Cobra Kai: The Return of Mike Barnes

credit @Manchester United Forum

Looking back at the 80 and 90s there’s no denying that there are a lot of villains that people remember for one reason or another. What’s funny about this is how people remember them, and if they recall why they were important in the first place. The Karate Kid is and probably always be a classic movie, and the entire trilogy has been revived thanks to the emergence of Cobra Kai. But there are still a couple of key characters that people are hoping to see eventually, and among the lot, Mike Barnes is still one that hasn’t made an appearance. Julie Pierce is another name that a lot of people would like to see step onto the scene, but there’s no word at this point as to whether Hilary Swank is even interested in returning to the franchise. As for Sean Kanan though, it would appear that he’s been ready to make his comeback. Mike Barnes is a name that a lot of people want to hear spoken in Cobra Kai, and it’s going to happen. 

Will he be an enemy, or will he be reformed? 

The appearance of Mike Barnes is something that people have been wanting since it was announced that Terry Silver would be coming back, but seeing as how Terry needed a bit of convincing to step back into the dojo, it’s fair to think that Mike might need a bit of encouragement as well. It goes without saying that people should recall that in Karate Kid 3, Mike suffered a rather embarrassing defeat to Daniel LaRusso when he should have easily dominated the entire match. The raw aggression that Mike brought to the tournament proved to be too much for Daniel from the start and had Mike possessed any type of focus he would have been able to put Daniel down without question. But, Daniel needed to be the hero once again, so this is how things shook out. 

credit @Looper

Hopefully, Cobra Kai will flesh Mike’s character out a little more. 

This could be beneficial since to be fair, Mike was kind of a two-dimensional bully in the third Karate Kid movie. This could be due to the fact that the third movie felt as though it was an effort that stretched the main story a little too much. The inclusion of Terry Silver, along with John Kreese, and then Mike Barnes, felt like it was an attempt to create a larger-than-life threat that was insurmountable. It might have been if not for Mr. Miyagi, who put Barnes, Kreese, and Silver in their place without much effort. But had it been Daniel against the same three opponents, without backup, it’s easy to state that Daniel would have been better off running. But another problem with the trio of enemies is that while Kreese and Silver had at least a little bit of history that was revealed, there wasn’t much of a backstory to Barnes. He was, quite simply, a vicious fighter who didn’t mind being cruel and absolutely ruthless when it came to getting what he wanted. It would be great to see a strong backstory developed for his character in Cobra Kai, as it would allow people to truly hate him or feel at least a little bit of empathy for him. Hey, it worked wonders for Johnny. 

The mix of characters is already going to be intense, so where will Barnes fit in? 

When looking at the trailers that have already been released for the upcoming fifth season of Cobra Kai, the landscape is looking kind of rough since Silver is recruiting heavily and taking on new senseis as well as students. With Kreese out of the way, Silver has no more need to check himself when it comes to expanding his vision, and if this includes Barnes, it would be kind of surprising. Keep in mind, Silver cleansed himself in a way by getting Kreese sent to jail, and Barnes was a point of shame back in the day since he lost what should have been an easy match. What use would Terry have for Mike any longer? On the flip side, it could be interesting if Barnes showed up to stand against Silver, and it would be a huge switch since a lot of people might not see it coming. After all, seeing Johnny Lawrence as the good guy after all this time was definitely a shock. 

credit @Heavy.com

Mike Barnes will be a welcome face to Cobra Kai.

Call it nostalgia or whatever you like, but Mike Barnes will be another piece of the puzzle that a lot of fans will enjoy seeing, no matter what kind of light he’s placed in. He’s a part of the franchise that people want to see again, and whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy, people are going to be glad to see him back. 

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