- “People are scared but they can't be paralyzed by that fear. You have to fight for what's right every single day, bulletproof skin or not. You can't just not snitch, or turn away or take money under the table because life has turned you sour.”
- ―Luke Cage
Luke Cage is a character from Marvel Comics, as well a supporting character in the Netflix TV series Jessica Jones, the titular protagonist of the series Luke Cage, and one of the protagonists of the miniseries The Defenders, all set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
His public identity is Carl Lucas, a former police officer, who was framed for a crime and wrongfully imprisoned. After undergoing an experiment by the prison's scientist, he gained superpowers in the form of impenetrable skin and super strength, and vowed to be a hero to Harlem.
Luke Cage was created by Archie Goodwin, George Tuska, Roy Thomas and John Romita Sr.
Luke has a lot of confidence in himself, being a superhuman with tough bulletproof skin, he boasts about himself a lot. He has a good friendship with others especially Spider-Man. Their friendship was shown when Peter became guilty over his forgetting of their science project the two had been assigned to do together. Regardless, he still chose to forgive him and continue to be his friend.
Luke doesn't like arguments, especially between his teammates. On one occasion, he had to yell at everyone to stop their constant bickering and arguing. He doesn't believe in arguments, as he finds them pointless and demeaning. He'd rather work things out with others than start fighting over what they should have done. Luke is arguably the most mature of the hero five and in their day and age, no one could deny his importance.
Despite his massive size, Luke is the least of his teammates to bully, second only to Iron Fist. He rarely finds pleasure in the humiliation of others and even shows signs to be disgusted by such. Regardless, on occasions he has been shown to laugh at the mocking of others, infamously when Luke and the others played a prank on Spider-Man headed by Nova involving a false backup phone call to him and his eventually tumble while coming out of his home.
The older Luke seen in Earth's Mightiest Heroes keeps his self-confidence and likes to charge villains head-on. He dislikes to be called "Power Man" for some other reasons and preferred to be called by his real name instead. As a member of Heroes for Hire, he is constantly demanding cash for his heroics.
Luke Cage is an African-American male with a muscular physical build. He is bald, although he has a small black beard and brown eyes. He wears a sleeveless shirt and is occasionally seen wearing a hoodie.
Powers and abilities
- Superhuman Strength: Luke's strength is increased to a superhuman level that he can stop a moving train.
- Superhuman Durability: Luke's possesses unbreakable skin that is as strong as titanium itself and his bones and muscles are denser than any human beings.
- Accelerated Healing: Luke heals faster than a normal human from any injury.
- Superhuman Agility: Luke is capable of doing aerial maneuvers with ease.
- Bulletproof Skin: Luke's skin cannot be easily penetrated by any weapon and this makes him highly durable in combat.
Luke became a superhero after his transformation by the serum which was made by his parents and given to him to protect him from the fall when his parents' Ship where he was while it was invaded by Zodiac.
Luke Cage watched the live footage of Spider-Man's first training in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. Later, Spider-Man got into trouble with his Spider-cycle and his new teammates helped him and introduced himself to Spider-Man. After Spider-Man got ambushed by the Frightful Four (sans Trapster) he rescued him along with the other three. After the fight, Luke enrolled in Midtown High School along with the other three.
Capturing Doctor Doom
Luke Cage was sent to detention by Principal Coulson along with the others. The team transports to the Helicarrier where they get in contact with Fury who tells them to train. Spider-Man and Nova have a match of who destroys ten machines the fastest, while he, Iron Fist, and White Tiger watched. Luke Cage went along to capture Doctor Doom, whom upon their arrival, came out of his castle and prepared to battle the hero five. During his battle with Doctor Doom, Nova was evasive in listening to orders and caused Luke and the others to rely solely on each other, eliminating one of them from the fold. He, Iron Fist, and Spider-Man quickly became confused by orders from White Tiger to perform a specialized move. Upon their realization, he and the two executed the attack properly and took Doctor Doom into custody.
