that she was not even worth the effort it would take to strangle her to death. As Shades walked away, Dillard sat back up and desperately demanded that he come back, insisting that he just could not simply walk away from her, as Shades ignored her.[24]

Police Statement

Luge-cage-seasontwoimage-04

Shades meeting with Detective Misty Knight

"I should have tossed that gun. But Mariah was obsessed with it."
"We need that gun."
"Then get a warrant and go get it from her. Because I've given you everything. I'm done."
―Shades and Misty Knight[src]

Knowing that Mariah Dillard's recent actions were now putting the innocent lives in danger all across New York City, Shades made the decision to become a snitch betray her in order to ensure that no other innocent lives were lost in the crossfire of her wars. Heading over to the 29th Precinct Police Station, Shades went straight over to Detective Misty Knight who went to draw her gun at him. Shades however insisted that he was not there to cause any trouble and instead explained his intention to help Knight bring down Dillard, offering up his wrists so Knight could put him in handcuffs.[24]

Waiting for the interrogation to begin, Shades was put inside one of the interrogation room where he took his nap on the table, knowing that he would be kept waiting and wanting to maintain his strength and energy for when the questioning would begin. While Shades was sleeping, Deputy Chief Priscilla Ridley spoke with Detective Knight about what Shades could provide them into their investigation, with Knight arguing that the risk of Shades be able to walk free following his many crimes would be worth while if he helped them all to finally bring down Dillard's criminal empire and put her behind bars.

With their interrogation about to begin, Shades was then briefed by Assistant United States Attorney Colin Dunbar over how if he lied or left out valuable information, then he would be charged for all of the crimes he confessed to, with Shades insisting that this was not his first rodeo. Having signed the paperwork and given his details for the record, Shades explained that while locked in Seagate Penitentiary, both he and Comanche were paid by Albert Rackham to attack and beat down their fellow inmate, Carl Lucas, explaining Lucas gained powers and became Luke Cage upon escaping from the prison.

As Shades' explanation of how he was closely connected to Dillard continued, he was asked by Knight about the Attack on Pop's Barber Shop, as Shades had then calmly explained that Tone, who had been working for Cottonmouth had been reckless and shot up the place as soon as he learned Chico Diaz was there, despite Shades attempting to stop him. As Shades had then noted how Cage protected Lonnie Wilson from the gunfire, Shades' lawyer, Patricia Wilson, was utterly horrified as she noted that Lonnie was her son and insisted that she had to leave Shades' case, although Shades was unfazed.

Shades went on to explain the day that he had found Dillard standing over Cottonmouth while she was beating him to death, noting that he was on his was to kill Cottonmouth himself and was proud of her. As Dunbar asked if Candace Miller also witnessed the murder, Shades explained how they paid her fifty thousand dollars to say Cage killed Cottonmouth, insisting that this would have worked out perfectly if Cage had not defeated Diamondback while Miller went to the police, confessing to murdering Miller under Dillard's orders, and explaining in great detail how he had tricked Miller before shooting her.

Knight noted that the gun that had killed Miller was the same one that was used to kill Anansi, with Shades insisting that Dillard was the one who shot Anansi after she had covered him in Bushmaster Rum and set him on fire while Shades had watched. While Shades recalled the details of the Massacre at Gwen's and the screams of agony from Anansi, he began to feel sick and insisted that Knight collect him a glass of water. Once Knight returned, she demanded to know what had happened to Tom Ridenhour, as Shades explained that Comanche was the one who had murdered Ridenhour.

With Knight pressing for details, Shades had explained how he knew there was a snitch as Ridenhour had mentioned to Dillard about Tone being thrown off the roof, which only a few people knew about and only Turk Barrett and Comanche being their possible suspects. He then went into detail about the Assassination of Tom Ridenhour and how he had shot and killed Comanche with Ridenhour's gun to try and make it seem that Ridenhour had murdered Comanche during the exchange. Knight had demanded that Shades hand over the gun that killed Miller, Anansi and Pistol Pete to bring Dillard to justice.

