- "Between the Dillards and the Stokes, I never felt really accepted. I loved the Johnsons, but I was always Mariah's. You were the only Stokes that I could actually count on. Oh, I remember your laugh. You introduced me to Nina, Stevie, Sly, Curtis. Bought me my first Casio. "Play what you feel inside, baby girl. Play what you got inside. Your song is your truth." I wanted to. I really did. But I was always afraid of what I might find inside. And now I know I was right to be afraid. I am the product of rape. Incest. Murder. Stokes twice over."
- ―Tilda Johnson
Tilda Johnson, born Matilda Maybelline Dillard, is a holistic doctor and the daughter of Mariah Dillard. Once she returned to New York City, Johnson began reconnecting with her long-lost mother, however she soon discovered that Dillard had followed the rest of the Stokes Family into a life of crime, as Johnson herself became a target of the Stylers. Disgusted at her mother's recent violent actions, Johnson chose to side with Bushmaster to have her mother killed; when this failed to work and her mother was sent to Ryker's Island for her crimes, Johnson then poisoned and killed her. However Johnson had also learned that in her final will, Dillard had left Harlem's Paradise to Luke Cage rather than Johnson, which angered Johnson over Dillard's final insult to her.
- "The day I was born, you just tossed me away."
"I never tossed you away. I remember that day. And every minute in it. Twenty-two hours of hard labor. Your ass almost killed me. But that wasn't the tough part. The toughest part was holding the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen, but just for a moment. I barely had time to fall in love with you before Mama Mabel snatched you away."
- ―Mariah Dillard
Tilda Johnson was the daughter of Mariah Stokes, from an assault committed by Peter Stokes. She was largely raised by Mamie Johnson. Eventually, Mariah was married off to a man named Jackson Dillard, partly to appease Dillard's homophobic parents since they refused to accept the fact Dillard was gay, and primarily to obscure Tilda's true parentage. Mariah left Tilda when she was eight and would never see her again for years.
Founding Mother's Touch
- "Being in the middle of nowhere, I just became fascinated with holistic medicine, and Mother Earth's unfiltered power. So I melded together ancient and modern medical practice into Mother's Touch. Mother Nature's Touch."
- ―Tilda Johnson to Luke Cage
Johnson had decided to pursue in the career of a doctor like her adopted father and earned her credentials in her earlier years but decided that the best way to help people as a doctor was to have a more herbal, remedial approach to it and set up a shop named Mother's Touch.
Reunion with Mariah
- "Emotions are not my area of expertise. I have a hard time letting people in. But when I saw you up there today, through all the lies and hurt, I felt something. I didn't want to, but I believed you."
- ―Tilda Johnson to Mariah Dillard
During Mariah Dillard's campaign of public programs to clean her name, her supporters thought a good way to gain the public's trust back was to reunite with Johnson and while Johnson was hesitant at first, she accepted.
Johnson was present in Bushmaster's attempts to discredit and destroy Dillard, leading her to question her involvement in criminal activity and the people her family has hurt in the past.
The Stylers eventually decided to directly hunt Johnson's mother, Luke Cage and those closest to him, and decided to hide in a Rand Enterprises building under construction. There, Dillard coldly admitted to her daughter the truth on how she was conceived by Dillard being raped by Pistol Pete and said that she did not love her; Dillard had tried, but always sees Pete in her. When the conflict subsided, she was forced to heal Bushmaster after he got caught in an explosion.
Allying with Bushmaster
- "Why did you deliver yourself to the lion?"
"Because I need that lion to maul my mother."
"You want me to kill her for you?"
"Not for me. For everyone. The woman is a virus. She infiltrates, destroys, and moves on to the next. You can't treat her. You can't quarantine her. She won't stop."
- ―Bushmaster and Tilda Johnson
After the "Rum Punch Massacre" incident, Johnson gave her condolences to the Stylers and even wanted to get back at Mariah Dillard by giving them a map of Harlem's Paradise with the location of the bunker she would be hiding in along with a large injection of nightshade. These attempts did not hold up and even caused the Stylers to retreat back into Jamaica, with them thanking Johnson and asserting her that Dillard must die.
- "Goodbye, Mother. I hope you find peace, even if you don't deserve it."
- ―Tilda's last words to Mariah Dillard before her death
Before visiting Mariah Dillard one last time in Ryker's Island, Johnson had concocted a deadly poison named Beso de la Araña and spread it across her lips. When she did visit Dillard, the latter stated that she no longer sees Pistol Pete in her, she now sees herself. Dillard had said that when she got out of prison, she and Johnson could start over again, but Johnson quickly refused that offer. Before she left, Johnson gave Dillard a gentle kiss on the lips, with Dillard unaware that her own daughter poisoned her. Dillard found out too late during her final encounter with Luke Cage when she began coughing out blood.
The Last Stokes
- "Do you want the usual bells and whistles? Mahogany and gold?"
