In the spirit of the month, I thought I would shine a light on superheroes I like and think are pretty cool. There are many across all the major and indie publishers that I think have really made an impact on pop culture and have stood the test of time. These characters usually find their way on to most people’s top 10 list and are some of the most powerful and popular irregardless of their ethnicity.
To start the month I will start with one of the oldest and one of the most popular, Luke Cage. Luke Cage was created by writer Archie Goodwin and artists John Romita, Sr. and George Tuska in order to capitalize on the blaxploitation era. He was the first black superhero to headline his own comic book. As a character, he shed light on many of the issues affecting the black community such as drug use, gangs and crime and the impetus for them. He is a super-strong, bullet-proof superhuman who gained his abilities from a prison experiment that was sabotaged by a racist prison guard who tried to kill him.
Cage has had multiple series by himself, but he is most recognized for his partnership with Danny Rand, the Iron Fist. His original series ran for about 50 issues before Iron Fist was brought into the series and it was renamed Power Man and Iron Fist. This lasted until issue 125 when it was cancelled. Over the years they have had many series with the two of them as the title characters with the most recent launching in 2016 and is currently still running. There is also another Luke Cage-centric series written and illustrated by Genndy Tartatovsky.
This series is set in the 70’s and is non-canon in order to give Tartakovsky more room to let loose and craft a unique story. He has led multiple incarnations of the Avengers, first in the 2nd volume of the New Avengers and The Mighty Avengers. For a time he was the warden of the Raft prison, trying to reform a group of villains in a team called the Thunderbolts.
He has appeared in many different forms of media such as cartoons, video games, action figures and even his own Netflix series. I really enjoyed the first half and was a little underwhelmed by the second half. Overall it was a great show and a great first season. He set to next appear in the Netflix series, The Defenders. This show will bring together all of the street level heroes from Marvels Netflix shows.
Luke Cage is a hero who stands by his morals and is a leader and never a follower. He never wears a mask because he has nothing to hide and to engender trust with the people of the neighborhood he seeks to protect.
This is the first of a series of post about iconic black heroes. Feel free to post a comment about your favorite Luke Cage moment and discuss the character.