|For other uses, see Bushmaster (disambiguation)|
- "Life has taught me this. You can't drown sorrow with tears. If you want to erase sorrow, you must burn it."
John McIver, also known as Bushmaster, is the charismatic enhanced individual who had previously witnessed his family being murdered by Mama Mabel as he vowed revenge on the Stokes family. With a mission of vengeance, Bushmaster had soon arrived in Harlem to kill Mariah Stokes, the last member of the Stokes family, only to be challenged by Luke Cage who stood in the way of Bushmaster's revenge. All Bushmaster's continued attempts to kill Stokes resulted in him becoming mortally wounded, as he sought Tilda Johnson's aid for his recovery. However, Stokes took the opportunity to massacre the remaining members of Bushmaster's family, forcing him to make an uneasy alliance with Cage to stop Stokes's rampage before more innocent people got killed. Eventually however, Bushmaster was forced to return to Jamaica to recover from his near fatal wounds, having failed to kill Stokes himself.
Meeting the Stokes
Born in Brooklyn to Gwen McIver and Quincy McIver, John McIver lived a life as the son of one of the co-owners of Harlem's Paradise. John McIver's life faced upheaval when his father was murdered by Buggy Stokes. He and his mother moved to Kingston in order to get away from the Stokes family. McIver befriended Sheldon and Gideon Shaw when he was eleven years old. Shaw considered himself as an older brother to McIver. As a child, doctors came around with a free vaccination for the children of his community. McIver was the only survivor of the children who took the vaccination. He was regarded as special by his friends and families ever since.
For a time, McIver lived with his mother and his maternal relatives in Kingston, Anansi and Ingrid Mackintosh, working in the family's holiday resort. In one particular day, his mother met with the Stokes in order to negotiate for his father's share of assets of Harlem's Paradise. McIver witnessed the hostile negotiation between his mother and Mama Mabel. While watching the meeting, McIver was ordered by the young Mariah Stokes to find her something to drink, threatening to reveal his presence if he didn't do so.
One night, while sleeping in his home, John and Gwen was attacked by Mabel and her gang. They threw a molotov cocktail made with Bushmaster Rums into the house. With the explosive quickly setting their house ablaze, the McIver attempted to make their escape. Despite John's plead for his mother to escape first, Gwen made her son get out of the house. She didn't escape in time as John watched his home burn and crumble before him. Mabel arrived, taunting and throwing the legal papers into the fire. She mockingly apologized to McIver before leaving.
Two years later, McIver remained under the care of his uncle, Anansi and his aunt Ingrid Mackintosh. One day, while assisting his family by selling vegetables, he was approached by Pistol Pete. Unaware of the danger and not recognizing him, McIver was caught unaware as his assassin shot him in the stomach in retaliation for what his father did to Buggy Stokes.
Determined not to let his nephew die, Anansi carried McIver to the mountains to seek the aid of a healer who might be able to heal him. Once brought inside, the healer began using Nightshade in an attempt to heal the dying McIver. As he inhaled the smokes of the burning roots, McIver began rapidly healing from his gunshot wounds. Miraculously, McIver was saved from death and his hidden powers revealed. The assassination attempt and his mother's murder from two years prior has left McIver with a burning desire for vengeance against the Stokes.
Life with the Yardies
McIver spent the next few decades honing his skills as an enforcer for the Yardies, earning him a fearsome reputation. Working within the Yardies, McIver had confrontations with Neville Barnwell and Nigel Garrison, warning them to never have any business with the Stokes Crime Family. Eventually, McIver disappeared from New York City and the Yardies believed that he will never come back.
Taking Complete Control
- "You're saying paper covers rock?"
"Who do you think you're talking to? Mi from the rock, too, you know!"
"I am the rock."
- ―Bushmaster and Nigel Garrison
Calling himself Bushmaster, McIver began his quest for revenge against the Stokes family and reclaim Harlem's Paradise which he believed to be his birthright. He and his best friend, Sheldon decided to make their first preparation to be establishing themselves in United States of America. On his way to America, McIver rode a yacht and asked Sheldon of where Harlem's location, saying it was from across the bridge from them. Sheldon asked if that is the place they needed to be, McIver told him that Harlem needed to wait and needed to proceed to Brooklyn.
McIver aimed to do that by usurping control from Nigel Garrison, who became the boss of the Yardies and decided to wait for Garrison at his hideout. Once Garrison went inside his hideout with his group, McIver was spotted by him and questioned his identity to which he responded that he was in the worse shape than he thought for asking. McIver clarified himself as Bushmaster towards Garrison, being told that he is now using an alias. Garrison told McIver that his brother told him that McIver will never come to Brooklyn but responded that his brother told him that he'll never do business with the Stokes.
Having to tell Garrison, McIver tried to contact his brother only for him to end up dead as began to realize. Once Garrison told him that he has no right to know what's good for his business and being talked down by him, McIver was faced with him and told him that he speaks at him and to him, insulting him for his weak stature of power. Once Garrison was unfazed by his remarks and told him that he can't take over Mariah Dillard, McIver interrupted him by saying that her last name was Stokes and declared that he will take control of Harlem since it was his birthright.
Garrison then told McIver that even if he takes control of Dillard's property, he would still have to confront Luke Cage, saying that he does not answer to no one and has demonstrated his powers as being bulletproof and crumbled guns like paper. McIver walked a couple of steps backwards and told Garrison about paper covering rock to which he yelled at that he is the rock too but as McIver turned around, expressing that he was the rock. McIver apprehended Garrison and violently killed him with his dagger, slicing his eyes out and breaking his neck.
Seeing Garrison's remaining goons, McIver dodged one of the bullets that were fired at him and lunched himself towards one of them with an acrobatic kick. McIver began attacking another goon and kicked his gun and him across the room. When one of them got up to shoot him, McIver began to grapple him in a headlock and pulled his gun away. Having apprehended the goon from the ground, McIver was shot by the goons who were attacked by him. Once the goons ran out of bullets, McIver pulled down his shirt to show his bullets had been embedded in his chest, yelling if anyone wants knows the time or stay for work that he is planned.
