Carl Lucas/Luke Cage (Power Man)

Luke CageSecond main character seen in the Jessica Jones promotional images, and this time quite a superstar in the Marvel Universe: Luke Cage, portrayed by Mike Colter. In the show, he’ll be a man with a mysterious past, whom Jessica Jones meets during one of her investigations; the two will become allies…and maybe something more, following the comics. Anyway, Colter is preparing to reprise the role in his own tv series, Luke Cage, which will be aired next year. In the muscular Cage there’s certainly more than meets the eye, and hopefully it will be explored during the show…in the meanwhile, let’s see who this giant of a man is in the comics.

Son of NYPD detective James Lucas and of his first wife EstherCarl Lucas was born and raised in HarlemNew York City. As a teenager in one of the most violent blocks in the city, young Carl and his best friend Willis Stryker entered The Rivals, one of the gangs fighting for the control of Harlem. The Rivals’ greatest enemies were The Diablos, and the two groups often clashed violently in the city’s streets and alleys. James Lucas took distance from his son upon realising he was a gang member, but Esther always tried to be close to her boy despite all the mistakes he was making; eventually, however, Esther got accidentally killed by one of the Rivals. Both James and his younger son James Jr. blamed Carl for the tragedy, and the young man lost his whole family in a single night. Heartbroken for his mother’s loss, Carl finally decided to change life, and abandoned his dream of becoming a racketeer and found a honest job. His friend Stryker, however, still stayed in the “business”, and rose in ranks. The two were still friends, and when the criminal cartel Maggia attacked Stryker, only lukecagecomics1Carl’s intervention managed to save the young man’s life. That episode, however, was the final drop for Reva Connors, Stryker’s girlfriend, who became quite scared because of her boyfriend’s violent life: she broke up with him, and she went to Carl Lucas in search of solace. Willis Stryker learnt that her ex-girlfriend was at his best friend’s house, and in his jealousy he believed Carl was the reason Reva had broken up with him. In order to get rid of the “rival”, he stole some heroine from the plantation of another gangster, and hid it into Carl’s apartment; then, he called the police, telling them Lucas was a drug dealer. Police arrived in Carl’s place, found the drug and arrested him. Carl was moved to the State prison, where he learnt of Stryker’s betrayal; because of James Jr. hiding all the letters he sent to his father, Carl also came to believe that his father was dead as well, and this only increased his anger for being unjustly imprisoned. His behavior became more and more violent, as he constantly ended up in brawls and tried to escape; eventually, he was sent to Georgia, to the maximum security Seagate Prison.

In Seagate, Lucas didn’t change much of his attitude, and this led him to become the target of Billy Bob Rackham, a sadistic prison guard who eventually got demoted for his abuses (something that he obviously blamed Lucas for). Seagate Prison also hosted the lab of Dr. Noah Burstein, a scientist who used the inmates as guinea pigs for his genetic experiments in exchange of a reduction of the term of imprisonment. Upon hearing this, Carl Lucas volunteered for these experiments, which involved a variant of the Super Soldier Serum that had given birth to Captain America during war times. While the prisoner was immersed in an electrified chemical compound, Rackham showed up and tampered with Burstein’s instruments, hoping to kill Lucas in the process; the sabotage, on the opposite, accelerated the process, and gave Lucas superhuman strength and an impenetrable skin. With his newfound powers, Carl escaped from Seagate and made his way back to New York. In his home city, Carl Lucas lukecagecomics2legally changed his name into Luke Cage, so to avoid (for the time being) problems with law. Upon his arrival, Carl/Luke met a couple of thugs, who he easily dispatched: the would-be victim of the two crooks offered Luke a reward for his help, and this gave the man an idea. Soon after, Luke Cage created the super-identity of Power Man, and opened a new activity he named Hero for Hire: he offered his services to whoever was able to pay his price, granting protection from the now so numerous criminals in the area. Soon, Cage’s profits were enough for him to open a real office in Gem Theatre in Times Square. Dr. Burstein, who believed in Cage’s innocence, soon reached him and opened a clinic near his office, so that he could provide him medical care in case of need. Burstein also hired another doctor, Claire Temple, who became Luke’s girlfriend soon after. Despite making his being a superhero a business, Cage often found himself working for free for people who couldn’t allow his services, or even refusing payment when he didn’t agree with the mission (like when Daily Bugle‘s editor J. Jonah Jameson hired him to arrest Spider-Man, whom eventually Cage befriended). After all, a true hero was starting to emerge…

Luke Cage is the quintessential tough guy, a man who built himself up from nothing and who managed to put his life together back again everytime someone or something (himself included) ruined it. Brutal and uncompromising with criminals, unexpectedly kind-hearted and gentle with his loved ones (especially his wife Jessica Jones and his daughter Danielle), loyal and reliable for his friends and allies, Cage grew up from being just another mercenary to be recognised as one of New York’s greatest heroes. As Power Man, he possesses superhuman strength and durability, and his skin is completely impenetrable to any kind of damage (bullets included); he’s also a skilled athlete and a street-smart fighter, able to stand his own even against expert martial arts and accomplished combatants. A charismatic leader (even for the Avengers) gifted with a natural nobility, Luke Cage never abandoned his humble origins, and he keeps fighting for the common man.

