#S4MBlerds: An argument for Luke Cage as the Blackest superhero of all-time
February 02, 2016 at 5:21 am
Luke Cage is the Blackest superhero of all-time.
Power Man was born Carl Lucas in Harlem, the home of the hustlers. His superhero name was derived as an iteration of the term Black Power. With a previous life in and out of juvenile homes, a gang member with dreams of running the streets that ultimately ends up getting him incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit, Lucas’ origin story does not fit the superhero archetype. An experiment gone wrong gives him superhuman strength and durability and allows Carl to escape from prison. With this newfound power, he travels back like cooked crack to New York City and begins work as a hero for hire under a new moniker – Luke Cage.
The norm for many iterations of superhero that we’ve seen over the history of comic books does not apply to Luke Cage, the Power Man. He doesn’t have an elaborate costume, with body tight fabric, a mask, or cape. His childhood, although traumatic in ways, did not lead or compel him in any sense to take up mantle to uphold fairness or right wrongs. This, in my opinion, is what makes him the most important kind of hero, an unsuspecting one.
Luke Cage is in many ways an everyman of the OG comic book characters in existence. Luke is a directly identifiable figure for the Black community in all of the ways that many other characters are not. It’s more likely that you know at least one guy who could be Luke Cage, more so than it’s possible you know an African prince from a country shrouded in isolation. Power Man is a people’s champ for the disenfranchised. A victim of a system set in place for him to fail, he’s a Black man that lost his way, suffered both self-incurred and random unfortunate events in life; was given power and a new start, ultimately deciding to use that power for the aid of others.
Luke could have easily returned looking for revenge, or to his first dream of criminal supremacy as a young man. With newfound ability, he would be in reach of success in that life even more than when it was his highest ambition. Instead, he became a symbol and a vessel for justice. Luke Cage is a real person with depth and emotion. He’s not the stiff, perfect, saint-like perception that many have of what a hero is supposed to be, but he is one.
Power Man and Iron Fist #1 debuts February 3rd. Luke Cage and his partner Danny Rand are back on the streets, fighting the forces of evil, thanks to critically acclaimed writer David F. Walker and talented artist Sanford Greene. This is a book that’s been highly anticipated by the community since it was announced.
Despite the recent controversy due to the disappointing personal decisions made by an executive of the company releasing this comic, these Black men deserve support for the work they’ve been doing for the culture. What we can and should do in light of these events, is to use our voices to make sure that the company knows, without a doubt, the views and actions of the man in question will not be tolerated or accepted by our community. It is villains such as this that Power Man would fight against for the good of the people.
Thanks for reading Strictly 4 My Blerds.
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