Meeting his Family
With the Yardies under his control, McIver prepared for the next phase of his plans before going to Harlem. Returning home, McIver went over to his bathroom and painfully remove the several bullets that were able to penetrate him on his chest. Once he removed all of the bullets that were harming him, McIver walked down the streets of Harlem and spotted two children play fighting as Luke Cage, having to stop them and asked what they were talking about.
Once he had asked what Luke Cage was about, one of the children told him to give McIver his phone. When McIver took the child's phone, McIver saw the video of Luke Cage talking to the camera about his powers, saying that his enemies can't burn him, detonate him, or break him. Finished watching the video, McIver proceeded to give the boy his phone and told them if Cage wanted anyone to test his abilities they should let him know, bidding a farewell towards them. While walking down the streets, McIver saw his uncle Anansi as a waiter at Gwen's and proceeded to walk down and greet him.
Inside Gwen's, McIver sat down at the counter and was told that he shouldn't have come back. Despite his warnings, McIver expressed that he wanted to see his family and the man who saved his life and gave him power, but Anansi told him that the power didn't come from him instead within. Once they sat next to each other, McIver was told that is was a long time ago since Gwen McIver had past away and responded that he will vow revenge but Anansi told him that Mariah Dillard was smart enough to ignore the past, much to McIver's dismay. Anansi then commented on McIver's shirt had blood on it.
McIver demanded that he needed more Nightshade but was told by Anansi that the more he needed the more it hurts, working as a steroid. Once Anansi gave a place that sold Nightshade, McIver looked over to the television and listened to the program that claimed Luke Cage being faster than Usain Bolt, resulting into a rant by McIver about him. McIver then asked Anansi if Cage worked for Dillard to which he was told the opposite. McIver then told Anansi that he needed Dillard's money and Cage's publicity, but was retracted, learning that Cage was a hard man to kill. McIver would then tell Anansi that he wouldn't have to use a bullet to kill him.
Following the address provided by his uncle, McIver went over to Mother's Touch and was greeted by Tilda Johnson, who asked of what he needed. McIver told her that she was the person to meet up for the items he needed. McIver gave Johnson the ingredients, looking suspicious at the list she was given and responded that it looked as if it was used for Obeah. McIver quickly told to just give him what he wants and make fast as possible. As he looked around the place and waited for the items he needed, McIver was finally given his ingredients of Nightshade and gave Johnson some money to which she responded that it was too much. McIver thanked her for being generous and helpful, saying his farewell to her.
Alone at his own home, McIver performed an Obeah ritual in his bathroom and send his newly ordered Nightshade on fire. While the ounces of smoke had settled in, McIver heavily breathe in each puff of smoke as he began to quickly suffer the side effects. McIver channeled the plants' power of healing as his wounds had completely disappeared and his strength had caused him to break a part of his sink with his bare hands, taking in the moment that he had finally gained his powers again.
Setting the Plan
After a good night sleep with two women in bed, McIver woke up from bed at sunrise and went up to the other room. McIver then greeted Sheldon, asking if he wants any coffee that was imported from his home, but McIver dismisses his offer since he expressed that he had two cups from the night before. McIver then asked Sheldon what was the agenda, being told that Mariah Dillard had change location and it is best to go to Brooklyn for more attraction with the people. McIver walked up to Sheldon and was informed that Arturo Rey III was dead, saying that Luke Cage has been on the scene.
Having suspicions upon Cage, McIver asked Sheldon if he was close to Dillard, but was told that she hates him as much as he does. McIver told Sheldon that Cage vexed him because of his existence, taking over Harlem will be a lot harder as two boons can't live together for this type of reputation. Being told by Sheldon he shouldn't be distracted, McIver listened to him about Dillard and the people she worked for will end up knowing about Nigel Garrison but McIver said that he will confront her, explaining that he needed her to be nice and fat when he kills her. After knowing Shades was at Harlem's Paradise, McIver declared that soon he'll know everything and burn Dillard.
On the time when the deal with Garrison had to give money to Dillard, McIver was greeted by Shades inside of his hideout where he was asked about wanting to speak with Garrison. McIver then insisted on having all of Garrison's businesses was now his business. While Shades was unsure of him, McIver was told that he was representing Mariah Dillard. McIver then ordered Sheldon to give the handbag toward Shades and dropped it on the ground. McIver walked over to the money that Garrison had promised.
Once Shades opened the bag and found Garrison's decapitated head on the money, McIver told him that that Garrison had a big head and mouth but had small ideas, saying that he had no vision. Once Shades became hostile toward him, McIver wanted to reevaluate the value of their gun deal and wished for Shades to convince him to still continue with their deal. Once they were done with their new deal, McIver promised Dillard's deal and gave them more money than Garrison was bidding towards them.
Meeting Luke Cage
When Luke Cage had broken into the Yardies' Hideout, McIver and his group had walked up to him and talked about how mad that going up to his turf and how he was not faster than Usain Bolt. Cage told McIver where was Nigel Garrison's location but he told Cage that he was gone and headed elsewhere. Asking if he had any to say, McIver told Cage to ask him anything to which he demanded any attempt to build a deal with Dillard, but McIver interrupted and told him that her last name was Stokes. Listening to Cage about stopping Dillard for himself and anyone associated with, McIver was further told that he must stay out Harlem, causing to laugh at him.
Once McIver taunted Cage for his righteous attempt to fight him, he ordered his goons to battle against Cage, however when a few of them had suffered a beatdown, McIver send his firing squad to shoot at him but Cage ricochet one of the bullets off of his chest and ended up grazing one of his men. McIver then ordered one of his goons send a grenade and toss it at Cage only for him to suffer less when he withstand the explosion with his bare hands. Once Cage passed his attempt to hurt him, McIver stared on as he walked out of the hideout, much to his dismay from Cage's confidence.
On the night of his another Obeah ritual, McIver went on to use Nightshade and burn what he had remained to practice his moves before facing with Cage, finishing his inhalation of the plant as began training. Using the footage that Sheldon had sent him while he was recording, McIver used his fighting skills while watching and acrobatically used them to his advantage. Once the footage was finished, McIver ended his practice with his final kick and looked head-on to relax. Once he was sufficiently prepared, McIver left to confront his opponent in Harlem.
