- Sweet Christmas!
- -- Luke Cage src
Carl Lucas the man that would one day be known as "Luke Cage" was born and raised on the streets of the New York district of Harlem. He was the son of Esther and James Lucas are retired N.Y.P.D. detective. Lucas spent his youth causing trouble on the streets with his friends Willis Stryker and Reva Connors. He eventually joined a gang called The Rivals along with his best friend Stryker, he fought the rival gang the Diablos and committed various petty thefts, often on behalf of deformed crimelord Sonny Caputo a.k.a. Hammer. Lucas was in and out of juvenile homes throughout his teens, he dreamed of becoming a major New York racketeer until he finally realized how his actions were hurting his family; he sought to better himself as an adult, finding legitimate employment. Meanwhile, Stryker rose through the ranks of crime, but the two men remained friends.
However Stryker's activities came to the attention of the Maggia (a.k.a. the Syndicate), who did not appreciate his activities and he was badly attacked in a mob hit, but Lucas there to save him. After that Reva ended the relationship and turned to Lucas for comfort. This cuased a rift between the two former friends and Stryker believed Lucas was the cause of the break-up. Stryker planted heroin stolen from Cottonmouth's organization in Lucas' place and tipped off the cops. Lucas was arrested and sentenced to prison, he attempted to get revenge by contacting the Maggia, only for the group's attempt on Stryker's life to go awry, while Stryker survived, while Reva was killed in the process. After that Lucas lost contact with his family due to the resentment of his brother James, Jr., who intercepted his brothers letters to their father and eventually led each to believe the other was dead.
While in prison, Lucas was consumed with hatred and rage by his friends betrayal and the supposed loss of his father. He spent his time getting into brawls along with various escape attempts. Because of this he was transferred to Seagate Prison one of the toughest facilities off the coast of Georgia. On his various first day he became target of racist and sadistic prison guard; Albert "Billy Bob" Rackham. His brutality toward Lucas was the reason he was later demoted which made him hate the inmate even more. Dr. Noah Burstein came to the prison to carry out secret medical research and recruited Lucas as a volunteer. He was secretly working on experimental cell regeneration based on a variant of the Super-Soldier process he had previously used to empower Warhawk.
He immersed Lucas in an electrical field conducted by an organic chemical compound. However when he left equipment unattended, Rackham tampered with the controls, hoping to kill Lucas. However the treatment was accelerated past it's attended purpose causing mutagenic change throughout his body fortifying his cells giving him superhuman strength and durability. Lucas with his new found powers used them to escape the prison and his way back to Harlem. A chance encounter with criminals inspired him to use his new powers for profit.
Still a wanted man he adopted the alias "Luke Cage", now he had powers he decided to done distinctive costume, and start a new career as a "Hero for Hire". He would help anyone who could meet his price. He found an office office in Times Square's Gem Theater, which was owned by film student D.W. Griffith's family. Dr. Burstein also relocated to New York and opened the Storefront Clinic, assisted by Dr. Claire Temple. He first met Claire after he was attacked by hitmen hired by his old friend Stryker. When she rushed to help him she was shocked to find that he wasn't injured by the attack, but insisted on having her colleague look at his bruises but at the clinic he met old friend Dr. Burnstein. He however was attacked by the syndicate looking to convince them into paying a protection fee. Claire suggested that they take up Luke's services. However Claire was kidnapped and Luke tracked her to the perpetrators lair, where he was surprised to find that it is his old friend and betrayer Stryker. The two former friends fought Cage who hoped to clear his name, however, during the fight Stryker fell through a skylight and is blown up by one of his own trick switchblades, ruining any hope Luke had that Stryker could clear his name.
Luke was next hired by veteran; Owen Ridgely who had learned about Col. Gideon Mace, an embittered veteran who planned revenge on the US government. Mace enlisted disgruntled veterans, to paralyze Manhattan for a day to distract the cops. However this was a decoy as he planned to attack and rob Wall Street. Ridgely was murdered by Mace's men so he hunted down Mace and attacked his hideout, but when Mace tried to flee in a helicopter, Luke caused it to crash into the Hudson River.
