Whats up nerds? Today we’re going to take a look at the man with unbreakable skin, Marvel’s Luke Cage. Please feel free to watch me break down the origin and history of Luke Cage in our video below:
Luke Cage’s real name is Carl Lucas, he was created by Archie Goodwin and John Romita and first appeared in Hero for Hire #1 in June 1972. With films like Shaft and Super Fly becoming increasingly poplar, Luke Cage was Marvel’s take on the “blacksploitation” genre.
Luke Cage’s Origin
Growing up in the slums of Harlem, Carl Lucas and best friend Willis Stryker spent their youth in a gang called The Rivals. Gang life caused caused Lucas and Stryker to commit petty crimes and become actively involved in gang violence. As the two grew into adulthood, Carl Lucas and Willis Stryker set off down separate paths. Realizing the effect his life of crime had on his family, Lucas left the gang life to start a life as an NYPD police officer. Willis Stryker continued his life of crime and rose through the ranks of his gang.
Fearing for Willis’s life, Stryker’s girlfriend Reva left him and found comfort in Lucas. This caused Stryker to believe Reva was having an affair with Lucas, their relationship did become romantic, but only after she had left Stryker. Stryker planted drugs in Lucas’ apartment and tipped off the cops. Carl Lucas was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned. Stryker later went on to become the villain Diamondback.
While incarcerated, Lucas volunteered for an experimental procedure to have his sentence shortened. During the procedure, a racist guard named Albert Rackham tampered with the equipment, causing an overload. Lucas came out of the experiment with nearly impenetrable skin and superhuman abilities. Lucas used his newfound abilities to escaped prison and travel back to New York City. There he changed his name to Luke Cage and set up a “Hero for Hire” business in Times Square. Cage also operated under the name Power Man.
What about his previous conviction? Don’t worry he was eventually found innocent of his previous crimes (y’know…. because, comics)
Powers and Abilities:
Luke Cage has superhuman strength that allows him to lift up to 25 tons. His most notorious power is his nearly indestructible skin. Because of this, Luke Cage is resistant to bullets, explosions and stabbing weapons. He also has an accelerated healing factor. Cage’s internal organs are not as durable as his skin, and can be injured if hit with enough force.
Hero(es) for Hire
Originally, Luke Cage would offer his Hero for Hire services for anyone willing to pay. He even did a job for Doctor Doom at one point, but then teamed up with the Fantastic Four after Doom failed to pay his bill. Eventually Cage expanded his business and began working for Misty Knight’s detective agency and there he became best of friends with Iron Fist, Danny Rand. The two would partner up and create the Heroes for Hire agency. Together and with the help from other heroes like Daredevil and Spider-Man they took down crime in the streets of New York.
Defender, Avenger and Family Man
In the 70’s Luke Cage joined the super hero team The Defenders and helped them battle the villainous team The Wrecking Crew. Fun fact: Luke Cage is actually the only member of The Defenders Marvel Netflix series who ACTUALLY WAS a Defender in the comics.
What initially started as a one night stand, turned into something more when Luke Cage and Jessica Jones hooked up in the early 2000’s. Jones became pregnant and gave birth to Danielle Cage (named after Iron Fist, Danny Rand.) Not long after the two were wed. Around this time, Cage enlisted as Matt Murdock’s personal bodyguard and joined the New Avengers when a massive breakout occurred at the super-villain prison, The Raft.
As a New Avenger, Cage encountered such historic comic arcs like Civil War (siding with Captain America,) Secret Invasion, and Dark Reign.
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