||This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (October 2009)|
|First appearance||Luke Cage, Hero For Hire #1 (June 1972)|
|Created by||Archie Goodwin
John Romita, Sr.
|Alter ego||Carl Lucas|
Heroes for Hire
|Notable aliases||Power Man|
Luke Cage (born Carl Lucas and also called Power Man) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Archie Goodwin and John Romita, Sr., he first appeared in Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 (June 1972). Imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, he gains superpowers in the form of unbreakable skin and superhuman strength. The character frequently teams up with fellow superhero Iron Fist, and is married to Jessica Jones, with whom he has a daughter. In 2005, writer Brian Michael Bendis added Luke Cage to the lineup of the New Avengers, and he has appeared in various Avengers titles since.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Other versions
- 5 In other media
- 6 In popular culture
- 7 Reception
- 8 Collected editions
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Luke Cage was created by Archie Goodwin and John Romita, Sr. shortly after Blaxploitation films emerged as a popular new genre. He debuted in his own series, Luke Cage, Hero for Hire, which was initially written by Goodwin and pencilled by George Tuska. Cage's adventures were set in a grungier, more crime-dominated New York City than that inhabited by other Marvel superheroes of the time. The series was retitled Luke Cage, Power Man with issue #17.
As the Blaxploitation genre's popularity faded, Cage became unable to support his own series and was paired with another superhero whose popularity was based on a declining film genre, the martial arts hero Iron Fist, in an effort to save both characters from cancellation. Though the series title would remain Power Man in the indicia for a while longer, with issue #50 (April 1978) the cover title became Power Man and Iron Fist. It would remain thus until the series's cancellation with issue #125 (September 1986). The series's final writer, James Owsley, attempted to shed Cage's Blaxploitation roots by giving him a larger vocabulary and reducing usage of his catchphrase, "Sweet Christmas!".
In 1992, Cage was relaunched in a new series, simply titled Cage, set primarily in Chicago. The revived series updated the character for the Nineties, with Cage symbolically destroying his original costume on the cover of the first issue. The series was cancelled after twenty issues; the entire run was written by Marc McLaurin. Cage received exposure in other books at the time, including his own serial in the anthology series Marvel Comics Presents. In the aftermath of the "Onslaught" and "Heroes Reborn" storylines, Cage was included in the series Heroes for Hire, written by John Ostrander, which lasted 19 issues.
In 2010, Cage became a regular character in Thunderbolts, starting with issue #144, and continued as leader of the team when the title transitioned into Dark Avengers beginning with issue #175. Cage also reappeared as a regular character in the second volume of New Avengers series.
Fictional character biography
Born and raised in New York City's Harlem neighborhood, Lucas spends his youth in a gang called the Rivals. With his friend Willis Stryker, he fights the rival gang the Diablos and commits petty crimes, often on the behalf of deformed mobster Sonny "Hammer" Caputo. In and out of juvenile homes throughout his teens, Lucas dreams of becoming a major New York racketeer until he finally realizes how his actions are hurting his family. He seeks to better himself as an adult by finding legitimate employment. Meanwhile, Stryker rises through the ranks of crime, but the two men remain friends. When Stryker's activities anger the Maggia / Syndicate, he is badly beaten in a mob hit, saved only by Lucas's intervention. When Stryker's girlfriend, Reva Connors, breaks up with him in fear of his violent work, she seeks solace with Lucas. Stryker is convinced that Lucas is responsible for the breakup, so he plants heroin in Lucas's apartment and tips off the police. Lucas is arrested and sent to prison where contact with his family is sparse due to the resentment of his brother James Jr., who intercepts Lucas's letters to their father James and eventually leads each to believe the other is dead.
Lucas is consumed by rage over Stryker's betrayal and his father's supposed death, engaging in frequent brawls and escape attempts. Eventually transferred to Seagate Prison off the coast of Georgia, he becomes the favorite target of sadistic guard Albert "Billy Bob" Rackham, whose brutality ultimately leads to a demotion that he blames on Lucas. Later, research scientist Dr. Noah Burstein recruits Lucas as a volunteer for experimental cell regeneration based on a variant of the Super-Soldier process he had previously used to empower Warhawk. Burstein immerses Lucas in an electrical field conducted by an organic chemical compound; when he leaves Lucas unattended, Rackham alters the experiment's controls, hoping to maim or kill Lucas. Lucas' treatment is accelerated past its intended limits, inducing body-wide enhancements that give him superhuman strength and durability. He uses his new power to escape Seagate and makes his way back to New York, where a chance encounter with criminals inspires him to use his new powers for profit.
