The first images from Cobra Kai season 5 confirm Mike Barnes’ return. The Karate Kid franchise returned in a big way a few years ago when the rivalry between Johnny Lawrence (William Zapka) and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) was restored through a TV show. Cobra Kai has become a huge hit across the world thanks to Netflix, which became the show’s home for season 3 and beyond. The incredible popularity meant announcing Cobra Kai season 5 even before season 4’s release in 2021.
The story of season 5 was directly set up in Cobra Kai season 4, as Terry Silver’s Cobra Kai won the All-Valley Tournament, meaning Johnny and Daniel had to shut down their separate dojos. Meanwhile, John Kreese (Martin Cove) was sent to prison as part of Silver’s plan to create an empire of Cobra Kai dojos across The Valley. This plan and Cobra Kai’s willingness to bring back characters from the past movies led to great speculation that The Karate Kid Part III’s Mike Barnes could return next.
Netflix officially confirmed Sean Kanan is returning as Mike Barnes in Cobra Kai season 5. The release of 10 new photos from the upcoming season highlights many exciting developments in the narrative, but the big reveal is the first look at Mike Barnes’ return. Executive Producers Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg teased Cobra Kai season 5 bringing back Mike Barnes after Karate Kid III and how it affects the rest of the season by saying, “As Terry Silver calls upon some old friends to put the Valley in a stranglehold, Daniel and Johnny are going to need all the help they can get to stop Cobra Kai in its tracks.” See the first look at Mike Barnes in Cobra Kai season 5 below, along with a handful of other new images.
The confirmation that Mike Barnes is in Cobra Kai season 5 does not come with any details about how this will happen. The showrunners are keeping details of his return under wraps for the time being, and the image of Sean Kanan’s return does not reveal much about his setting. It is important to note that Mike Barnes is shown wearing a nice black suit, not one of the black Gi’s that members of Cobra Kai wear – even if he is fighting position.
Since it has been over 30 years since audiences have seen Mike Barnes, it will be fascinating to see how he factors into Cobra Kai season 5. It has been widely speculated that this will come through Terry Silver’s growing Cobra Kai empire. However, theories have also suggested that he could rebel against his former abusive and manipulative teacher, resulting in him teaming up with Daniel and Chozen instead. There are likely to be some surprises in store with Mike Barnes’ role, as Cobra Kai has repeatedly proven it will go in unexpected directions with its returning characters.