After a ghostly attack at the Gem Theater in the middle of the night, Luke confronted by Daily Bugle reporter Phil Fox who was interested in doing a piece about Cage, he refused but only furthered his interest in the Hero for Hire. Luke was next hired by Jasper Brunt, to investigate the "Phantom of 45th Street". In investigating, Luke learned that the Phantom was really Armand Lorning, the son of Brunt's former business partner. The two men fought but they fell out the window to their deaths.
Luke had an appointment with a man named Frank Jenks in the upper balcony of the Gem Theater. Luke arrived to find two thugs beating on Jenks. Luke managed to fight off the attackers but not before Jenks was stabbed. Luke went to the lobby to call Jenks' wife to inform her of his death. Luke then placed a call to the police. Returning to the balcony, Luke was shocked to learn that Jenks' body had already been taken away by an ambulance. Luke made a vow to Jenks' wife to find his body.
Luke tracked the ambulance back to a warehouse on 17th street. He noticed an ambulance pull out of the warehouse but once the driver spotted Luke he turned around and quickly drove back inside. Suspicious, Luke went in after him, fully expecting an ambush. His suspicions were confirmed when he was attacked by Mariah's men. Luke pretended to get knocked out and was dragged before Black Mariah herself. Luke sprung back into action and beat up his captors. Mariah attempted to shoot him but the bullets bounced off Luke's unbreakable skin. Mariah tried a different tactic and lunged at Luke, using her weight and enormous size to her advantage. Reluctant to hit a woman, Luke braced himself against a wall and let Mariah run into it. Thinking herself bested, Mariah tried to flee on a speedboat. Luke jumped from a gantry and landed on the boat, capsizing it and leaving Mariah floating in the water. She was later arrested.
Doctor Doom the ruler of Latveria, hired Luke to defeat a bunch of rogue Doombots who have disguised themselves as African-American New Yorkers. Luke took the job and destroyed the Doombots with ease. However Doom skipped town without paying his $200 fee, Luke borrowed the Fantastic Four's jet, flew to Latveria, and beat the living hell out of Doom until he paid him his fee. After he was paid he left Doom in peace and returned to the States.
The Man Called Cottonmouth
Returning to his office after a recent battle, Luke found a package waiting for him. Inside were two live, venomous snakes. Luke easily defeated them, tied them both together, and tossed them aside. D.W. entered the office, attracted by the commotion, and informed Luke that he had visitors. Two large men walked in and introduced themselves as Mike and Ike. The duo noticed that Luke had received their boss's gift and wondered if Luke would appreciate his offer as well. Luke grew annoyed and grabbed Mike, demanding who they were working for. After a brief fight, Luke threatened to shove the two snakes down Mike's throat if he didn't give up his boss's name. Getting the answers he needed, Luke traveled to the Midtown office of drug kingpin Cornell Cottonmouth.
Cottonmouth explained that he had sent the snakes as a test to see if Luke was worthy of a position in his organization's hierarchy. Luke, suspicious that the heroin used to frame him and send him to prion came from Cottonmouth's organization, accepted the job, reasoning that he would have a better chance at clearing his name if he was on the inside.
For his fist mission, Luke was sent to retrieve a shipment of heroin that was stolen by Boss Morgan's gang. Luke succeeded and was fully welcomed into Cottonmouth's organization. Over the following days, Cottonmouth's diminutive assistant Mr. Slick showed Luke the ins and outs of the operation. During this time, Luke hoped to find records of Cottonmouth's dealings that could clear his name but to no avail. Growing increasingly frustrated by his lack of progress, Luke resolved to call the cops, figuring that maybe they could find the records or at the very least shut the operation down. Cottonmouth learned of Luke's betrayal and attacked him. During the fight, Mr. Slick was accidentally knocked out the window and plummeted thirty five stories to his death. Distraught, Cottonmouth surrendered. Luke demanded Cottonmouth show him his records, a request Cottonmouth laughed at. Cottonmouth told Luke that Mr. Slick, who had a photographic memory, was his records. Luke knocked Cottonmouth out and called the police to have him arrested.
