REVIEW: Luke Cage #1 – “Sweet Christmas!”

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LUKE CAGE #1
Writer: David F. Walker
Artist: Nelson Blake II
Colorists: Marcio Menyz
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover: Rahzzah
Release Date: 05/17/17
Rating: Rated T+
Price: $3.99

Luke Cage #1 Cover

Carl Lucas, the man who would one day become the Hero For Hire, Luke Cage was framed for a crime he didn’t commit and was sentenced to prison. While serving his sentence he was subjected to medical experiments lead by Dr. Noah Burstein. The experiments were on cell regeneration based on the Super Soldier Serum that created Captain America. The experiment resulted in him gaining super strength and bulletproof skin. He uses his new powers to break out of prison and head back to Harlem, where a chance run in with criminals inspires him to change his name to Luke Cage, adopted a costume and become a hero for hire.  

Luke Cage #1 Staircase Fight

Plot: Luke Cage is called to New Orleans when the man who gave him his Power Man powers kills himself. But once down there Luke learns there is more going on than he thought.

Luke Cage #1 True Love

Story: We start off in New York with Luke doing what he does the best, being a Hero For Hire. A young woman is kidnapped and held for ransom because her boyfriend owes a guy $5,000.00. Lke take the guy out and brings the girl home, when he receives a call that the man that gave him his powers Dr. Noah Burstein had committed suicide. The opening here was a great way to get to the very core of who Luke Cage is, him helping a family is exactly who he is. Beyond the strength, beyond the bulletproof skin, it is his heart and his commitment to the community that make him Power Man.Luke Cage #1 Flashback

 

Once Luke arrives down in New Orleans we get a lot of insight into him as he deals with the funeral. A mysterious man watches Luke after the funeral as he is approached by a woman Dr Lenore Mornay, who takes him to meet Cyril Morgan a man who funded Dr. Burstein’s work in recent years in exchange for him to help his son Caleb who suffered from 100 % lethal case of Atrophic Ribonucleitis but was saved by Dr. Burstein. I loved the pace of the story we get to see, a shift here. I could tell from this scene that little that there is something more going on here. This is great pacing, it is like watching a show with this issue having three clear acts each lending a part to the overall story.

 

Luke Cage #1 I'll Be Watching You

The end of the issue, or the third act gives us a big climatic fight and cliffhanger along with some big revelations. Dr. Mornay informs Luke that she doesn’t believe that Dr. Burstein, she tells him that he continued his research and that none of the subject were a success like Luke, they had fits of rage, but not as bad as Mitchell Tanner. Just as they start discussing this, they are run off the road by three mysterious men in a mini van who are able to punch Luke and hurt him, and are also able to draw blood from him. Luke is left weakened, fading out bleeding when the mysterious man from the funeral picks him up and it is revealed to be Mitchell Tanner, Warhawk. The perfect ending! I was left with that anticipation you get at the end of a season finale and you realize you have to wait months to find out what happens next. This is where Walker leaves us and I love it and hate it at the same time.

Luke Cage #1 Reversed

Art: The art here was awesome. The art had a very nice, almost animated series quality. Reading this book, if you took away the dialogue, it is like watching a Luke Cage animated series. The characters popped off the page and the colors brought that animated energy out. I really loved the staircase scene, Nelson Blake II perfectly invoked a signature staple of the Marvel Netflix shows that made this issue even more enjoyable.   

Luke Cage #1 You Don't Know Woo I Am

Verdict: Overall this was the way you kick off a series! I am automatically intrigued. I’m invested. I don’t feel like I just read a comic but watched Luke Cage, the Animated Series. Right now I am more excited about this series, then I am about the Netflix series. This is the first Luke Cage that I have ever been this excited for, and I just have to say, SWEET CHRISTMAS!

Luke Cage #1 Rating

Rating: 4 ½ stars.

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