First Venom encounter
At Midtown High, Luke along with the other team members dragged Peter to the cafeteria. There, they laughed Peter out, because of his humiliation in the subway. Luke was invited by Peter along with the other team members to Harry's house which was revealed to be a party and where they got trashed by Harry. After the Venom symbiote arrived, Luke helped the civilians to escape from the party. After that, he arrived at the rooftop along with the others and hold off Venom. Luke Cage got attached to the symbiote but was freed by Iron Fist. After, Spider-Man got attached by the symbiote Luke Cage fought against Venom until Spider-Man freed himself and destroyed him.
Meeting Iron Man
Power Man chased Living Laser with the rest of his teammates. After Spider-Man fell, he managed to pick him up before dropping him after Spider-Man grabbed his face and referred to him as "Tiny". Despite the group's combined speed, they ultimately were no match for Living Laser's and were about to be terminated by him when all of a sudden, Iron Man destroyed him.
After Iron Man decapitated him, he was amazed by Iron Man. He was then training with the other teammates until Spider-Man arrived with his new armor and brew trouble to them. He complained to Spider-Man about his armor. By Fury's orders, he and the others went after Living Laser, interrupted by Iron Spider he showed without much control over his own armor. He along with the team confronted Spider-Man when he came back after a defeat at the hands of Living Laser. He and with the others accepted Spider-Man's apology, together all five of them managed to defeat Living Laser and saved Iron Man.
Loss of prominence
For a time, Luke's presence in the life of Spider-Man dwindled. His past adventures with him proved futile in keeping the two together, as Spider-Man dispatched with other members of the team before eventually focusing more on each of them. Regardless, he still continued to serve much importance in the life of Iron Fist, as the two always had. Luke was present when Coulson introduced the new coach of Midtown High. He took his test but failed due to the equipment. After coach Yaeger chose several students to attend tomorrow when Ava wasn't chosen he decided to leave with Danny to evade the complaint of Ava.
Luke was present when Mary Jane announced she would have an interview with Spider-Man.
Luke was called in by Nick Fury about a new Spider-Man, who had been sighted doing several good acts throughout New York City. Luke and his other teammates, except for Spider-Man himself, were ecstatic about the new Spider-Man joining. After the new Spider-Man turned out to be Venom and Spider-Man defeated it, Luke caught Spider-Man's cold along with the rest of his teammates. Luke and the others tried to give it back to him.
Luke went with his classmates to see the Norn stone, an Asgardian artifact. However, the artifact itself started to glow and let out a Frost Giant. After his classmates were escorted out of the building, Luke and his teammates fought the Frost Giant for a while until Thor arrived. When Thor arrived, he ignored Luke and his teammates and fought the Frost Giant by himself, not wanting the help of kids.
Luke and his teammates became agitated by the idea of being ignored by a fellow superhero and watched as Thor transformed into a frog, after touching the Frost Giant. Luke went with his teammates to Asgard, in an attempt to cure Thor by defeating and hopefully having Loki turn him back to normal. However, Luke and his teammates were captured by Loki and were forced to make a tactical retreat.
Luke and his teammates escaped and when his teammates started to argue with each other, he stopped them from doing so. Luke and his teammates were given weapons by the Troll king. Luke and his teammates went to confront Loki, with their new weapons. Luke fought alongside his teammates and defeated Loki with additional help from Thor after Loki was tricked into restoring him. Luke and his teammates were teleported back to the museum and thanked by Thor.
Shortly afterwards, Luke and his teammates noticed that Peter was acting strange, not knowing he had switched bodies with Wolverine. He gave Peter back his bag, only for Peter to immediately throw his own backpack right at him.
Defeated by the Beetle
Continuing to serve citizens in New York, Power Man directed his focus towards stopping the Trapster. He and his teammates chased after him in the streets, eventually leading to a halt in their pursuit and two shots being fired by Trapster, Luke dodging the one closest to him. After dodging his blast, Luke insisted the group use a technique involving Nova, Spider-Man, and his own strengths. As the two talked, he insisted they'd focus more on defeating the foe. After Trapster was defeated, Luke returned to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier with his teammates and received acclaim from Nick Fury, who was so proud that he assigned the group their first sanctioned S.H.I.E.L.D. mission.