Shortly afterward, Cage began associating with the loose-knit super-team known as the Defenders, alongside whom he fought the super-strong Wrecking Crew and the racist subversives known as the Sons of the Serpent.
Called to assist the Defenders against the Plantman, Cage began to complain that his participation in their group was interfering with his paying work. Wealthy Defenders member Nighthawk solved this problem by placing Cage on retainer, giving Luke a steady paycheck for his Defenders activities. For some time, Cage served as a core member of the Defenders alongside Doctor Strange, the Hulk, Brunnhilde the Valkyrie, Nighthawk and the Red Guardian (Dr. Tania Belinskya). Together, they defeated minor threats including the Eel and the Porcupine, and major menaces such as the Headmen and Nebulon, Egghead's Emissaries of Evil, and the Red Rajah. Cage felt out of place in the often-bizarre exploits of the Defenders and eventually resigned. Cage believed he was unsuited to teamwork, little realizing how wrong he would be proven months later.
Having obtained proof of Cage's innocence in his original drug charges, the criminal Bushmaster abducted Burstein and Temple, using their safety and the hope of acquittal to blackmail Cage into abducting detective Misty Knight, who had humiliated Bushmaster in an earlier encounter. Luke first met Danny Rand aka the Iron Fist a native of the extra-dimensional city of K'un-Lun and still a newcomer to Earth society; at a party celebrating his exoneration of all charges they were attacked by Stiletto and Discus teaming up to take them down. Cage's efforts led to a fight with Knight's Iron Fist, however, upon learning of Cage's situation, Iron Fist and Knight helped him defeat Bushmaster and rescue his friends. In the course of the encounter, Bushmaster forced Burstein to mutate him as he had Cage, but was nonetheless defeated and soon became paralyzed by the process. Cleared of criminal charges, Cage briefly worked for Knight's detective agency Nightwing Restorations but soon elected to join Iron Fist in a two-man team, Heroes for Hire, founded by attorney Jeryn Hogarth and staffed by administrative wunderkind Jennie Royce. Although the streetwise Cage and the unworldly Iron Fist seemed to have little in common, they soon became the best of friends; however, Cage's relationship with Claire Temple proved less durable, and he instead began dating model Harmony Young.
Heroes for Hire
Cage and Iron Fist achieved great success with Heroes for Hire. They earned an an international reputation and fighting a wide variety of criminals, including the genius Nightshade, the international crime lord Montenegro, Sabretooth and the Constrictor, Warhawk, and the drug lord Goldeneye. They had several struggles involving the nations of Halwan and Murkatesh, including incarnations of Scimitar and the Black Tiger. They occasionally worked alongside fellow street-level heroes such as Spider-Man, Daredevil and Moon Knight, but rarely participated in the larger-scale crises that occupied the likes of the FF and the Avengers; however, their adventures took occasional turns toward the extraterrestrial or the extra-dimensional, areas which held little appeal for the down-to-earth Cage. Their partnership's downfall began when the mysterious government agency S.M.I.L.E. manipulated Cage and Iron Fist into the employment of Consolidated Conglomerates, Inc.; during their first CCI assignment, Iron Fist contracted radiation poisoning. Cage took him to K'un-Lun for treatment. While there, Iron Fist was, unknown to Cage, replaced by a doppelganger of the plantlike H'ylthri race, K'un-Lun's ancient enemies. Soon after their return to the outside world, the doppelganger was destroyed, pummeled by the alien Super-Skrull, as a result of a bizarre scheme engineered by Iron Fist's archenemy, Master Khan. Cage was blamed for the apparent murder of Iron Fist.