Despite Knight insisting that they needed to get the gun to convict Dillard, Shades told her to get a warrant as he was done with talking, however he was then interrupted as Janis Jones entered the room, much to Shades' horror as he realised she had heard him explaining how he killed her son. As Shades tried to explain himself, Jones did not say a word and spat in his face before walking out. Knight then told Shades to sit back down and informed him that if they did not get the gun, then Shades' deal would fall apart and he alone would be taken to prison for everything he had just confessed to.[3]

Infiltration into Harlem's Paradise

"He's here. Give me the gun and get behind me. I need you to listen to me. We got one shot at this dude. Now!"
"Shit! Where the hell is Luke Cage?"
―Shades and Mariah Dillard[src]

Having agreed to the New York City Police Department's plan for him to wear a wire, Shades then returned to Harlem's Paradise during a party they were hosting. Shades walked through the crowds of party goings and had gone to meet with Mariah Dillard, who was sat in her usual spot and enjoying the music. Having established that he was unarmed, Dillard allowed Shades to sit with her as she demanded that he removed his glasses, claiming that she always liked his eyes before questioning if he had been crying, although Shades had instead claimed it was his allergies as he was allergic to bullshit.

As Dillard had questioned why he was there, Shades claimed that he wanted her back, plain and simple, although Dillard still noted that nothing was ever simple with him. Shades apologised for his recent outburst and asked if they could talk about it in her office, although Dillard insisted that they should first enjoy the music of KRS-One that she had paid for. Having seen Luke Cage in the crowd, Shades and Dillard discussed what had happened as she asked for an apology as Shades questioned Dillard on her deal with Hai-Qing Yang the leader of the Yangsi Gonshi, but Dillard just told him to slow down.

With KRS-One's performance now complete, Dillard had told Shades that she wanted to speak with him in their basement alone. Shades and Dillard then walked downstairs together in silence as she locked the door to the safe-room behind them as Shades silently questioned what was about to happen as he was unsure of what Dillard was now aware of. Stepping close to her, Shades suggested that perhaps they could get back to the way things were and kissed Dillard. However she instead drew her revolver and held it to Shades' stomach, calmly telling him that she did not believe that would be possible.

Dillard then opened Shades' shirt and found the wire which he was wearing, as she called him a goddamn snitch and ordered him to sit down while still aiming her gun at him. However before Dillard could make a decision on how to deal with him, Shades then saw on their security cameras that Bushmaster had arrived at Harlem's Paradise and was furiously attacking their security teams as he made his way towards them, with only Cage and Detective Misty Knight able to slow him down. As Bushmaster was able to take down Cage, he then reached the security door and started furiously pounding on it.

As Bushmaster's anger and enhanced strength then allowed him to damage the door, Shades demanded that Dillard give him the gun and get behind him, in his final attempt at killing Bushmaster with a desperate final shot. Dillard did as was instructed, questioning where Cage was, was Shades calmed himself and took careful aim at the doorway, waiting for Bushmaster to break inside so he could shoot him in the head. Finally Bushmaster kicked down the door as Shades fired a bullet at his eyeball, which Bushmaster was just able to avoid before disarming Shades and throwing him across the room.

However before Bushmaster could assassinate Dillard, Cage charged into the room along with Knight and attacked him, with Knight using her Prosthetic Arm to gain the advantage during their fight. Despite the team up of Cage and Knight, Bushmaster still proved himself to be a formidable enemy since he was able to subdue them both and continued making his way towards Dillard, with Shades getting to his feet and desperately trying to keep him away by fighting against him, only for Bushmaster to then easily take down Shades due to all of his considerable strength as he kneed Shades in the face.

While Cage stepped back into the fight in order to keep Bushmaster away from Dillard, Shades had then grabbed ahold of Dillard's gun and attempted to shoot at Bushmaster again, however Bushmaster saw the gunshots coming and used Cage's unbreakable skin as a shield before kicking Shades through a wall. While Shades was able to continue fighting following this strike, Bushmaster's attempts to crush Dillard's skull were stopped when Cage beat him down and came close to breaking his neck. Cage however refused to commit murder and let Bushmaster escape, having failed to kill Dillard.