After this announcement, Luke happily raised his fist and lowered it as his teammates were overjoyed as well. After being assigned the mission of protecting J. Jonah Jameson, Luke watched as Spider-Man took a tumble to the ground and soon looked at him angrily. Luke and his teammates were placed on a stakeout following several attempts made by the Beetle to kill J. Jonah Jameson. During the stakeout, Luke and the others were told by Spider-Man that J. Jonah Jameson said he didn't need them, to which he expressed his desire to fight the Beetle.
During Spider-Man's plan to keep Mary Jane Watson out of harm's way, Power Man and Iron Fist stood guard of the Daily Bugle and insisted they would not let her pass. Luke was speechless as Mary Jane pulled out her camera and asked if either he or Iron Fist would want to go on record for keeping her out of a public building. With nothing to say, the two were helpless in stopping Mary Jane from getting into the building and commented on her determination, before being knocked out by a mysterious type of gas.
He remained in a comatose state until coming to aid Spider-Man during his initial fight with the Beetle. He was called on by Spider-Man to stand as one with his teammates and come to realize they would benefit better from working as a team, rather than five individuals who merely fought villains together. In the spirit of this, he used the same move on the Beetle that he had Trapster, before having his held item shot out of his hand. Following the defeat of the Beetle, Luke was more than ready to transport the armored villain to officials.
A Day in the Sand
Luke was assigned to pick up Spider-Man from his home for a mission by Nick Fury, alongside the rest of his teammates. Luke stood by and watched as Nova played a prank on Spider-Man by calling his cell phone and claiming himself to be in grave danger and in need of assistance. As Spider-Man leaped out of his bed and crashed into the pavement near his home, Luke and the others laughed in his face and told him of their real reason for being at his home. Luke and the others opted out of their assigned mission and instead, went to an island for intended surfing and relaxing on its beach.
As he and the others arrived, they spotted a boy named Sandy. He and the others quickly grew suspicious of the boy, asking Spider-Man if he had any bad vibes himself. As the two talked, however, their feet were trapped in the sand until the departure of the boy. Luke and the others chased after the young man and quickly grew more suspicious, resulting in the group's decision to escape the island. However, as the team made their way off the island, Sandy returned. Both mad and furious, he attacked Luke and his allies and prevented them from reaching their ship, resulting in the group's retreat to a maze-like area.
While there, he and the others plotted their next strategy for escape. However, these plans were blighted by the reentry of Sandy, whom at this point had been revealed to be Sandman. Sandman had been trapped on the island by Nick Fury, resulting in the team's reassurance that he was a dangerous criminal. Following their escape of the island, he and his teammates were forced to chase Sandman down, in an effort from stopping his presence in New York City. He and the group succeeded and Sandman was encased in a glass. However, Luke's suffering had only begun, as he was given a hot shower to make sure Sandman hadn't found a person to live off of.
Following damages made to several buildings around New York, Luke and his teammates were forced to become members of a repair crew, resulting in their total disappointment. Like his allies, Luke grew tired of the constant annoyances made by Nova and was disappointed to have to clean the city, instead of saving it. He later ignored Spider-Man's belief that an official in the group was behind something nefarious.
Following Luke's defeat of Sandman and other criminals, he bore both the disappointment and laughter of seeing Spider-Man's form after being turned into a pig by Loki out of revenge for their previous defeat of him. He followed around the pig version of Spider-Man and quickly withdrew to fight against Loki at the sides of Thor and other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Following his defeat of the criminal, Spider-Man was restored to normal.
Training with a Legend
Luke and his teammates were blessed to have the opportunity to train with Captain America. The group performed together, as each one fought Captain America while shrouded around fog. Though he tried his best, he was defeated and rendered unconscious after being tied up against a pole with White Tiger. After the session concluded with the defeat of Spider-Man, he and his teammates were eager to battle the veteran hero again. With their second sparring match about to commence, Luke proudly proclaimed he would show them the origin of his name before Spider-Man claimed that he was the only one calling himself Power Man.