A fugitive again, Cage broke contact with his New York friends and relocated to Chicago; but, with Hogarth's help, he was cleared of criminal charges when the real Iron Fist turned up alive. Wanting a new start, Cage abandoned his Power Man guise and began operating out of Chicago as the plainclothes Luke Cage, Hero for Hire; he made arrangements with the Chicago Spectator for exclusive reports of his adventures and frequently worked with detective Dakota North. He soon attracted the interest of the refined assassin Hardcore, an employee of Cruz Bushmaster, son of the very villain whose defeat had cleared Cage's name the first time. Cage learned that Cruz, following in his father's extortion footsteps, had abducted Noah Burstein's wife Emma to force the scientist to re-create the process that had empowered Cage, regardless of how many test subjects suffered in the process. Cruz underwent the procedure himself, but the elder Bushmaster drained the power from his son, reversing his near-catatonia and declaring himself the Power Master; however, Cage teamed with Iron Fist to thwart their plans, freeing the Bursteins while the Bushmasters apparently perished.
While Cage tried to locate his surviving family members with the aid of Dakota North, his brother kept moving his father around to keep Cage away from them. James, Jr. was eventually recruited by the criminal Corporation, whose power-enhancing scientist Doctor Karl Malus mutated him into the superhuman Coldfire. As Coldfire, James, Jr. hoped to be a match for his super-powerful brother, whom he regarded as a threat, and he used his hatred of Cage as a focus for his energy powers. Though James, Jr. worked with the Corporation quite willingly, Malus had James, Sr. held hostage as extra insurance of Coldfire's cooperation. When Cage learned the Corporation was apparently holding his family, he invaded their headquarters and battled Coldfire; however, the brothers ultimately joined forces to rescue their father from Malus, and Coldfire apparently sacrificed himself to destroy the Corporation's headquarters.
A few months later, Cage investigated the murder of Harmony Young and fought her killer, the demon Darklove, alongside Ghost Rider. Not long afterward, the mystic Doctor Druid recruited Cage to serve in his Secret Defenders against the sorcerer Malachi. Cage returned to New York and, deciding his heart was no longer in super heroics, became co-owner of the Gem Theater with his friend D.W. Griffith. Even an invitation from Iron Fist to join a new and expanded Heroes for Hire failed to interest him; yet when the would-be world conqueror called the Master tried to recruit Cage as a spy within Iron Fist's team, destroying Cage's theater in the process, a curious Cage played along. Cage joined Heroes for Hire and served with them for some time while reporting to the Master. Cage himself even began to sympathize with the more benevolent aspects of the Master's goals, and the Master and Cage seemed to become genuinely fond of each other; but in the end, Cage could neither betray his best friend Iron Fist nor reconcile himself to the tremendous loss of life the Master's plans of conquest would entail, and he ultimately helped Heroes for Hire destroy the Master of the World's plans. Cage remained with the group thereafter, and dated a fellow member, the She-Hulk. When the Stark-Fujikawa corporation bought out Heroes for Hire, Cage and Ant-Man were fired because of their prison records, and the rest of the team quit in protest.
Cage, bitten by the hero bug once more, continued to share adventures with Iron Fist and other heroes. Briefly resuming his Power Man identity, he was hired by Moon Knight to join the "Marvel Knights"; but mere days after he joined, the group dissolved following clashes with the forces of Tombstone and Fu Manchu. Deciding that a return to basics was in order, he re-established his Hero for Hire activities, intervening in a gang war between Tombstone and Hammer, and soon learned that, despite his international fame, he was almost forgotten on the streets where he had originally made his reputation. He invested his money in a bar and set about ridding his immediate neighborhood of criminal elements, deciding that the business of world-saving was best left to others.
Luke used his money to open a Bar, that was visited by Jessica Jones. After a one-night stand with a drunken Jessica, now a private investigator, Cage's life was briefly thrown into disarray by Jones's reaction to the fling; but the two made peace while working as bodyguards for Matt Murdock, whose public denial of his Daredevil costumed identity cost him a bit of Cage's respect. Shortly afterward, Cage extended emotional support to Jones when she was forced to revisit past abuses by the villainous Purple Man, and Cage's feelings for her grew. When Jones revealed that she was pregnant from their tryst, she and Cage moved in together. Soon afterward, Jones became a superhuman consultant with the Daily Bugle, where Jameson's ire at Cage has by no means dwindled over the years.