Tracking down Luke Cage in Harlem, McIver confronted him and knocked him down with a single punch. Once Cage was on the ground, McIver taunted him in front of his face and proceeded to use his words against him by saying to stay out of his yard but Harlem is not his yard it is his. Once he got up, McIver began to fight against Cage and once he managed to throw a punch toward McIver, he became unfazed from the blow. As the fight had become more serious, McIver continued to fight against Cage and soon gained the upper hand with a kick, pushing Cage toward a pole that he broke upon impact.
Winning from the fight, McIver began to taunt at Cage's fighting skills, talking on behalf that he can't talk tough if he can't breathe. Using his superior fighting style to his advantage, McIver used his own enhanced strength and Cage's lack of knowledge and preparation to punch him and trade blows with each kick. As Cage became weary of how many kicks he had taken, Bushmaster single-handedly defeated Cage with a spinning back kick in front of the people of Harlem, knocking down his opponent unconscious, taunting further as he laid on the ground.
When Dave Griffith was done filming the fight, he asked McIver of who he was and interrupted his unfinished question and introduced himself as Bushmaster. When Griffith asked who he was again, McIver told him that he was the stone that the builder refused before leaving the scene with his task to undermine Cage's reputation achieved. Once he finished his fight with Cage, the news report was gaining more public outcry as they began to gaze upon McIver's ability to go toe-to-toe against Cage during the fight.
Confronting Mariah Dillard
- "Pleasure doing business with you, Ms. Stokes."
"Dillard, bitch. You call me Stokes one more goddamn time."
"Enjoy your little time on the hill 'cause life is so precious."
- ―Bushmaster and Mariah Dillard
During the night, McIver went over to Harlem's Paradise and looked over for anyone with Mariah Dillard. McIver spotted Dillard and Shades on the upstairs floor and proceeded to walk forward into that particular area. McIver was then greeted by Dillard, proceeding their mutual handshake. Given Bushmaster Rum, Dillard was glad that he came to visit and was disappointed to go back to Jamaica but McIver told her that Harlem began to feel like home and will stay for a while. McIver observed the craftsmanship of the bar and questioned Dillard about the design. Dillard responded that she had no idea when the bar was built but her grandfather had partners that renovated the place.
McIver then asked Dillard about Quincy McIver to which she dismisses him and told him that he probably wasn't important. Being told that the public remembers Kings and Queens and not the flunkies, McIver told Dillard about the blues that were on stage were a sign of the ancestors and how you can't erase it nor burn it, calling it magic and science at its pure form. Having Dillard failing to understand, McIver told her to look where she was standing and how it was the perfect place to hear the music and see everything that is being said. McIver further commented that the rum was smooth, being told by Dillard that it's only own for private stock and not sold in stores.
McIver told Dillard that the rum was a family recipe and only two men know how to make it only for them to be dead. When Dillard told him that things are better left dead and frozen in the ice, McIver told her that an old fire stick is easy to the light and her firearms will severe him well. Planning to walk out, McIver told Dillard that it was pleasure doing business with her, calling by her last name Stokes. After being sworn upon by Dillard after being called Stokes, McIver was threatened by her and told to take care of herself as the life so precious, drinking his shot of the rum and leaving Harlem's Paradise.
After leaving Harlem's Paradise, McIver arrived at Gwen's to meet his family. McIver was then greeted by Jerome and talked about how he defeated Luke Cage. McIver then noticed Ingrid Mackintosh and was told that he should have called, hugging her afterwards. Noticing his fellow uncle, McIver then began to talk to him about what happened at Harlem's Paradise and how it felt like his kingdom and even got to drink Bushmaster rum. McIver gave Anansi money but was rejected for never having to ask for anything. McIver's money was then taken away by Ingrid. After having drinks with his family, McIver then left Gwen's and hugged his uncle outside the restaurant.
With Dillard's weapons and her underestimating him, McIver and the Stylers killed Cockroach Hamilton, Mark Higgins and Ray Ray. Decapitating the heads of his victims, McIver placed them at the entrance of Shirley Chisholm Complex. While watching a soccer game with his family, McIver argues with Anansi about how much his national team should not lose, despite their optimism. When the game started to be interrupted with an WJBP-TV news report, McIver and his family watched the incident of murders of the Shirley Chisholm Complex and the financier Piranha Jones has now been missing.
McIver then listened to Anansi's about the news, saying the murder was pure savagery and only seeing fear. With that in mind, McIver then pulled out his phone and walked out of Gwen's to call Sheldon. McIver talked to Sheldon about what was happening in their situation and was informed that Jones was protected by Luke Cage. McIver questioned Sheldon if he used the Harlem's Hero app and was told that he did but couldn't find Cage. McIver then told Sheldon to order every cab and flood the streets until they find Jones and Cage, telling Sheldon to not show any weaknesses or make any excuses.
After finishing up some labor work at Gwen's, McIver told Ingrid Mackintosh to go home, having a kiss from his aunt before she left the place. McIver then argued with Anansi for showing disrespect for what they saw in the news. McIver tried to reason with Anansi that the Stokes family took everything from him and needed to burn Mariah Dillard, having an agreement with Anansi that he should kill her. As Anansi began to rant about how this act of violence makes his people look bad, McIver expressed how much he didn't care how his people will look.
Listening to Anansi about how once his people came to America they had to build everything from scratch and work hard over education, McIver then began to argue that the country already turned on him and it all started with the Stokes, who think they could do whatever they want. Anansi explains that you can't change the past and all you could do is build for the next generation, telling McIver to find peace in his heart. McIver confronted his uncle and told him that in his heart it means war.
The next day, McIver received a call from Luke Cage. His opponent challenged him to a fight, making a deal that if he won, McIver and his gang must leave Harlem whereas if McIver won, he will receive Piranha Jones. Agreeing to the challenge, McIver told Cage that he will be meeting him at High Bridge at noon.
Heading to the agreed location, McIver confronted Cage, talking to him and boasted his identity of what had happened to him in his past fights. Once again, they talked about their differences and Cage made it known that he knew about McIver's actions should be done by living in someone's life. McIver countered his statement by telling him what will happen if he did, stating he'll just get a job, loving a woman, and raising children. McIver questioned if Cage would live the life of the family. McIver made another offer of the alliance but, Cage refused again. Knowing that they won't be able to come to terms, McIver engaged in a fight for talking too much.