Adopting the alias Luke Cage and donning a distinctive costume, he launches a career as a Hero for Hire, helping anyone who can meet his price. He soon establishes an office above Times Square's Gem Theater, where he befriends film student D. W. Griffith. Burstein, aware of his friend's innocence, also relocates to New York and opens a medical clinic, assisted by Dr. Claire Temple, whom Cage begins dating. Although Cage is content to battle strictly conventional criminals, he soon learns that New York is hardly the place to do so. Stryker himself has become a Maggia agent known as Diamondback and dies battling Cage. Subsequent opponents included Gideon Mace, an embittered veteran seeking a U.S. takeover; Chemistro (Curtis Carr), whose Alchemy Gun is a weapon later used by others, including his brother after Curtis reformed; and Discus, Stiletto, Shades, and Commanche, all criminals with ties to Cage's prison days who face him repeatedly over the years.
Although Cage has little in common with most of New York's other superhumans, an ill-conceived attempt to collect a fee from a reneging Doctor Doom leads him to befriend the Fantastic Four. Via a later retcon, Cage also befriends Jessica Jones, a young woman whose superhuman strength and unconventional style match his own.[volume & issue needed] During a mission in which Cage and Iron Man track down Orville Smythe, who had duped him into stealing an experimental starsuit from Stark International, Cage follows the example of his new peers and takes the codename of Power Man. Cage battles a rogue Erik Josten for the use of the Power Man name, winning the right.
Shortly afterward, Luke Cage begins associating with the loose-knit super-team the Defenders, alongside whom he battles the Wrecking Crew and the Sons of the Serpent. Called to assist the Defenders against the Plantman, Cage begins to complain that his participation in their group is interfering with his paying work. Wealthy Defenders member Nighthawk solves this problem by placing Power Man on retainer, giving Luke a steady paycheck for his Defenders activities. For some time thereafter, Power Man serves as a core member of the Defenders. Together, they defeat minor threats including the Eel and the Porcupine, and major menaces such as the Headmen, Nebulon, Egghead's Emissaries of Evil, and the Red Rajah; but Cage feels out of place in the often-bizarre exploits of the Defenders and eventually resigns.
Power Man and Iron Fist
Having obtained proof of Cage's innocence in his original drug charges, the criminal Bushmaster abducts Burstein and Temple, using their safety and the hope of acquittal to blackmail Cage into abducting detective Misty Knight, who humiliated Bushmaster in an earlier encounter. Cage's efforts lead to a fight with Knight's boyfriend, the martial artist Iron Fist, who had spent most of his life in the extra-dimensional city of K'un-L'un and was unfamiliar with Earth society. Upon learning of Cage's situation, Iron Fist and Knight help him defeat Bushmaster and rescue his friends. Cleared of criminal charges, Power Man legally changes his name to "Lucas Cage". He briefly works for Knight's detective agency, Nightwing Restorations, but soon elects 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 Power Man and the unworldly Iron Fist seem to have little in common, they soon become the best of friends. Cage's relationship with Claire Temple proves less durable, and he instead begins dating model Harmony Young.
Power Man and Iron Fist achieve great success with Heroes for Hire, earning an international reputation and fighting a wide variety of criminals. They have several struggles involving the nations of Halwan and Murkatesh, including incarnations of Scimitar and the Black Tiger. Their partnership's downfall begins when the mysterious government agency S.M.I.L.E. manipulates Power Man and Iron Fist into the employment of Consolidated Conglomerates, Inc.; during their first CCI assignment, Iron Fist suffers radiation poisoning. Cage takes him to K'un-Lun for treatment. Iron Fist apparently recovers, and soon after their return to the outside world, he encounters a young boy named Bobby. Bobby can change the molecular structure of his body because of a meteorite that fell from the sky, granting him superhuman powers and calling himself Captain Hero. The meteorite that gave him the powers also gave him a deadly spore that was killing him. During a painful episode caused by his illness, Bobby transforms into Captain Hero and pummels Iron Fist, apparently killing him. Cage is charged with the murder of Iron Fist and flees.
A fugitive again, Cage breaks contact with his New York friends and relocates to Chicago, but, with Hogarth's help, he is cleared of criminal charges when Iron Fist turns up alive.[volume & issue needed] Cage discovers that Iron Fist had been replaced by a doppelganger of the plantlike H'ylthri race, K'un-Lun's ancient enemies during his treatment. This doppelganger's existence and destruction at the hands of the Super-Skrull are part of a bizarre scheme engineered by Iron Fist's enemy, Master Khan.[volume & issue needed]
Wanting a new start after his murder charge is dropped, Cage abandons his Power Man guise and begins operating out of Chicago as the plainclothes Luke Cage, Hero for Hire; he makes arrangements with the Chicago Spectator for exclusive reports of his adventures and frequently works with detective Dakota North. On his first mission in Chicago, he assists the Punisher in battling drug dealers. Cage attracts the interest of the refined assassin Hardcore, an employee of Cruz Bushmaster, son of the villain whose defeat cleared Cage's name the first time. Cage learns that Cruz, following in his father's extortion footsteps, has abducted Noah Burstein's wife Emma to force the scientist to recreate the process that had empowered Cage. Cruz undergoes the procedure himself, but the elder Bushmaster drains the power from his son, reversing his near-catatonia and declaring himself the Power Master. Cage teams with Iron Fist to thwart their plans, freeing the Bursteins while the Bushmasters apparently perish. Cage's power is augmented further by exposure to the Power Man virus.