At some point after this, Nick Fury asked Cage for a favor. He and a number of other superheroes including: Spider-Man, Daredevil, Wolverine, Captain America and the Black Widow were asked to travel to Latveria to help Fury overthrow the government of Lucia von Bardas, whom be discovered to be financing a number of technologically-based super-criminals in the United States. Recognizing the potential terrorist ramifications of such an act, Fury decided to eliminate the threat despite being told to leave it alone by the American President. Unbeknownst to the assembled heroes, Fury planned to make an example of von Bardas and brought down Castle Doom onto the city below, killing an untold number of people. Knowing that the superheroes could never condone such an action, he had the previous two days activities erased from their minds.
On the year anniversary of their attack on Latveria, Cage and Jessica Jones came home to their Harlem apartment to find von Bardas, who survived their attack, though now horribly disfigured, there waiting for him. She then blasted Cage with a concentrated energy beam which leveled his entire apartment as an act of revenge. Both Cage and Jones survived the blast, though Cage sustained a great deal of damage to his internal organs and lay in a coma. This was further compounded by the fact that Cage's unbreakable skin made it impossible for doctors to operate on him. Realizing that the attack on Cage was possibly a retaliation for their Secret War in Latveria, Fury visited Cage in hospital. Captain America also arrived and got into an argument with Fury, having regained his memories about their actions in Latveria some months previously. The two men and Danny Rand then took the unconscious Cage and removed him from the hospital to ensure his safety from further acts of retribution. When Jessica returned to Cage's hospital room, she found it empty and the hospital was under heavy attack. Jessica spent the next several days searching for her boyfriend with the help of Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich. They finally found him at the Night Nurse's medical clinic, a place where superheroes can secretly go to receive medical attention. Rand brought Cage here after Fury told him to bring his friend someplace safe. Nick Fury then appeared to both a now-conscious Cage and Jessica and apologized for messing up their lives. He vowed that he would no longer interfere with them, or anyone else, and told them that they were good people.
Marriage and the New Avengers
Cage was recruited by Captain America into a new incarnation of the Avengers after a massive prison break on Rykers Island and proving himself to Cap.
Jessica and Cage are now the parents of an unnamed daughter and have gotten married. At the start of the Civil War Luke sent both Jessica and his daughter to Canada to avoid registration, though he himself refused to leave. S.H.I.E.L.D. forces came to arrest him at the stroke of midnight despite not having used his powers since the Act went into effect, he fought his way to safety with the help of Captain America, the Falcon, and Iron Fist (posing as Daredevil), and was a dedicated member of Captain America's "Secret Avengers" until Cap's surrender to U.S. authorities.
After the events of the superhuman Civil War, Jessica returned with their baby from Canada due to horrific death of their good friend Captain America (Steve Rogers). Luke Cage and Spider-Man rounded up some of the remaining unregistered superhumans; Iron Fist (Daniel Rand), Spider-Woman (who was really the Skrull queen Veranke), Wolverine, and Doctor Strange to form a new team of New Avengers. Taking refugee in Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum, Cage tasked the New Avengers with opposing the numerous escapees from the Raft prison while uncovering and exposing the truth behind the Raft breakout, the corruption in S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA, the Civil War, and finding the connection between each of them.
Cage and his comrades were often opposed by authorities and the Mighty Avengers for operating as illegal, unregistered superhumans. These actions caused him to develop a strong sense of caution, and even distrust when associating with registered superheroes such as Falcon. He initially found great difficulty trusting Clint Barton (formerly Hawkeye) for wanting to join the New Avengers' cause due to the former costumed crime fighter's original ties to the founding Avengers and why he wanted to work with a group of strangers instead of his friends. Doctor Strange however, proved to Cage Barton's loyalty and trustworthiness causing Cage to accept him as teammate and a friend.
Cage proved to be an effective field leader, but was sometimes confronted with difficult situations that required additional tactical knowledge to determine the course of action. The New Avengers rescue mission in Japan and the time misplaced Invaders are two examples of this. He and Jessica eventually named their newborn daughter "Danielle" after his best friend Daniel Rand, whom they also declared as her godfather. Danielle and Jessica are, and continue to be, Cage's inspiration to his super-heroic activities.
