Posted September 26, 2016 by Drew Bagay in Comics

10 Facts You Should Know About LUKE CAGE


At this point it’s no doubt that Marvel isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to their Netflix series, pushing out their street level heroes into their own TV shows as fast as they can.

First appearing in Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter, proved to be a hit among fans. And as a result, he is getting his own series. With Marvel’s Luke Cage just around the corner, here are some facts that will help you get to know more about the hero for hire, Luke Cage.

1. He is the first black superhero to have a solo series. Luke Cage was created by Archie Goodwin and John Romita Sr. shortly after the boom of ’70s blaxploitation films in the United States. He first appeared Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 in June 1972.

2. He got his powers from an experiment in jail. Before becoming a superhero, Luke was a gang member and a petty criminal in the streets of Harlem. He eventually decided to go clean and make a better life for himself. However, he was framed for a drug possession charge by his childhood friend, and falsely sentenced to prison. While locked up, Luke Cage volunteered for an experiment to recreate the original Super Soldier serum that gave Captain America his powers. It resulted into Luke receiving super-strength and an unbreakable skin, which ended up helping him escape prison.

3. His superhero name is Power Man. Born Carl Lucas, he used the name Luke Cage as a pseudonym right after he got his powers when he set himself up as the “hero for hire.” When he started gaining more popularity, and thus making more superhero friends, he adopted a more traditional name – Power Man. This change also resulted in his book getting subsequently retitled to Luke Cage, Power Man.

luke-cage-hero-for-hire-1-cover4. He is the original Hero for Hire. Before teaming up with Iron Fist, Luke Cage originally jumped into the superhero business as a… well, a business. Setting up the “hero for hire,” Luke Cage used his powers as a way to help his hometown of Harlem and make money.

5. His best friend is Iron Fist. Over time, the popularity of Luke’s book started to decline. So he was teamed up with another street-level superhero that’s waning in popularity at the time – Iron Fist – in order to save both titles and boost sales. Luke’s solo book was subsequently renamed to Power Man and Iron Fist, and the book ran for more than 50 issues. The two became very close friends due to their team-up, a relationship that’s still going strong to this day.

6. He originally wore a bright yellow shirt and tiara for a costume. Truly a product of its time, Luke Cage’s choice for a costume is reminiscent of the blaxploitation films and disco that were prominent at the time. He ditched the silk shirts and tiara in the ’90s, and has since adopted a simpler yet modern look.

7. He is married to Jessica Jones. Luke has had many well known relationships in his life, even dating the nurse Claire Temple at one point. But perhaps his best known love interest is Jessica Jones. The couple met when Jessica was still operating as the superhero Knightress (one of her many aliases). After years of friendship, and finally revealing their feelings for each other, the two decided to get married when Jessica became pregnant with their child. They named their baby Danielle, after Luke’s best friend Daniel Rand, the Iron Fist.

8. He is a member of the Avengers. Although best known for being half of the Power Man and Iron Fist duo, Luke Cage has been a member of several superhero teams in his career, including The Defenders and the Fantastic Four. But the character gained a surge in popularity when he was included in 2005’s New Avengers, written by Brian Michael Bendis. Luke Cage has played an intergral role in the Marvel Universe since, even leading his own team of Avengers.

9. Actor Nicolas Cage named himself after Luke Cage. Known for being an avid comic book fan, Nicolas Cage, born Nicolas Kim Coppola, took his last name from the character to avoid accusations of nepotism early in his career, being a nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola.

10. A Luke Cage movie was in the works for over a decade. Before getting his own Netflix series, Columbia Picture had the rights for the character and attempted to produce a Luke Cage film for over ten years, with several big name actors and directors attached to the project. Quentin Tarantino was one of the directors the studio was looking into, but ultimately passed on the project to direct Pulp Fiction instead. Lawrence Fishburne, Jamie Foxx and Tyrese Gibson were some of the actors considered in the lead role. Unable to produce anything, the rights for Luke Cage reverted back to Marvel Studios in 2013.

Drew Bagay

Drew is a lover of comic books, movies, and all things pop culture. He enjoys crime/thriller/noir fiction, playing the guitar, and taking long walks. He also doesn't like talking in third person.