In the aftermath of their skirmish, Shades grabbed Dillard's gun and had then followed the group as they searched for Bushmaster, with Deputy Chief Priscilla Ridley confirming Bushmaster had managed to get away from them. Shades however then handed Detective Knight the gun as she had then arrested Dillard for the murders of Candace Miller and Cottonmouth as well as the Massacre at Gwen's. Shades then watched as Dillard mocked him while being taken into custody, calling Shades a Goddamn Gutter Gangster Lowlife before Shades himself was then allowed to walk free from Harlem's Paradise.[3]

Aiding Luke Cage

"I don't like you, Carl. I never have, I never will. But you are the only person that can make this right. He came back for his birthright. He will always be a threat from the shadows. We just talked about her. There needs to be a third candidate. Someone who loves Harlem. Someone who wants to shake things up. Someone who wants to flip the system on its head."
―Shades to Luke Cage[src]

With Mariah Dillard under arrest, Shades had watched her trial as she was being defended by Benjamin Donovan against Blake Tower in the court of law. While Donovan was making his case that Tower was grandstanding during the trial, Shades had noticed that Rosalie Carbone entered their court room. Shades had watched on as Dillard's trial fell apart and she was then sent into Ryker's Island, before Dillard warned that Harlem would now come under threat without her being in charge of the crime there.

As Dillard had predicted, Harlem soon became a warzone as the rival criminal gangs fought to gain control in the wake of the Stokes losing their power on the area, resulting in many deaths which included Eric Hong while several citizens were put in harms way as the violence continued which the New York City Police Department could still not get control over. While walking through New York City, Shades went to visit Cuchifritos where his mother had worked while he was a kid, only to witness the shop's owner, Hector, being robbed and brutally struck over the head, resulting in him then dying in hosptial.

Seeking to end all of the violence however he could before any other innocent people lost their lives, Shades went to Pop's Barber Shop, where he had found Luke Cage while he was still discussing who had been causing all the violence and if this was the Stylers who were the ones responsible or perhaps Anibal Izqueda, as Shades told Cage that he still did not know what he was talking about. Shades began explaining how all of the various criminal empires worked throughout Harlem, also questioning if Cage understood who would really want to take over Dillard's criminal empire now she was in Ryker's.

Shades explained that Carbone was the one who could cause this mass violence and keep the Yangsi Gonshi out of line, however Cage suggested that Shades was merely making a bid to take control for himself now that Dillard was locked up in Ryker's. Shades however noted that ever since he had turned snitch against the Stokes Crime Family, his career as a criminal was over and now he wanted to help Cage win the crime war, explaining how he had witnessed the crime getting out of hand, resulting in his friend Hector being killed from a head wound following the sudden robbery in his corner shop.

While Shades had noted that the rules were being broken, Cage told him that Shades had started that when he and Tone and fired into the corner shop and murdered Pop, although Shades still insisted that Tone was responsible for that and not him. Shades then explained that the Carbone Crime Family wanted to take over and now had the perfect chance now that Dillard was away, insisting that while he did not like Cage ever since they met at Seagate Prison, Shades had still known that Cage was the only one who could put the situation right again and stand even the slightest chance at restoring the peace.

To prove his point, Shades produced a picture of Bushmaster, which had shocked Dave Griffith as he questioned if Shades had touched Cage's things. Shades ignored Griffith and had then explained that Bushmaster would always be a threat, and Carbone was just starting in her quest to take over Harlem, suggesting that there needed to be a third candidate for taking over the crime in Harlem, as Shades then noted that it should be someone like Cage who really loved the area. Once Shades finished making his point to him, Cage told him that he was both done on the streets and then told him to get out.[25]

Goodbye to Dillard

"You were the one who sold your soul. And for what? The legacy of some some last name that you hate? All you had to do was give me the club, like I asked you. Or sell that that goddamn painting. And none of this would have happened. We would have been out there, doing our thing. I really am done with all this shit, and I have you to thank for that."
―Shades to Mariah Dillard[src]

While the violence continued throughout Harlem, Shades had soon become completely paranoid as he saw several people who had previously worked at Harlem's Paradise being assassinated seemingly under the orders of Mariah Dillard to protect herself. While Shades had been walking alone down New York City, he was suddenly ambushed by a man out of the shadows, however as Shades had expected this to happen to him eventually, as he was still able to defend himself from his would be attacker.

Throwing the assassin to the ground, Shades fired two shots into the man's shoulders, gravely wounding him, as Shades then demanded the man handed over his phone, and when the wounded man had handed the phone over, Shades fired a third shot into his chest and killed him. Using the phone to contact whoever had just hired that assassin, Shades spoke to Benjamin Donovan, telling him that the assassination attempt was a nice try and demanded that he be put on the visitors list at Ryker's Island under a different name so that he could finally speak with Dillard one on one and say goodbye.

