Super Types

September 25, 2016

Character Spotlight: Luke Cage


Sweet Christmas! A Hero for Hire, Harlem’s protector, Jessica’s husband, and Danielle’s dad. The man with the diamond tough skin is coming to the small screen with his own show and but there’s some differences between the page and the screen. What kind of changes? Let’s find out!

Carl Lucas is the son of Esther and James Lucas, brother of James Jr., born and raised in Harlem. The man who would be Luke grew up with the rough crowd including close friends, Willis Stryker and Reva Connors, they would raise in the criminal world. All the while, Carl’s family suffered, thw worst being his mother being gunned down in a gang fight. Upon reaching adulthood Carl would go legit and begin working to restore life with his family.

Unfortunately, his friend Stryker’s raise in crime caught the attention of those with more power, Cottonmouth. Carl would save Stryker from an attack and Reva would break up with Stryker to be with Carl instead. Infuriated, Stryker blamed Carl for everything and he’d set up Carl for heroine charges which would land Carl in prison. To make matters worse, Stryker’s actions led to Reva being murdered.



Trapped in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, losing all ties with his remaining family, realizing Stryker is at fault for everything, Carl would gladly take the chance at reduced time by volunteering for an experiment. The goal was to recreate the super soldier serum that created Captain America but due to a racist guard who hated Carl, the experiment instead increased his strength and durability above and beyond. The Chaos of the experiments tampering would allow Carl to escape prison, with the law looking for Carl Lucas, Luke Cage was born.



Luke would set up shop in Times Square as a Hero for Hire. He’d find the doctor who’d conducted the experiment would open a practice nearby with Dr. Claire Temple who would date then become good friends and allies with Luke. As a Hero for Hire, Luke would meet such villains as Black Mariah, Cottonmouth, and Doctor Doom. Doom owed him money so he’d borrow a Fantasticar and fly all the way to Latveria and raise hell he got paid his 200 bucks. Never rescind on a deal with Luke Cage. Ever.


Luke would even pretend to work for Cottonmouth when he realized he was partly responsible for the hero in charge Luke was inprisoned for. Stryker would die in the process due to his own mistakes but Luke would get his name cleared. The Defenders would come a calling and while Luke would work well with them, he didn’t feel like team play was his style.


In walks Iron Fist, Danny Rand, and Luke’s view on team play changes. The two team up to help Misty Knight but they realize they make such a good team they become the Heroes for Hire. All sorts of strange adventures together, Luke would sometimes find himself exhausted with the hero’s life and want to take it easy buy Danny would wrangle him back in eventually.


During one of his downtimes, Luke would run his own bar and meet Jessica Jones, former superhero turned private investigator. The two would have a one-night-stand but stay involved with each other as they got swept up in dealing with Jessica’s past and current hero troubles like Daredevil trying to hide his identity. When they learn that Jessica is pregnant, the two move in together.


The two would eventually marry and have a daughter, Danielle. Their lives were shaken by the superhero Civil War that would outlaw superheroes who didn’t register with the government. Jessica and Danielle would go to Canada while Luke would stay at home and fight alongside Captain America on the anti-registration side. When Steve Rogers is killed, the War is over, and Luke & company would go into hiding as the New Avengers, Luke would take on the role of leader and it’d be a role he’d find himself in quite often ever since. Jessica and Danielle would return to live with Luke in hiding.


During the Skull invasion Luke would lead his team but during the end of the battle, the Skrull impersonating Iron Man butler, Jarvis, would kidnap Danielle. Luke made a deal with Norman Osborn, who was currently in charge of SHIELD (now HAMMER) and opposing the New Avengers, to help him find Danielle. When they finally rescue Danielle, Luke turns against Norman due to Norman’s use of excessive force.


When Osborn is defeated and Steve Rogers returns and is put in charge of SHIELD teams, he offers Luke a team but Luke decides to lead his New Avengers and the new Thunderbolts, imprisoned supervillains who can do missions for lightened sentences. The Thunderbolts team eventually breaks apart due to time travel before they can be reformed and the New Avengers would continue on with out him when he left after the battles with the X-Men and the Avengers.


Soon, Luke found himself leading a Mighty Avengers team who would try and help citizens keep their streets safe and homes working. The team would end up dealing with more magic than they’d anticipated but still save the world several times over before disbanding as team members found new homes with new teams. Luke was ready to settle down to raise Danielle with Jessica when Danny came a calling again, and soon enougn, the Heroes for Hire were back in business.


There you have it folks! Luke Cage is one of my all time favorite superheroes and I am so excited to see him in the MCU. Luke always has had an iconic look and he sometimes goes by Power Man already just plain old Luke Cage, either way, he’s a big man with a big heart who won’t take no guff. I can’t wait for his show to premiere and it’s already getting high praise from early reviews so here’s hoping we’ll get more of Luke Cage on the page and screen. See you next time!


Suggested Reading
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire
Heroes For Hire
Power Man and Iron Fist
New Avengers
Hero for Hire
Mighty Avengers
Captain America and the Mighty Avengers


Dr. Bustos




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