In course of the New Avengers' mission to rescue Echo in Japan, the team discovered the Hand's leader, Elektra, to be a Skrull impostor after Echo killed her in battle. Cage and his teammates became very uneasy due to the alien's ability to perfectly impersonate any person and were not stray of the idea of there being more Skrulls on Earth. Suspicion became distrust as many of his teammates were no longer sure of one another's identity; Cage included. The team was soon betrayed by Spider-Woman (Queen Veranke), who stole the Skrull body in order to present it to Tony Stark and cut her ties to the New Avengers and new recruit, Echo.
After Strange's sanctum was stormed by the Hood and his underworld of superhuman criminals, Cage relocated with the rest of his team to one of Iron Fist's leased apartments, but his wife and child took refugee with the Mighty Avengers at Avengers' Tower. Angry that his wife had abandoned him with his child, he opposed her outside of the tower on her decision to register with the law and end all contact with him. Discovering she had no intention of returning with him with their child due to a dangerous, and unsuitable environment, Cage stormed back to his team's new headquarters. He was very disturbed with Jessica's decision. Due to the discovery of the Skrull invader, he was very worried about his family's safety; as well as his marriage.
After a Skrull ship crashed in the Savage Land, Luke took the New Avengers there, confronting the Mighty Avengers. During the battle, Luke ripped open the Skrull ship, only to have a large group of 1970's versions of several heroes, including himself, emerge claiming to be the real heroes. However they were exposed as Skrulls, thanks to a device made by Reed Richards. The Avengers flew back to New York and meet up with the other heroes to fight the final battle with the Skrulls in Central Park. During the midst of the fight Jessica Jones came into the battle and fought with the heroes, while admitting that Luke was right about the Skrulls and apologized. After the Skrulls surrendered the Skrull impersonating Jarvis disappeared with their daughter, leaving Jessica desperate and upset.
After the battle ended, Captain America (James "Bucky" Barnes) organized a meeting with the New Avengers at his home, offering it as their base of operations. When Luke, Jessica and Carol arrived at Bucky's home, the New Avengers contacted the Fantastic Four and Iron Fist to begin searching for Danielle. They attacked various villains such as A.I.M., HYDRA, Electro and Red Skull for any information regarding the Skrull Jarvis, thinking he might have contacted them for a way to escape New York City, possibly the earth. Eventually they found a Skrull pretending to be an ex-SHIELD agent at a bar. After a brief confrontation, the Skrull was about to reveal where Danielle was when another agent shot the Skrull in the head, leaving Jessica convinced Skrull Jarvis was going to kill Danielle. Meanwhile, with the rest of the New Avengers unaware, Luke asked Norman Osborn for help in their search, agreeing do to anything he asked of him. Osborn helped Cage recover Danielle, but when Bullseye killed the Jarvis-Skrull, Cage reneged on his offer to serve Osborn and returned to the New Avengers. Cage was attacked by The Hood's Gang when Harrow use his power drainer on the New Avengers. Afterwords Cage went into cardiac arrest forcing him to ask Osborn for help due to his unbreakable skin and the fact that he possessed the disruptor. Cage is later saved by the Avengers before he could be interrogated by H.A.M.M.E.R. But during the operation a bomb is placed in his heart forcing The Wasp and Doctor Strange to save him.
After Osborn was defeated in the Siege, Steve Rogers became the nation's top cop. Taking over the Avengers organization, he offered Luke a spot on the team. Unfortunately, Luke had no interest in joining up with another government-driven Avengers. Despite Steve assuring him that it was all on a voluntary basis, Luke considered taking the offer to be a giant step backwards.
As a solution, Tony sold the old Avengers Mansion to Cage for one dollar (which he had to borrow from Iron Fist), and Cage was allowed to operate his own independent Avengers team with minimal interference from the government. He, his wife Jessica, Iron Fist, and several other heroes soon moved into the mansion and set up shop.
Luke also took on the job of running the Thunderbolts program for Steve Rogers in order to give super-powered criminals a chance to turn their lives around like he did.
