Monday, February 21, 2011

Luke Cage - The First Black Hero To Have His Own Series

First Appearance Hero for Hire #1 (1972)

 Art by Declan Shalvey

After years of being miscast as a street thug, Luke Cage has finally come into his own. Thanks in large part to writer Brian Michael Bendis' work on the character over the last 5 years or so. He single-handedly resurrected Luke Cage and made him relevant. I would say relevant again but I'm not so sure he ever has been. Personally, I always thought of him as a joke. Who wears an afro with a head band, a yellow shirt with a butterfly collar, green pants and a chain for a belt? Um, no F-ing one that's who. The only thing worse that that would be if they gave him a gold tooth, made him speak Ebonics, disrespect women, and abuse his power.....oh wait, they did that too. Sorry, got upset there for a moment but I digress. Bendis has taken Cage from the side show freak pimp suit hero for hire to the legitimate leader of New Avengers and a loving husband and father. Recently Steve Rogers (Formerly Captain America) asked Luke run the Thunderbolts program. As the leader of the Thunderbolts Cage is in charge of a team of powerful villains, that includes The Juggernaut, Crossbones, and Moonstone, all who agreed to work with the Thunderbolts program in exchange for leniency, early release, or just to get out of their cell at the Raft (Marvel's super villain prison). They constantly test him yet he remains cool and in control. Cage is finally a well rounded character who readers can enjoy whether he is busting heads with his teammates or having a casual conversation with his wife. 

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