"Just cremate her. I don't care about her ashes."
"Uh, as you wish, Ms. Stokes."
"The last Stokes just died. It's Johnson. Tilda Johnson."
- ―Joel Spurlock and Tilda Johnson
Johnson presented herself at the morgue, informing Joel Spurlock that he cremated Mariah Dillard's body and cared little what he did with the ashes. Before leaving, she corrected Spurlock, requesting that he refer to her as Tilda Johnson and that the last Stokes had passed away.
Mariah Dillard's Will
- "Ms. Stokes' handwritten will is as follows. The Basquiat will be donated to the Studio Museum of Harlem. Her leftover millions will transform the Family First Initiative into the Family First Foundation. Tilda, she left you Cornell's keyboard. And I quote, "To Carl Lucas, known on the streets of Harlem as Luke Cage, I give Harlem's Paradise. The club, the deed, the name.""
- ―Ben Donovan to Tilda Johnson and Luke Cage
Johnson met with Ben Donovan and Luke Cage at Harlem's Paradise and sat, as she listened to him read Mariah Dillard's will and testament. Though she smiled to hear that she was left with Cornell Stokes's piano, Johnson changed demeanor when Donovan informed the two that Cage was given Harlem's Paradise; upset, she grabbed her coat and left the building.
Tilda is the polar opposite of her mother, Mariah Dillard; she is a caring person who does show empathy and is willing to make amends to anyone who is hurt from what the Stokes family has caused them. She felt abandoned by her mother and was initially willing to give her another chance.
However, as she began to be more involved in her mother's criminal activity and knew more about the Stokes, she resented her bloodline as she rejected the use of that last name. And she had even called Mariah a monster, no longer showing sympathy toward her. Tilda was saddened though by how her uncle, Cornell, turned out to be under Mama Mabel's influence and the former's untimely death. Despite her kind persona, she was more than willing to commit premeditated cold-blooded murder if she felt it was necessary, as she deeply despised her mother and felt she needed to die for the sake of Harlem. She was so insistent to end the Stokes bloodline and criminal operations that she helped Bushmaster into killing her mother, but ultimately did it herself.
While she shows no tolerance for her mother's side of the family, she is proud to be raised by Jackson Dillard and Mamie Johnson.
- "I have a feeling for healing people. And not just with medicine, but by using the earth the way it was intended."
- ―Tilda Johnson to Mariah Dillard
- Expert Physician: Tilda Johnson spent years learning to be a doctor applying for modern medicine, utilizing holistic methods and natural remedies. Johnson was able to help Luke Cage with his concussion, medicate James Lucas's hand and heal Bushmaster's severe injuries after he suffered from an explosion.
- Nightshade: Working as a holistic doctor at Mother's Touch, Dillard was in possession of a variety of herbs and other earthly resources, including nightshade. She attempts to understand its properties further in an effort to stop Bushmaster; coerced by Sheldon, she tried to heal Bushmaster using a mix of nightshade and other herbal mixes. Dillard also managed to produce one syringe of liquid nightshade that, in an all-one dosage, could do worsening harm to Bushmaster's mind and body. When visiting Black Mariah for one last time, she laced her lips with a nightshade poison that became fatal to Mariah when ingested.
- Mother's Touch: To be added
- Stokes Crime Family
- Buggy Stokes † - Maternal Great-Grandfather and Paternal Uncle
- Mabel Stokes/Mama Mabel † - Maternal Great-Grandmother and Paternal Aunt
- Peter Stokes/Pistol Pete † - Biological Father and Great-Grand Uncle
- Mariah Dillard/Black Mariah † - Mother and Victim
- Cornell Stokes/Cottonmouth † - Maternal Uncle and Paternal Cousin
- Jackson Dillard † - Legal Father
- Mamie Johnson - Adoptive Mother and Cousin
- James Lucas
- Stylers - Former Enemies
- Ingrid Mackintosh
- Alex Wesley †
- Joel Spurlock
- Benjamin Donovan
- Hernan Alvarez/Shades
- New York City Police Department - Former Allies
- Luke Cage - Former Ally and Savior
In chronological order:
- Luke Cage
- In the comics, Tilda Johnson is a scientific genius who grew up in the poor area of Harlem. She became a powerful crimelord under the alias of Nightshade (or Dr. Nightshade) and gained enemies in heroes like Captain America, Luke Cage and Black Panther. She later turned her life around and became the heroine Nighthawk.
Behind the Scenes
- Nabiyah Be announced on Twitter on June 1, 2017, that she would be portraying Tilda Johnson in Black Panther. However, she deleted this tweet when it was announced that Gabrielle Dennis would portray the character in the second season of Luke Cage. Nabiyah Be's character was renamed Linda.
- Valisa Tate was a stunt double for Gabrielle Dennis in the role of Tilda Johnson.