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30 Comments

  1. […] living in order to win back his ex girlfriend, Claire Temple, who was now with another superhero, Luke Cage. When Cage arrived on the scene and started fighting with Foster, it was too much a good chance for […]

  2. […] money from the Kingpin, but the latter blackmailed Sheldon using his sister. Eventually, Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist convinced Sheldon to cooperate, but it was too late: Cherryh had already took […]

  3. […] of hiding, and surrendered to the Avengers; right in that moment, however, Spider-Woman and Luke Cage got attacked in Dagger’s hospital room by the real culprit, the one who had impersonated […]

  4. […] test subjects to replicate the Super Soldier Serum. One of Burstein’s guinea pigs had been Luke Cage, the only succesfull experiment, an ex-convinct who had gained superhuman powers and had […]

  5. […] contacted the Daily Bugle and revealed the whole story to their top reporter, Ben Urich. When Luke Cage was wounded by unknown attackers following his involvement in the Latveria mission, Mac contacted […]

  6. […] was kidnapped by KGB and brainwashed into attacking Clint and the other Avengers. She hired Power Man and Swordsman, and started to battle the heroes, but the trio was defeated, and Hawkeye helped […]

  7. […] any international treaty (the so-called Secret War). When Latveria retaliated, almost killing Luke Cage in the process, Fury abandoned his position as S.H.I.E.L.D. director and disappeared without […]

  8. […] Colleen saved Hogarth. Back to the United States, Jeryn Hogarth learned that his friend Luke Cage had been finally cleared of all his charges, and he organised a party to celebrate him. The party, […]

  9. […] by Parisa Fitz-Henley. That’s Reva Connors…and unfortunately she’s also Luke Cage‘s never forgotten wife, not exactly a good start for Jessica’s and Luke’s story. […]

  10. […] in Jessica Jones we have to move to episode 6, AKA You’re a Winner!, where Jessica helps Luke Cage in a case of missing person he’s been called in for. The missing boy, Antoine Grier, turns […]

  11. […] Tower also arranged a meeting with the Heroes for Hire, the private agency of Iron Fist and Luke Cage, and had agreements with them on behalf of his office; he also helped Daredevil by putting him in […]

  12. […] result of scaring her even more. Mimi ran to the Gem Theatre, seeking help from a friend of hers: Luke Cage, the Hero for Hire. When Ben arrived and found them together, he believed Mimi had fooled him and […]

  13. […] Stokes will be the owner of a nightclub in Harlem, and he’ll eventually cross paths with Luke Cage because of his criminal activities in the block. In the comics, Cottonmouth is actually […]

  14. […] of criminality that hit the area…and to learn more about its unusual bulletproof protector, Luke Cage. In the comics, she started as a police detective as well, but she ended up being something […]

  15. […] the body and robbing it from everything it had…but the man had a wife (a widow), who hired Luke Cage to find out what had happened to her late husband’s body. Cage used his informant, Flea, who […]

  16. […] I hope they’re not), it’s hardly imaginable how he could possibly pose a threat to Luke Cage, but he’ll probably be quite dangerous for his allies and friends. In the comics, he surely […]

  17. […] partner, and he’ll join her in her investigation on the mysterious bulletproof man, Luke Cage…but apparently he won’t be lucky in his manhunt, as we can see him further in the […]

  18. […] nevertheless (he’ll be properly introduced only in episode 4). In Moment of Truth, when Luke Cage is sleeping with Misty Knight, he has a nightmare about his time at Seagate Prison, and we see […]

  19. […] to jump to episode four, Step in the Arena. Nearly the entire episode is a long flashback about Luke Cage‘s origins, and we have quite a wide view on Seagate Prison…especially on a particular […]

  20. […] character appearing in Luke Cage episode four, Step in the Arena, is another guy from Luke Cage‘s past. During the flashback in Segate Prison we meet Dr. Noah Burstein, portrayed […]

  21. […] the comics he’s a recurring character in the Hero for Hire series as a personal friend of Luke Cage‘s and his house mate, on tv is just another street boy from Harlem who crosses his path. […]

  22. […] Hammer; when he finally appears in person, he’s the one and only villain able to take Luke Cage head on thanks to said technology. We also learn that he’s Luke’s half-brother, born […]

  23. […] appeared in Luke Cage, we jump to episode 10, Take It Personal, where we explore the origin of Luke Cage‘s and Willis Stryker‘s enmity. Back to the past, when the two rivals were just kids, […]

  24. […] if I missed anybody, let me know in the comments). Always in Take It Personal, we meet also Luke Cage‘s father, preacher James Lucas, portrayed by an unknown actor, and only gimplsed in a couple […]

  25. […] even gave them advanced tech to pass through Danny’s ever-present bodyguards, Iron Fist and Power Man, the Heroes for Hire. Despite Shades and Comanche got defeated and arrested, Ward managed to steal […]

  26. […] such as Warhawk, Chemistro, Constrictor and Sabretooth. When Iron Fist teamed up with Luke Cage to form the Heroes for Hire, the Daughters of the dragon became their most usual allies, to the […]

  27. […] for Jericho’s death, Daniel survived the explosion by possessing the indestructible body of Luke Cage, and using it he choked Stephen Strange, blaming him for his brother’s death. From that […]

  28. […] many other heroes from that point on, and he even managed to nearly kill the indestructible Luke Cage while teaming up with the Untouchables. He collected yet another victory while working […]

  29. […] despite overpowering Danny, Zhou Cheng was repelled by the combined efforts of his best friends, Luke Cage, Colleen Wing and Misty Knight. Retreated for the moment, Zhou Cheng found out that Danny Rand had […]

  30. […] to overthrow Maggia, but her mechanical army was eventually reduced to scraps by Iron Fist and Power Man. She came back months later, this time controlling Hulk to obtain a rare circuit developed […]


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