When Daredevil suddenly returned to New York by building a castle out of a destroyed building, Cage was one of the many "street-level" heroes who thought Murdock was getting out of hand. When news that he had a change of heart in his heroism (shown when he mercilessly killed Bullseye) reached his ears, Power Man and Iron Fist went to confront him, but the Man without Fear retreated. Later, while at Rand's restaurant, the two conversed about Murdock's growing 'insanity.'
Avengers vs. X-Men
When it was revealed that the Phoenix Force was heading towards Earth looking for a new host, he answered Captain America's call in invading Utopia. Cage helped Thing fight the Atlantean Namor. He later left the New Avengers to raise his daughter peacefully.
Luke and his Heroes for Hire fought the Plunderer, and after Spider-Man intervened, he and Power Man grabbed a coffee. He insists that the heroes aren't doing enough to keep the world safe. He and his team, now the Mighty Avengers began fighting off Thanos' invasion on Earth. After the initial threat was over, he officially declared the new assembled group to be Avengers.
|Power Grid |
Luke Cage possesses various superhuman physical attributes after undergoing an experiment designed to increases his body's cellular regeneration process.
- Superhuman Strength: After undergoing the original experiment, Cage's strength was increased to superhuman levels, initially it was only sufficient enough to lift approximately 5 tons, but with intensive physical training and years of experience as a superhero his strength was upped to 25 tons. His current strength levels reach around "Class 50" or higher, allowing him to seamlessly move extremely heavy objects with ease or trade blows with superhumanly strong extraterrestrials resulting in mild seismic activity. As seen when Luke almost effortlessly carried a semi over seven city blocks because 'he couldn't get it to start up'.
- Superhuman Speed: While not as fast as most typical speedsters, Cage's musculature legs enable him to move much faster than the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Stamina: Cage's muscles generate less fatigue toxins than the muscles of ordinary humans, granting him superhuman stamina. He can exert himself at peak capacity for about 24 hours before fatigue begins to affect him.
- Nigh Invulnerability: Luke Cage's skin is as hard as titanium steel and his muscle and bone tissues are considerably denser than the tissues of an ordinary human, granting him much greater resistance to physical injury than an ordinary human. He can withstand conventional handgun fire at a range of 4 feet and cannot be cut by any blade forged of conventional material, although in the event of required surgery his skin can be lacerated by an overpowered medical laser. He can withstand up to one-ton impacts or blasts of 150 pounds of TNT without serious injury, and is highly resistant to extreme temperatures and electrical shocks. His current level of durability enables him to withstand gun fire at point-blank range, and can withstand being lit on fire without suffering any serious or permanent injuries. He has withstood impacts from superhumans a good deal stronger than him, destructive energy attacks including electricity, and falls from great heights such as ninety story high skyscrapers.
- Accelerated Healing Factor: Despite his near invulnerability, it is possible for Cage to be hurt. If injured, he is capable of recovering from mild injuries in 1/3rd the time it would take an ordinary human.
- Nick Fury's intel classified him as power level 8, while Captain America (Sam Wilson) and Tony Stark considered him to be a Beta Level Threat.
Skilled Combatant: Cage is a self-taught hand-to-hand combatant with years of street fighting experience. He also says he has had extensive training with Iron Fist. Through him, he has learned to utilize leverage with his strength in order to increase his combat effectiveness against more powerful opponents.
Skilled Athlete: He is also a gifted athlete, even without his superhuman abilities.
Extended Education: Cage is self-educated in the law and speaks several languages.
Strong Speaker: He has proven to be very good at speaking positively, truthfully, and charismatically in front of large audiences. His innate nobility has earned him the respect and friendship from a good number of different persons.
Class 50; Cage's strength has increased substantially and is enough for him to lift at least 50 tons possibly more. His strength also extends to his legs enabling him to leap like the Hulk but not nearly as high but several stories.