At first, Bushmaster held the advantage during the fight. Using his fighting style and his agility, he continued with landing hits against his opponent. However, Cage was prepared and his bulletproof skin protected him from suffering major damage. Having gotten used to his fighting style, Cage began landing hits of his own which injured Bushmaster. As the fight kept dragging on, Bushmaster, exhausted and injured, realized that he had to resort to trickery in order to defeat his opponent.
During an opening, McIver pulled poisoned powder from his pocket and blew it at Cage's face, instantly paralyzing him. Cage was confused on why he couldn't move his body and began to stand his ground. McIver had told what is happened to him and explained that it was caused power that he wouldn't understand. Having grown to admire his opponent's tenacity, McIver declared his respect for Cage and sincerely wished that they could have been friends before kicking him off a bridge and into a river to drown. Victorious, McIver went to claim Jones.
Capturing Piranha Jones
McIver enters the warehouse where Piranha Jones was held captive and had to talk to Sheldon directly about passwords. McIver then touched Jones on his shoulders and expressed that he needs to have everything that Mariah Dillard has ever own. Being handed a laptop, McIver then offered Piranha Jones to let him move her money assets to him but he reluctantly didn't want to because of his professional integrity. McIver gave Piranha the laptop and told him that he has to do give all assets to him. Being aggressive towards him, McIver told them to call her Stokes after Piranha told him that he had nothing to do with Dillard's business.
Trying to persuade him, McIver spoke about making Jones do the things he asked what was considered the right thing, as putting it is right as rain. Once Jones typed up his password, McIver was told that Luke Cage will come after Jones, much to McIver's sarcastic chuckle. As Jones kept talking about how Cage can't be killed, McIver became more hostile and told him to type faster. Once Piranha Jones had been given what the Stylers want, McIver ordered his goons to decapitate him and put his head on a fish tank of water with piranhas.
Arrived at Dapper Dan, McIver and Anansi were picking out suits and having then tailored beforehand. While getting his measurements, McIver told his uncle what was wrong and joking around. McIver listened on about how would Gwen McIver would feel about his vengeance against the Stokes Crime Family from his uncle. McIver told a story from his childhood about his mother would get mad at him for getting his school clothes dirty and wanting him to look respectable. McIver went on about how she always cooks and cleans but walked around like a queen and how she talked about his father was well adept.
Furthermore, McIver talked about how he got his shirt ripped, clothes bloody, tie loose, and wearing one shoe so he could protect his family name, but would get his mother quiet when she sees him like that. Noticing how mad she was with him, McIver saw her eyes as she was proud of him, realizing her mother knew that he was a warrior and never a puppet or slave. Wanting to have all that Dillard has, McIver was told that he can't be fulfilled with money while other Jamaicans are being harassed by the police.
Being asked of what he really wants, McIver wanted Dillard's soul for her mother's, saying that you can't drown sorrow with tears and if you want to get rid of sorrow you must burn it. Turning to question Anansi, McIver asked him why doesn't he have more fury and was told that he doesn't look into the past and that vengeance belongs to the Lord, responding that the Lord can have it back when he is done. McIver was then informed by Sheldon about Mariah Dillard's time for her demise.
Revenge through Fire
- "I played this in my head over and over. And somehow, this is sweeter."
Breaking into Mariah Dillard's Brownstone, McIver confronted her before taking bullets from her Stokes' Revolver gun. McIver apprehended Dillard and recognized Tilda Johnson from Mother's Touch, telling her she could have mistaken her as one of the Stokes. Having both of them tied up before the Stylers were about to set them on fire, McIver told them that he always thought of this day in his head but now after from planning his revenge so long he now thought that this situation was better.
Before he could kill them, McIver then told the story of how Quincy McIver and Buggy Stokes were friends while working as dishwashers and began to create a place called Harlem's Paradise only for his father to die after he was planned to be assassinated by dealings with Italian gangsters, Irish cops, and corrupted politicians for letting Buggy to get rid of Quincy so he could own Harlem's Paradise and Bushmaster Rum to himself. Further telling Johnson, McIver explained that once he settled life with his mother in Kingston, she was then killed from her home and let McIver survive the fire.
After seeing Dillard becoming upset, McIver looked at Johnson and had an idea of taking her away, using his knife to cut her ties from her chair and pulled her away from the scene. McIver told Johnson that he will give her the choice to save her mother so that she could prove herself to be a better daughter than he was a son. Walking towards the Dillard as she tells him to die, McIver used one of the matches to lit them on fire and threw it on the floor that was dripping with gasoline, leaving her home and letting her burn alive.
Believing his vengeance to be completed, McIver and the Stylers went over Harlem's Paradise and planned to have control over Harlem. Once his planned attempt to kill succeeded, McIver entered Harlem's Paradise and let his group killed the bodyguards that followed him. Smiling around the place, McIver settled in the club as happy as he was to own it for himself. Settling down, McIver proposed a toast for now taking down Dillard and owning the club for himself. McIver looked on from the balcony with Sheldon and Stephanie Miller, and listened to the music that was playing on stage.
The next morning, McIver then ordered his gang, the Stylers, to put up a new poster for his wall and have a talk with his uncle, Anansi. McIver talked to Anansi about how his father built Harlem's Paradise and now it belongs to him. Being asked by Anansi on what he'll do with the club, McIver told him that he will use it for the people, making money from them to put it back to home at Jamaica to repay the suffrage he experienced. Looking at the poster on his wall, McIver reminisce his mother if only she would see of what he owned but Anansi disagreed with him, saying that he burned Mariah Dillard and her daughter alive at her house and adding Gwen would be proud of what he has and not how he got it.
McIver told Anansi to not worry about him letting his darkness consume, taking pride in his vengeance. McIver was then greeted by Mouse and asked what he wanted to which he responded that Dillard and her daughter were spotted at the 29th Precinct Police Station. Furious with this news, McIver asked Mouse why Dillard had survived and was given an answer about Luke Cage saving her. Now knowing his plan had been foiled, McIver broke his chair in half and ordered Mouse to leave his office. Once Mouse left his office, McIver suddenly felt pain on his wrist but ignored it when his uncle tried to look at it.