Arriving at Ryker's, Shades came face to face with Dillard, mockingly telling her that there was nothing that she could do to him from inside the prison, however he noted that there was still a lot that he could do to her. Dillard told Shades that she had been hurt when he turned snitch for the New York City Police Department and questioned if Shades had ever actually loved her, to which Shades claimed that he still loved her, as Dillard asked if he loved Comanche more. Shades then told Dillard that she had never understood how being locked up inside Seagate Prison felt real until you were finally set free.

Shades had insisted that he was devoted to Dillard, something which Comanche would have eventually come to understand, allowing him and Dillard to rule Harlem together. Shades noted how Dillard how spoken to him about being a good person and moving away from the life of a gangster, however it was Dillard who had sold her soul for the legacy of the Stokes Crime Family which she hated. Shades reminded her that could have simply sold Harlem's Paradise to him or gotten rid of her beloved Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, and neither of them would have been put in their current situations.

Noting that he was finally done with his life of crime, Shades said that he had Dillard to thank for that as he got up and prepared to walk out. However, Dillard begged Shades not to leave her, noting that she had already been forced to murder Kalinda Potter and was afraid she would have to do it again. Shades gave Dillard some advice, telling her that it came from one gangster to another, that she would spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder, just waiting for another attack. Shades told Dillard that she was a natural at the life before he finally walked away, ignoring Dillard's pleas for him to stay.[25]

Return to Prison

"Hernan Alvarez. You are under arrest for the murder of Candace Miller and Darius "Comanche" Jones."
"Bullshit. I have a deal."
"Now you see, you alienated your lawyer before she could explain the fine print. Your proffer was contingent upon the successful conviction of Mariah Dillard. And when she died, your deal died."
Misty Knight and Shades[src]

With Mariah Dillard still being held in Ryker's Island and awaiting for trial and conviction for all her many crimes, Shades had continued to try and find his place in the world following his exit from his criminal career following him turning snitch. Sitting down in New York City, Shades looked at a picture of himself alongside Comanche and Romeo when they had posed together while a part of the Rivals, as Shades had remembered his life before meeting Dillard and everything subsequently falling apart around him.

While sat alone in a cafe, Shades had read a New York Bulletin article where he had learned that Dillard had died in prison, following being poisoned, having died in Luke Cage's arms when he had come there to visit her. While Shades read the article and mourned the death of his former love, he was joined by Detective Misty Knight who calmly informed Shades that he was being put under arrest for the murders of Candace Miller and Comanche. However Shades had insisted that he had made a deal to protect himself from being arrested when he had previously turned snitch in order to get Dillard arrested.

While some more officers from the New York City Police Department, including Mark Bailey had then entered the cafe, Knight explained that Shades had sent Patricia Wilson out of the interrogation room before she could explain that his deal would only work if Dillard was successfully convicted on her crimes, and now she was dead, his deal had fallen apart. Knight also explained that they had received a ledger containing Shades' dealings with Atreus Plastics and the gun sales he made. Shades laughed, calling Dillard a crazy bitch, before being handcuffed by Bailey and taken back into custody.[25]

Personality

"There's a code of the streets. Actual rules to this shit. Innocent people are dead, Mariah. You broke the rules."
―Shades to Black Mariah[src]

Shades tends to be relaxed and dissociated to stressful situations in which others would usually break down or express their emotions, yet always displaying a high level of confidence and discipline in his actions. He is aware that his place in the food chain of Harlem as liaison to the crime lords makes him a difficult person to intimidate, except by Diamondback himself. Shades calm demeanor almost never falters; even in police custody where it seemed certain he will be arrested, he only sarcastically asks for a lawyer and keeps his poise, dignity, and reservation. His highly controlled attitude is very antagonistic towards most criminals who are usually impulsive, such as Tone, Diamondback and Cottonmouth, and he encourages others to behave more like him if they want to survive longer. Despite being a ruthless criminal and hitman, Shades is not completely without morality; in fact, he considers some morality to be important for pragmatic reasons. He believes organized crime should be handled with discipline, patience, and respect, and should only use extreme levels of violence if the situation calls for it. He was prepared to wait until Chico Diaz had left Pop's Barber Shop so no one else would be killed instead and later expressed his sincere apologies for Pop's death to Cottonmouth. Shades takes the criminal code of honor to heart and is willing to punish anyone who breaks it, including his best friend and old lover Comanche for his betrayal. He also seemed to care about Mariah Dillard such as covering up killing her cousin and was a very vital part into ushering Dillard into her criminal roots, but even he was appalled by Mariah’s decision to massacre Bushmaster’s entire family, including the children.