Captain America made a deal with the group: First one to knock him out, would claim his shield. Luke was the first to go, being recorded by Nova as he stepped up to challenge the hero. Luke's first action was to throw his fist at him, before being dodged by the captain. He threw two more punches as he was lectured, before being tossed in the air and almost hitting Agent Coulson before the latter stepped aside for the former to hit a wall. With his single loss, Luke stepped back in and prepared to fight once more. He was unable to attack Captain America himself, as he was hit by a twirling White Tiger after she failed to attack Captain America herself. After the matches finished, he and the others gave the captain a salute before the latter was called to an intensive meeting with Fury and Coulson.
With their session of training over, Nova and Spider-Man decided to play with Captain America's shield. In one particular instance, Spider-Man threw the shield at Luke and expected him to catch it. Instead, the shield bounced of Luke's chest and went crashing through the window of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. Luke and the other looked scarcely at the window the shield had crashed through before Spider-Man jumped out to recover it. After his jump, Luke and the others were asked by Captain America where his shield had gone. He and the others started to laugh as Captain America began to realize what might have happened during his short absence. After Spider-Man recovered the shield with aid from Captain America, Luke and his teammates gave Captain America another salute as Coulson accidentally threw Captain America's shield out of a window.
The Green Problem
Luke and his teammates, with the exception of Spider-Man, fought the Frightful Four. Shortly into their battle, he and his teammates were joined by Spider-Man in their fight. Spider-Man commented on his and everyone else's hard work while fighting the lethally evil force. During the fight, Luke punched Thundra in the face. Just as Spider-Man had a dialogue, Power Man and his allies noticed Trapster's reentry into the battle. Luke and his allies watched as the Frightful Four escaped, leaving behind a group of killer robots to terminate Luke and his allies.
Luke decided to teach them that he and his friends couldn't be dusted off so easily. Luke was only able to land one hit on a robot before being grabbed by another in retaliation. After being grabbed, he was thrown against a group of barrels and slammed into them upon touching them. Following this, Luke became angered and was even advised by Iron Fist to keep his emotions at bay. Luke assured him he had, before charging into the robots once again and destroying three of them with hard blows from his fists. He claimed that through this, he was showing that he was truly being calm to Iron Fist.
After defeating the robots, he was unsure of a proper response to White Tiger's question regarding the whereabouts of Spider-Man. The group decided to use a small bug created by Octavius to lure them to Spider-Man. Luke's nonverbal cues showed that he was becoming tired of the robot's laggard like speed. He even spoke out and claimed the group didn't have time to wait for the robot to find Spider-Man, as he was already in trouble and told the three that the group needed to do something at the moment. After Nova energized the robot, Luke chased after it with his allies. He and his allies found Spider-Man being held captive by Dr. Octopus. He grabbed his tentacles as Norman Osborn screamed in pain and bore witness to his transformation into Goblin. Soon after, He dodged a glass thrown at both him and Iron Fist. Under the orders of Spider-Man, Luke and his friends ran out of the building in an attempt to draw out Goblin.
Luke believed the group could handle Goblin. He and his team stopped their jog when they heard the echo of a growl from the Goblin. As they stopped, they were electrocuted. As he recovered from the shock, Goblin charged at him and grabbed him by the arm. He tried to resist but failed. He screamed in pain as his arm was broken. He later would return to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier and witness Spider-Man's withdrawal from the team.
Despite Spider-Man's protest to not help him defeat the Goblin, Power Man and his other teammates chose to anyways. When reminded by the former that he had told them to not intrude, Power Man told him he and the others didn't listen, even going as far as to say the group had obtained the trait from him. Following a direct hit on Goblin from Spider-Man, Power Man and the others charged at Goblin.