Feeling pain on his wrist, McIver told his uncle that Nightshade was supposed to make him strong and not weak but Anansi proposed that it is like a steroid and his body can't handle too much. McIver continued that needed to face Dillard but was told by Anansi that he won and had all of her money and the club, questioning his motives. McIver quickly told his uncle that Dillard didn't burn and wanted the smell of flesh from her and repay for her wrongdoings from her relatives. Once Anansi couldn't understand his crusade, McIver yelled out for the Stylers and got up from his seat.
McIver asked the Stylers about where they find Dillard at the precinct, but Sheldon asked him for a plan, telling if Dillard survives part of the club still belongs to her. McIver then proposed that before she could sue, he will call up a lawyer and make sure they don't find any illegal. Being questioned about Cage, McIver told the Stylers that he owes him death and will renegotiate with him. Being questioned on how he would reason with Cage, McIver told the Stylers that they should take whatever he loves and squeeze, letting him know the attention.
While one of the Stylers attacked the precinct, McIver was under investigation by the New York City Police Department, being visited by Misty Knight and Nandi Tyler for the attempted murder of Dillard. McIver then greeted Knight as Babylon's finest and told her that he didn't hold a bounty on Dillard after he was accused as such. McIver was then visited by his lawyer Benjamin Donovan and surprised Tyler for the spontaneous gain after Dillard lost her possessions. McIver emphasizes that Harlem's Paradise was his club and his birthright, handing them information that his father owned the club using an old photo of a newspaper.
Further questioned by Tyler, McIver emphasized that Dillard's name was Stokes and expressed that he did not order a bounty. Being remarked by Knight's statement about losing heads, McIver then told that arms to are being lost, insulting Knight. McIver insisted that the NYPD can believe whatever they want but unless they have evidence they can't do anything. While Knight questioned McIver over burning down of Dillard's Brownstone, McIver insisted that it had nothing to do with it and that they did not have any proof, telling Knight that he had the power and did not need a gun or a Prosthetic Arm to use it.
After Donovan stop Knight for any harassment and an officer informed them that the search had come up empty, McIver witness Knight and Tyler leaving just as he felt weak from abusing Nightshade, being told from Donovon if he was okay and dismiss him as well. McIver walked over to his chair and began sitting down. Feeling exhaustion, McIver had to breathe heavily from the Nightshade that is crumbling abusing his body. McIver's supply of Nightshade had depleted and he began suffering from the withdrawal of it, making him grow desperate.
While setting up his routine of using Nightshade, McIver then talked with his uncle about even if he killed Dillard, he will need his strength and power to defeat Cage. Being told if all the Nightshade will be gone, McIver told Anansi that he will find more, making his uncle mad at him for his attempt. McIver proposed the idea of making the Nightshade at Harlem, but Anansi told him that it was impossible that he can't replicate the soil and texture of the plant. Being told he can't make Nightshade that is not from the roots of the blue mountain, McIver told his uncle he will make it work and keep him strong.
Knowing it has destroyed his mind, soul, and spirit, Anansi warned McIver that he must stop using the Nightshade but McIver tried to persuade him to help him finish what he started. Once his uncle told him that he could not help him, McIver dismisses his uncle continued with his ritual with Nightshade. With his uncle gone and not supporting him, McIver used his Nightshade that was hold up inside his compartment and mashed it with his bowl. McIver then burned the remains before he could inhale the smoke and gained the power of strength, knowing he would put a bounty on Cage and anyone associated with him.
Attack on Rand Enterprises
- "You wanna stop me? Kill me. Because I will never stop coming. As long as I breathe air, I'll keep..."
"And I'll be here to stop you. Every single time. As long as I breathe."
- ―Bushmaster and Luke Cage
After planning to let his goons kill Mariah Dillard and her daughter, only to be saved by Misty Knight, Nandi Tyler, and Luke Cage, Bushmaster failed to kill them before going to Mother's Touch. Once the coast was clear, McIver walked out of Harlem's Paradise and went over to Mother's Touch to see if his men were doing.
McIver began noticing his men lying on the floor in pain upon his arrival and looked for any Nightshade that was left. Asking for where the Nightshade was towards one of his men, Bushmaster realizes it was all gone and being taken by Johnson. Becoming furious with his men, Bushmaster began destroying all of Johnson's supplies and flipped over her table full of herbs. Angrily, Bushmaster then ordered his men to find Dillard and Johnson and needed them alive. Going back to the club, McIver and his remaining goons continued their search for Dillard.
As the Stylers began to arm up with their firearms, McIver was meeting with Anansi at Harlem's Paradise and was told that the Nightshade he's been using wasn't meant to use in the way he intended. Listening on about how his body and mind is falling apart, McIver stubbornly told Anansi that needed more Nightshade to finish his crusade against Dillard. Asking for his pleading support, McIver was rejected by his uncle, much to his resentment. After Anansi left the club, McIver met Sheldon about having Dillard as a bounty for three million dollars but McIver was unimpressed with those odds.
Asking for the production of any synthetic Nightshade, McIver was disappointed to hear that it might take some time due to its difference of soil. Not caring for any time being wasted, McIver told Sheldon that he needs it, much to his relief of understanding. After witnessing one of his goons playing with one of the explosives, Tyler entered the club and surprised his goons with their guns armed up. Once Sheldon ordered their guns to be freed, McIver was offered by Tyler to know the location of Dillard and Cage. Using her Dillard's name as Stokes, McIver listened on to Tyler's knowledge of being held up at Rand Enterprises Research Facility.
Now knowing the location of Dillard, McIver and the Stylers arrived in front of the facility, as they began to arm themselves with Hammer weapons. McIver yelled in front of the facility and spoke to Cage about being hard to kill, pleading to not fight for what he wants. Warning everyone inside the facility, McIver told them to give him Dillard in an exchange for letting the rest of the people close to Cage live. Waiting for a response to his claims, McIver was disappointed by Cage's decision and yelled out for war, letting his goons raid the place and shoot anyone in sight.
When Cage began to throw a couch off the window and distracted Sheldon from sending the rocket launcher into the air, McIver noticed him landing on the ground and prepared himself for battle. Once one of his goons failed to kill him, McIver began to fight against Cage with his acrobatic skills and attempted to paralyze him again with his powder only to be snatched away from him. Holding off on his own, McIver managed to slam Cage against the ground. McIver was then given a bat from Sheldon and began to beat Cage with it. McIver was then thwarted into having to battle Cage with a metal rod and fought with each blow as they could from one another.
