Grown in Jamaica, nightshade was used by healers in rituals for centuries. When John McIver was deadly shot by Pistol Pete, Anansi carried him to the mountains to seek the aid of a healer Maddah Myrie who might be able to heal him. She used 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. McIver continued to use nightshade which gave him enhanced strength and speed.
Years later, following the address provided by Anansi, McIver headed to Mother's Touch and met Tilda Johnson. Unaware of her connection to Mariah Dillard, McIver brought some nightshade from her and generously gave her extra cash for the purchase.
After confrontation between Luke Cage and the Stylers, Bushmaster began making preparation for his fight against Cage. Inside his hideout, he inhaled another batch of nightshade as he trained while observing Sheldon's recording of Cage during the fight.
Around this time, Bushmaster also began suffering from the side-effects of nightshade. Stylers managed to take the biggest grow house in Harlem and put some equipment in Harlem's Paradise to create synthetic nightshade. However, Anansi said that he can't replicate the soil and texture of the Blue Mountain and that the replicated variant would be imperfect.
Before leaving Mother's Touch, Tilda Johnson managed to take some nightshade from her store to do some research and figure out how Bushmaster combined Nightshade with these other elements, in order to create something to counter it.
In Rand Enterprises Research Facility, Johnson used a little dose of nightshade to heal James Lucas' wound. He asked if it was poisonous but Johnson replied that in small amounts, it would heal and cure.
With Danny Rand's help, Cage attacked Stylers' Grow House where could located Bushmaster's nightshade. Defeating all Stylers, they found one synthetic nightshade's flower. The Stylers explained that in order to make the plant grow in needed to be planted in Jamaican soil or sunlight to have full effect or else it withers. Before leaving, Cage and Rand decided to burn grow house with all nightshade inside.
Then wounded McIver was brought to a disclosed location to be treated by Johnson while Sheldon ensured that he was healed. Through the use of Johnson's supply of nightshade, McIver was able to rapidly heal injuries and have his powers restored. He learned from Johnson that his internal organs are poisoned and he was dying from the overuse of nightshade.
Later, Johnson decided to assist Bushmaster in his quest to kill her mother. She revealed where he could enter Harlem's Paradise from a tunnel entrance. To gave him advantage, Johnson gave him a supershot of nightshade which would double his strength. She explained that it might destroy his body and mind for good. Once he was right beneath the club, Bushmaster injected the supershot of nightshade. With his powers enhanced, he charged into the club and began attacking Dillard's guards.
For centuries, nightshade was used to heal heavy wounds and cure diseases. The example of Bushmaster shown that plant is able to unleash internal capacity. McIver's strength, speed and durability has increased considerably. However, nightshade is helpful only in small amounts. In big amounts, it became poisonous and able to destroy user's body and mind.
In chronological order:
- Luke Cage
- In the comics, "Nightshade" is the primary alias of Tilda Johnson.