Despite the immense amounts of bruises, Luke Cage and his allies wouldn't give up in stopping the Goblin. Luke and the others persisted that they would have Spider-Man's back during the fight and continued to land strikes at the Goblin. He went with his friends to detention while being accompanied by Harry Osborn, son of Norman Osborn. After arriving on the helicarrier, Luke Cage and his allies were led to believe they had truly bested the Goblin before he arrived on the aircraft via his own mode of transportation.
As Goblin arrived, Harry Osborn tried to talk to him. Power Man and Iron Fist intervened, holding him back with a single hand to each shoulder. Harry Osborn became enraged and managed to escape the grip the two had on him, sending them flying in the air from a few shakes of his body. Following Fury's opening of a hatch on the aircraft, Luke asked confusingly where the Goblin went before being answered by Spider-Man. He and the others went off and searched for Curt Connors, finding him laying in a room with a large piece of the previously collapsed ceiling crushing his left arm. As the group tried to make amends for what had happened to him, Goblin returned. Luke and everyone else dodged Goblin's initial blast. After Spider-Man landed several hits on Goblin and the latter withdrew from the battle by making an incision in the floor, Luke and the others looked through the hole in the floor and tried to comprehend where he had escaped.
He evacuated the Helicarrier, alongside his teammates for Spider-Man wanted to face off against Goblin by himself. When the Helicarrier crashed, Luke and the others instantly thought he had perished in the crash before Spider-Man showed up from behind. Upon seeing him, he and the rest of the group went up to him and expressed their enjoyment in him still being alive.
He and the others have later moved in with Peter and his Aunt May until House Arrest.
Luke Cage works along with Iron Fist as "Heroes for Hire". When Hank Pym asked Luke and Iron Fist to help him find the culprit who stole the Ant-Man suit, Cage reminded him about their payment once it is over after agreeing to help so long as the pay is good.
In the alley near the bank, Iron Fist had asked him why Pym asked their help while he has his Avengers teammates to help him instead and couldn't understand why. But Luke understood: he told his partner that Pym wouldn't want to tell the Avengers about his own situation he has been and needs a muscle to take down the person who stole his gear. Then Iron Fist chuckled and said to Cage that they're now working with the Avengers as Power Man and him, which annoyed Cage of his hero name.
After their discussion, Cage and Iron Fist walked out and interrogated the informants of their culprit they're looking for. In another alley, they ran into Mangler and Scythe who wanted to take down superheroes. Before the clash started, Cage had warned the two that they're not going to jail but to the hospital.
As the battle is done, the group ran into the thief who stole Hank's suit. The two did what they could but were soundly defeated and the thief ran off.
After figuring out who the culprit was, they followed him to Crossfire's lair. When they showed themselves to Crossfire, he asked them if they were Avengers, which Luke jokingly confirmed that they were. The fight began between the heroes and Crossfire, during which the four prevailed.
After the battle, Scott Lang had offered to return Pym's equipment and turned himself in to the authorities but Hank replied that he'll deal about that and told him that it's his now then left. Cage then yelled at him about when he will pay the two for helping them.
Luke was one of the temporary New Avengers after the Avengers were trapped by Kang in time. He aided in distracting Kang while Spider-Man brought the Avengers back to the present.
Luke Cage was among the heroes who joined the strike team against Galactus' herald, Air-Walker, during the former's invasion of Earth, during which the group emerged victoriously.
Luke Cage makes his debut in Jessica Jones, as a bartender, and love interest of Jessica. He is portrayed by Mike Colter.
Mike Colter reprises his role as the eponymous character's journey in Harlem.
While he doesn't physically appear in series, he is mentioned in the episode "Blue Note". Tyrone can be heard reading an article aloud, entitled "Luke Cage in Harlem Rumble", and discusses with Solomon, the characteristic traits that make Luke Cage a hero.
- Ultimate Spider-Man is Luke Cage's third animated appearance. The previous versions was included in "The Super Hero Squad Show" and "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes".
- Due to the cancellation of his show, it remains unknown if Luke was affected by Thanos' fingersnap.
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