Once Cage was apprehended from his blunt weapon, McIver was then taken his bat away from him with a swift kick at the back of his knee. McIver took another opportunity to put him in a chokehold and blind him with a knife only for Cage pull his arm away and punched him directly in his face. Landing on the side of a car, McIver told Cage he will never stop coming after him and Dillard only for getting punched in the face once again by Cage, being threatened to keep coming after him. When the NYPD arrived, McIver was taken into custody and was given a ride inside one of their vehicles.
Given a ride from the police, McIver began to talk with the two police officers about how the story of Nanny and the Maroons being at war with the British who were held captive. Further telling this old tale, McIver told the officers that the Maroons resisted their oppressors and began to put their heads on spikes, fighting them for eighty years and won. Telling the two officers that the Maroons have in the story, McIver told them that they had the determination and gave them the true birth of his people.
Talking about Jamaica's independence, McIver gave the police officers the middle finger and whispered fire while letting the Explosive Charge destroy the van, killing the two officers. Once they were dead, McIver managed to contact Sheldon and arrived at Mother's Touch. When Johnson went inside her store again, she was greeted by Sheldon and told her that McIver was waiting for him and directed her behind. Sitting in a chair, McIver was coughing up from the explosion he went through and pleaded Johnson to fix him.
A Temporary Truce
Being brought up to a disclosed location, McIver was taken into her living room and being taken care of Sheldon. Using a dose of morphine, McIver was treated by Tilda Johnson despite Sheldon's instructions to use Nightshade but she needed to fix his cardio contusion beforehand. McIver was then motivated by Sheldon's words, being told that he was a survivor.
As Johnson kept McIver under control from his continuous pain, McIver was temporarily awakened from his rest as he slightly made noises with his troubled breathing. Being told he can't take much pain, Sheldon insisted on letting McIver alive, saying that he was always a survivor. Asking about McIver's medical history, Sheldon told Johnson that McIver had been vaccinated and survived its doses, unlike the other kids that died later on. Continuing to tell McIver's history, Sheldon told Johnson that ever since he survives his close relatives always told him that he was special.
Once his pain was getting worse, McIver was given Nightshade once it was mashed into pieces and spread it onto his wounds. Once they were set in, McIver began to spas out of control and felt incredible amounts of pain, but was soon healed his wounds once the shards were out of his body. Being fully recovered, McIver then got off from the couch and was greeted by Sheldon. After surviving from near death, McIver was told about letting his family know they're okay, ordering Sheldon to make the call.
McIver then asked Johnson about what was the cost of his body's overexposure to Nightshade, being given the answer that was not good. Being told that his body's internal organs are deteriorating from Nightshade, McIver expressed that it was no big deal and told her that he cheated death before. McIver was then told by Sheldon the news that he wasn't prepared, questioning him what was going on. Looking upon Sheldon's upsetting face, McIver asked him what was going on but Sheldon couldn't, leaving him distraught.
Now knowing the news about Anansi's death, McIver went to Gwen's and broke into the area where the massacre had occurred. McIver looked over towards the blood puddles that were on the floor and was left upset from all that it took place. McIver was then asked by Sheldon of what to do with Johnson and told him to let her go. As Johnson witnessed the aftermath of the massacre, McIver expressed his gratitude over her, letting her leave after an apology. Looking down on the floor, McIver picked up Anansi's piece of his belt buckle, mourning his death.
Showing up at the morgue, McIver arrived inside to see Anansi's corpse and mourn his death, apologizing for what he had caused. When his aunt and Luke Cage arrived at the morgue, McIver was going to fight Cage only to be stopped by Ingrid. McIver then waited for his aunt out near a window shield and looked at her closely. With Cage by his side, McIver thanked him for protecting his aunt, being told that it was the right thing to do. McIver dismisses Cage's moral and told him that the world is a complicated place. Cage told McIver to stop his quest to kill Dillard as he would be there to stop him.
Expressing that his whole life was a pain, McIver faced Cage and was told about being stopped to kill Dillard and one he turned around he was displeased that he could have took Cage as his brethren. Respecting his opponent's conviction, McIver simply replied toward Cage that he did not look forward to killing him. After being told by Cage that he should be ready to run with his aunt, McIver walked over to his aunt and hugged her, comforting her as they mourn the death of Anansi.
As Hai-Qing Yang and Mariah Dillard left the Calderwood Auction House for a secret meeting, Yang calmly told Dillard that his security had believed that Bushmaster will be watching them. Once he spotted Yang out in the auction, Bushmaster followed Yang and hid in front of the Yangsi Gonshi Warehouse. Once he was hidden, Bushmaster personally confronted him as he was inspecting the heroin that was tainting his name. Furious with this revelation, Bushmaster told Yang that he was putting the poisonous Heroin on the Harlem streets to make the people believe that it was him doing it.
With him now exposed, Bushmaster noticed Yang's men were being suspicions with there movements and as Yang had provoked him, the members of the Yangsi Gonshi surrounded him, grabbing their guns as they prepared to gun him down. However, just before he was being fired at, Bushmaster was assisted by Luke Cage and handed him a car door to protect himself while using his unbreakable skin to deflect the gunshots. Entering inside of the warehouse, Bushmaster and Cage were followed by Yang's men and while they prepared, Bushmaster agreed with Cage to team up on the condition that if he kills anyone then he will be on his own.
Bushmaster began fighting against Triad members and battled their way with their attempt to kill them with hatchets. Apprehending one of them, Bushmaster attempted to kill one the men only to hit Cage in the back, much to his irritation. As the battle continued, Bushmaster defeated Triad members above the warehouse's shelves and began to fight them on the ground. As their team-up had ended up destroying the Heroin's packages, Bushmaster and Cage defeated all of Triad members as they agreed upon always protecting their name.
As his anger grew, Bushmaster swore to revenge the Triad members who made the heroin and kill Dillard, causing to anger Cage. As Cage questioned him for his murders, Bushmaster told him as long as they get in the way and equipped him Hammer Industries Explosive Charge, telling him he'll destroy the warehouse and that Cage won't have a choice. Bushmaster then defeated Cage and handed him the explosive, mush to his surprised. As the explosion started, Bushmaster escaped the warehouse as the evidence was intact.