Abilities

"The secret to every great lie is it has to run parallel to the truth."
―Shades[src]
  • Master Manipulator: Shades is a highly skilled manipulator, Starting as merely one of Cottonmouth's thugs, Shades was able to maneuver both himself and Mariah Dillard into becoming the ruling crime lords after successfully removing Cottonmouth and Diamondback whilst also manipulating Dillard into embracing her criminal nature.
  • Expert Combatant: Shades is shown to be skilled in hand-to-hand combat, though not to the level of trained individuals like Luke Cage. When attacked in an elevator by Diamondback's thugs, Shades was able to fight them off and kill all of them. He was even able to briefly keep up against the highly powered Bushmaster before knocked down. On several occasions Shades was able to swiftly disarm gunmen and overpower them.
  • Expert Marksman: Shades is highly skilled in the use of firearms. He is very accurate, as he was able to shoot Arturo Rey III directly in the forehead. When confronted by Bushmaster he was able to shoot a bullet straight at his left eye that would have killed him had it not had been for his inhuman speed that allowed Bushmaster to dodge the shot.

Equipment

Weapons

This section requires expansion
"First rule of business? Never sell the good shit."
―Shades to Comanche[src]
  • Kimber Warrior: Shades carried this handgun as his personal sidearm which he took on almost all of his missions, taking it while chasing Misty Knight inside Harlem's Paradise during a hostage situation. He eventually found Knight and threatened her with the gun, but Claire Temple managed to disarm him and both of them knocked him out.
  • SIG-Sauer GSR: Shades took this gun from one of the men that accompanied Zip when he tried to kill him under Diamondback's orders. While Zip tried to choke him, Shades managed to take the gun and quickly killed the two men, getting free and threatening Zip with it. Shades took Zip to the rooftop, where he used the gun to execute him as he revealed that he followed Diamondback orders.
LCS2 Bushmaster Infiltrating Mariah's Shelter

Shades attempting to shoot at Bushmaster

  • Smith & Wesson Model 64: Shades borrowed this .38 pearl-handed revolver from Dillard to execute Candace Miller by shooting her in the head in order to stop her leaking damning information. During the Infiltration into Harlem's Paradise, Shades then took the revolver away from Dillard, who was threatening him with it, and attempted to kill Bushmaster, only to miss his first shot and find his other shots simply caused no damage to Bushmaster's skin. Shades then handed the gun over to Detective Misty Knight as evidence, resulting in Dillard finally being arrested for her many crimes.
  • Walther Creed: Shades began using this pistol after Cage was sent to prison. He used it to execute Arturo Rey III after the latter disrespected Mariah.
  • Glock 19: Upon discovering Comanche shooting and killing Tom Ridenhour, Shades took Ridenhour's gun and then used it to shoot Comanche in the stomach, to make it appear that Ridenhour himself had shot Comanche. However, as Shades was emotional having discovered his friend's shocking betrayal of him, he then fatally shot Comanche again in the chest and kill him.

Facilities

"Shades. When'd you come home?"
"Ooh, a while ago. Seagate wasn't shit."
Cottonmouth and Shades[src]

Relationships

Family

  • Mother
  • Cousin

Allies

Enemies

Appearances

Appearances for Hernan Alvarez

In chronological order:

Trivia

  • In the comics, Shades was a member of the Rivals, the same Harlem gang as Carl Lucas, Willis Stryker and Comanche. Once he broke out of prison, he became a criminal for hire until he eventually reformed and became a community organizer in Hell's Kitchen. He was then hired by Ward Meachum, who gave him with a pair of optic blasting shades.
  • While Shades' legal name in the comics is not known, his MCU counterpart's name is a reference to Shades' son, Victor Hernan Alvarez.
  • Having been in a relationship with both Comanche and Mariah Dillard, it can be assumed that Shades is bisexual.

Behind the Scenes

References

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External Links