Near-Unbreakable Flesh: Since Cage's skin cannot be lacerated by conventional materials, his superhuman durability is a hindrance if he suffers injuries that are too severe for him to heal on his own and require surgery, such as internal injuries. While his skin can be lacerated by a highly powerful medical laser and weapons composed of Adamantium, neither of these would be readily available or easily accessible.
Radiation: Enough exposure to massive amounts of radiation and the resulting burns can kill Cage, if the injuries are extensive enough.
Cage owns a leather jacket which is, like his skin, impervious to virtually any injury; however, he wears it infrequently and is often left with shredded clothing in the wake of his adventures.
Avengers Quinjet, Teleportation through Doctor Strange's magic.
- Noted for the catchphrase, "Sweet Christmas!"
- His former code-name "Power Man" had its origins in the term "Black Power", Luke deciding to call himself that when Orville Smythe was surprised that he managed to break into his escape vehicle and Cage reponded "Just chalk it up to Black Power, man!"
- Luke Cage was the first black superhero to helm his own ongoing title. Black Panther headlined in Jungle Action Vol 2 the following year, and wouldn't get his own self-titled book until 1977, five years after Hero for Hire #1.
- Actor Nicolas Cage (who would go on to play, among others, the original Ghost Rider), changed his surname from Coppola to Cage based on the character, so he could pursue his acting career without relying on his relation to filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, his uncle.
- Luke Cage was Marvel's response to the "blaxploitation" movies of the time such as Shaft and Baadassss.
- 923 Appearances of Luke Cage (Earth-616)
- Media Luke Cage (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 374 Images featuring Luke Cage (Earth-616)
- 107 Quotations by or about Luke Cage (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Luke Cage (Earth-616)
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- ↑ Avengers / Invaders #9
- ↑ Cage #3
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Avengers Origins: Luke Cage #1
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Hero for Hire #2
- ↑ Cage Vol 2 #4
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Hero for Hire #1
- ↑ Hero for Hire #3
- ↑ Hero for Hire #4
- ↑ Hero for Hire #5
- ↑ Hero for Hire #8-9
- ↑ Power Man #18
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Power Man #19
- ↑ Power Man #20
- ↑ Defenders #18
- ↑ Defenders #24-#25
- ↑ Defenders #37
- ↑ Defenders #37-46
- ↑ Defenders #37-38
- ↑ Defenders Annual #1
- ↑ Defenders #42-43
- ↑ Defenders #45
- ↑ Defenders #46
- ↑ Power Man and Iron Fist #50
- ↑ Power Man and Iron Fist #51
- ↑ Power Man and Iron Fist #53
- ↑ Power Man and Iron Fist #54
- ↑ Power Man and Iron Fist #125
- ↑ Cage #12
- ↑ Cage #13-14
- ↑ Marvel Knights #11-15
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 Cage Vol 2 #1-5
- ↑ Secret War #2
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 Secret War #1
- ↑ Secret War #5
- ↑ 35.0 35.1 The Pulse #6
- ↑ The Pulse #9
- ↑ New Avengers #1-3
- ↑ Civil War #2-7
- ↑ New Avengers #28
- ↑ New Avengers #28-32
- ↑ New Avengers #37-39
- ↑ Secret Invasion #8
- ↑ New Avengers #48-50
- ↑ New Avengers Vol 2 #1
- ↑ Thunderbolts #144
- ↑ Shadowland #1
- ↑ Shadowland #2
- ↑ New Avengers Vol 2 #24
- ↑ Avengers vs. X-Men #1
- ↑ Avengers vs. X-Men #2
- ↑ New Avengers Vol 2 #30
- ↑ Mighty Avengers Vol 2 #1
- ↑ 53.0 53.1 53.2 Mighty Avengers Vol 2 #3
- ↑ Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #9
- ↑ Power Man and Iron Fist Vol 3 #1-#4
- ↑ 56.0 56.1 56.2 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #10
- ↑ 57.0 57.1 New Avengers Vol 2 #10
- ↑ Secret War: From the Files of Nick Fury #1
- ↑ Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1
- ↑ New Avengers #17
- ↑ Captain America and The Falcon #5
- ↑ Age of Ultron #4
- ↑ Power Man #17
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #2
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 2
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