Being called by Tilda Johnson, Bushmaster entered in a dislocated environment and greeted her accordingly. Bushmaster teased Johnson as if she misses him, having a chuckle as his friend Sheldon told him about an announcement. As Johnson told him about the confirmation of Mariah Dillard, being the one who killed Anansi by setting him up on fire and shooting him dead, Bushmaster became furious with her for telling him this and was told that she needed to be taken down. Bushmaster listened on about how Dillard can't be quarantined so there must be another way and it is to confront her head-on.
Liking the prospect of killing Dillard, Bushmaster didn't want to attract attention from the guards to which Johnson decided to let him enter inside a backdoor room that leads to Harlem's Paradise. Once Johnson proposed the idea, Bushmaster was offered a dose of liquid Nightshade from a syringe that can be used in small amounts and was warned that it could destroy his mind and body if he takes it all at once. Just as Sheldon was worried for him, Bushmaster decided to take the risk for it for his mother, father, Anansi, and anyone close to him, taking the Nightshade and going through the plan to kill Dillard.
Inside of his home with Sheldon, Bushmaster prepared himself for the upcoming plan, looking at the portraits of his family and picked out the one with his mother and him in it. As looked at the picture of his mother and mourning her death, Bushmaster put down the portrait and was given a jacket from Sheldon. Sheldon then asked Bushmaster about what he'll do without back up when there are too many guards. Bushmaster told him that if the guards at the club won't be a problem and will bring justice to his mother one the plan will go through.
Arriving at the back of Harlem's Paradise, Bushmaster met Johnson while she was waiting out the back of the basement. Getting out of the van, Bushmaster confronted and stand near to Johnson's view and was promptly told to go inside the door and enter in the inside the bar where he was heading. As he was going inside, Bushmaster was interrupted by Johnson and was told to be careful. Agreeing with Johnson, Bushmaster gave her his watch and told her to wait for him after he was done.
Upon arriving underneath the floorboards of the bar, Bushmaster took his syringe that was filled with Nightshade and injected him with a higher dosage. Once the Nightshade was inside him, Bushmaster gained his powers in full fury and began to open the vault under the bar. Bushmaster enters the club and began to go inside the office of Dillard's room, going up the second floor before he taking down one of the guards. Bushmaster fights all of the guards as people were running out of the club in panic.
As Luke Cage was caught in the crossfire, Bushmaster was attacked by him and dodge his punch and hit him the face, letting him bleed. Once Misty Knight enters the room, Bushmaster began fighting her and took her out before she shooting him from behind. Cage continued to fight Bushmaster but he was thrown out of the room. Bushmaster gained the upper hand by catching one of Cage's punches and kicked up out of a window, much to his dismay. Bushmaster entered Dillard's secret basement and reached the security door, furiously starting to pound on it.
As Bushmaster's anger and enhanced strength then allowed him to damage the door, Shades was given the Stokes' Revolver and Dillard had hidden behind him, as each blow was damaging the steel door. After angrily beating down the door with his fist, Bushmaster finally broke into the room with a charging kick and began confronting Dillard. As the bullet was shot, Bushmaster avoided Shades' attempt to kill him before disarming and throwing him across the room. Before Bushmaster could assassinate Dillard, he was attacked by Cage and Knight and began battling with them simultaneously.
Getting irritated, Bushmaster then subdued Knight out of the fight and fought Cage in a tight space, as they exchange multiple blows with each hit, he later escapes the area and threw Cage across the room and hit the surveillance. With Shades getting to his feet and fighting against him, Bushmaster then easily taken down Shades as he kneed Shades in the face. While Cage stepped back into the fight in order to keep Bushmaster away from Dillard, he was then shot at by Shades with Dillard's gun, however, Bushmaster saw the gunshots coming and used Cage's unbreakable skin as a shield before kicking Shades through a wall.
Once he took down Cage from the front as he landed hard on through a wall, Bushmaster attempted to take Dillard's head and crush her skull, taunting her in front of the face. As he was killing Dillard, Bushmaster was hit in the head by Knight's Prosthetic Arm and swiftly kicked her off across the room for her interference. Bushmaster was then caught of guard by Cage as he began to punch him hard enough to knock him out and put him in a chokehold. However, when Cage refused to commit murder, Bushmaster hit him the face with his elbow and escaped the club before the police could find him, failing to kill Dillard.
Returning to Jamaica
As he was hiding away from the New York City Police Department and Misty Knight at Mother's Touch, Bushmaster was waiting for medicine in a case of his concussion was going mildly bad. As he entered the shop with Ingrid Mackintosh and Sheldon, Bushmaster was told that he was weak from taking all the Nightshade he was given, despite helping him becoming stronger than ever.
Seeing how urgent it getting for Bushmaster, Tilda Johnson gave medicine for Bushmaster to drink to help him with his memory, drinking the cup in full. As Johnson was telling him to relax and heal, Bushmaster asked her if she killed Mariah Dillard and was disappointed to hear that didn't. Bushmaster grabbed Johnson's arm and told her that Dillard must burn, saying that it was the only way, before left the shop to rest. Once they left the shop, Bushmaster and his had been handed Anansi's body and ordered a coffin back at home for his proper burial.
At night at the open view of a dislocated street, Bushmaster was in aid with his aunt, Ingrid Mackintosh and his friend, Sheldon. When their van stopped by to meet with Tilda Johnson, Bushmaster began to be carried out from outside and taken into another van. As they were ready to bury Anansi from the back of the van, Bushmaster looked at Sheldon who was staying in New York City to stay put and let him leave Jamaica. Bushmaster send a farewell with his aunt and returned home and bury his uncle out of respect for his death, succeeding his expectations for being at the top of the hill.
After witnessing the death of his mother and barely surviving an attempt on his own life, John McIver became heavily fixated on revenge against the Stokes Crime Family. His vendetta against the Stokes, Mariah Dillard in particular, was so strong he frequently insisted on referring to her by her maiden name whenever mentioned. Despite his obsession with revenge and brutal methods, he had a great deal of respect for his close friends and remaining family, namely his aunt Ingrid and uncle Anansi.
McIver was also very proud of his Jamaican heritage, being particular defensive of Usain Bolt after it was commented that Luke Cage was faster than Bolt. He even implied that he had attacked Cage purely to prove his inferiority for the comment.
Regardless of his rage and ruthless demeanor, McIver showed both an envious side and respectful side in regards to Cage. McIver disliked his reputation in Harlem, stating he wanted to win Harlem's heart which Cage has. However, he was not unwilling to cooperate with Cage, even stating they could've been friends, pointing out parallels between them and even having a mutual understanding over wanting to stop gangs using their names as branding for street drugs.
Despite this, McIver was shown to be willing to use underhand tactics to beat Cage such as paralyzing him with a drug and despite his apparent willingness to not kill any Yangsi Gonshi members due to teaming up with Cage, he did attempt a lethal blow on one, but was blocked by Cage. He also showed gratitude towards Cage for saving Ingrid Mackintosh and towards Tilda Johnson for saving him. In fact, Sheldon and he once considered killing Johnson upon discovering her relation to the Stokes family, but their mutual hatred of Dillard had created a friendship between the two where McIver thanked her for her help and requested that she waits for him when he attempts to assassinate her mother for the greater good.
Powers and Abilities
- Nightshade Enhancement: After going through an Obeah ritual, performed on him by Maddah Myrie, Bushmaster gained superhuman abilities due to inhaling a lucid compound called Nightshade. Despite granting him enhanced abilities, nightshade's healing properties are not everlasting, meaning Bushmaster must take nightshade if he ever suffered severe injuries.
- Superhuman Strength: Bushmaster possesses physical strength sufficient to knock down and injure Luke Cage, and even cause internal damage to his body. After taking an enhanced strain of nightshade, Bushmaster was able to effectively overpower Luke, as well as break down a steel door with multiple blows that damaged it severely from the outside.
- Superhuman Durability: After inhaling his first nightshade, McIver's skin was hardened, making him far more resilient than a normal human. While not as durable as Cage, he is bulletproof to some extent, with bullets embedding into his skin rather than bouncing off him. He was able to survive a point-blank explosion inside a police van, which had enough force to kill two guards and demolish the van; although it should be noted that he was left in a critical state, and required Tilda Johnson's help to heal him.
- Superhuman Speed: Bushmaster can move at speeds exceeding that of the finest human athlete. He was able to fight Luke Cage in close combat, outmaneuvering his attacks as fast as possible and even dodging bullets that are aimed at him. Cage described him to Bobby Fish as "unnaturally fast."
- Superhuman Agility: Bushmaster is able to perform athletic feats that make him agile, using his acrobatic abilities to excel at close combat and survive from great heights with a simple jump and a roll.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Bushmaster was able to evade a bullet shot at him from close distance by Shades.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: After inhaling the herb of smoke during the Obeah ceremony, his bullet wounds had completely healed in mere seconds. When near death, Bushmaster suffered tearing and scars on his skin, after having nightshade spread onto him, Bushmaster's wounds were fully healed in a short amount of time.
- Master Martial Artist: McIver is an extremely skilled martial artist and combatant, able to easily incapacitate Nigel Garrison and kill him. He also utilizes Judo, Taekwondo, Capoeira, and Boxing in his fighting style. McIver is skilled enough to take down multiple men and Luke Cage, a highly skilled combatant. McIver also went head to head with Cage, Misty Knight, and Shades at the same time, though he eventually lost due to facing multiple opponents, as well as Cage's superior durability.
- Knife Expertise: To be added
- Stick Expertise: To be added
- Master Acrobat: McIver is extremely skilled in acrobatics, able to take down Luke Cage with a flip kick and utilize his acrobatics in his fights.
- Indomitable Will/High Pain Tolerance: To be added
- Master Tactician: McIver is an extreme, highly effective planner.
- Bilingualism: McIver is fluent in both English and Jamaican Patois, often interspersing the two languages in conversation with other Patois speakers.
- Nightshade: Nightshade is a plant native to Jamaica; it is known to have healing properties. Used by a woman named Maddah Myrie, she used the plant to heal McIver's gunshot wounds. Throughout his life, McIver has used nightshade to gain superhuman abilities, including the ability to heal. McIver bought the herbs from Mother's Touch, and use to inhale the fumes of smoke in an Obeah ritual. Later on, Tilda Johnson has given McIver a synthetic dose of nightshade in a syringe. While infiltrating Harlem's Paradise, McIver used the needle filled with nightshade and break into Mariah Dillard's office in order to kill her.
- Knife: McIver carried a knife that he used to cut Nigel Garrison's eyes out, and later tried to do the same to Luke Cage.
- Hammer Industries Explosive Charge: During preparation for an attack, the Stylers were equipped with timed explosives that detonate upon close range. While McIver was arrested and sent to a police van, he activated one of the bombs in order to escape.
- Paralysis Powder: Mclver used a powder that can cause temporary paralysis. He used this in his second fight with Luke Cage, which led to his victory. He tried to use it on Cage again during their third fight, but Luke knocked it out of his hand.
- Metal Baseball Bat: Mclver temporarily used a metal baseball bat in his third fight with Luke Cage. Though he was eventually disarmed of it by Cage.
- Hatchet: Mclver took a hatchet from one of Yangsi Gonshi members when teaming up with Luke against them. He tried to kill one of the thugs with it but was stopped by Cage.
- Harlem's Paradise: To be added
|Appearances for John McIver|
In chronological order:
- In the comics, John McIver is a powerful crime-boss who coerced Noah Burstein in replicating the experiment that gave Luke Cage his powers.
Behind the Scenes
- Brandon McClary was a stunt double for Mustafa Shakir and Mounir Quazzani was a stunt double for Mekhi Hewling in the role of Bushmaster.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Luke Cage: 2.04: I Get Physical
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Luke Cage: 2.11: The Creator
- ↑ Luke Cage: 2.01: Soul Brother #1
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Luke Cage: 2.02: Straighten It Out
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Luke Cage: 2.03: Wig Out
- ↑ Luke Cage: 2.05: All Souled Out
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Luke Cage: 2.06: The Basement
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Luke Cage: 2.07: On and On
- ↑ Luke Cage: 2.08: If It Ain't Rough, It Ain't Right
- ↑ Luke Cage: 2.09: For Pete's Sake
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Luke Cage: 2.12: Can't Front on Me
- ↑ Luke Cage: 2.13: They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)