While Cage tries to locate his surviving family members with the aid of Dakota North, his brother keeps moving his father around to keep Cage away from them. James, Jr., is eventually recruited by the criminal Corporation, whose power-enhancing scientist Doctor Karl Malus mutates him into the superhuman Coldfire. As Coldfire, James, Jr., hopes to be a match for his brother, whom he regards as a threat. Though James, Jr. works with the Corporation quite willingly, Malus has James, Sr. held hostage as extra insurance of Coldfire's cooperation. When Cage learns the Corporation is holding his family, he invades their headquarters and battles Coldfire. The brothers ultimately join forces to rescue their father from Malus, and Coldfire sacrifices himself to destroy the Corporation's headquarters.[volume & issue needed]
Heroes for Hire return
A few months later, Cage investigates the murder of Harmony Young and fights her killer, the demon Darklove, alongside Ghost Rider. The mystic Doctor Druid recruits Cage to serve in his Secret Defenders against the sorcerer Malachi. Cage returns to New York and, deciding his heart is no longer in superheroics, becomes 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 fails to interest him; yet when the Master of the World tries to recruit Cage as a spy within Iron Fist's team, destroying Cage's theater in the process, a curious Cage plays along. Cage joins Heroes for Hire and serves with them for some time while reporting to the Master. Cage begins to sympathize with the more benevolent aspects of the Master's goals, but in the end, Cage can neither betray Iron Fist nor reconcile himself to the tremendous loss of life the Master's plans of conquest will entail, and he helps Heroes for Hire destroy the Master of the World's plans. Cage remains with the group thereafter, and dates a fellow member, the She-Hulk. When the Stark-Fujikawa Corporation buys out Heroes for Hire, Cage and Ant-Man are fired because of their prison records, and the rest of the team quits in protest.[volume & issue needed]
Cage, bitten by the hero bug once more, continues to share adventures with Iron Fist and other heroes. Briefly resuming his Power Man identity, he is hired by Moon Knight to join an unnamed team of street-level New York vigilantes, but mere days after he joins, the group dissolves following clashes with the forces of Tombstone and Fu Manchu. Deciding that a return to basics is in order, he re-establishes his Hero for Hire activities, intervening in a gang war between Tombstone, Sonny "Hammer" Caputo, and Clifford "Clifto" Townsend, and soon learns that, despite his international fame, he is almost forgotten on the streets where he originally made his reputation. He invests his money in a bar and sets about ridding his immediate neighborhood of criminal elements, deciding that the business of world-saving is best left to others.[volume & issue needed]
Jessica Jones and the New Avengers
After a one-night stand with a drunken Jessica Jones, now a private investigator, Cage's life is briefly thrown into disarray by Jones's reaction to the fling.[volume & issue needed] The two make peace while working as bodyguards for Matt Murdock.[volume & issue needed] Cage extends emotional support to Jones when she is forced to revisit past abuses by the villainous Purple Man, and Cage's feelings for her grow.[volume & issue needed] When Jones reveals that she is pregnant from their tryst, she and Cage move in together.[volume & issue needed] Soon afterward, Jones becomes a superhuman consultant with the Daily Bugle.[volume & issue needed] After she is attacked by the Green Goblin during a Bugle investigation, Cage, helped by Spider-Man, deliberately attacks Norman Osborn in order to provoke him into revealing he is the Goblin.
Months afterwards, Cage is present at the breakout at the supervillain prison 'The Raft' and becomes a founding member of the re-formed Avengers. Luke and Jessica Jones then have a daughter, whom they named Danielle, in honor of Danny Rand. Soon thereafter, he and Jessica are married.
After the Superhuman Registration Act is enacted, Cage refuses to register, comparing the act to Jim Crow laws. He sends Jessica and his newborn daughter away to Canada where they can be safe, though he himself refuses to leave. S.H.I.E.L.D. forces come to arrest Cage. He fights his way to safety with the help of Captain America, the Falcon, and Iron Fist (posing as Daredevil), and joins Captain America's "Secret Avengers". He fights alongside them in opposition to the act until Captain America surrenders to U.S. authorities.
Cage does not comply with the amnesty offered to the Secret Avengers, going underground and reforming the New Avengers alongside Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Fist, and Spider-Woman.[volume & issue needed] Luke assumes leadership of the New Avengers after the assassination of Captain America, with the team now operating underground and provided with secure accommodation by Doctor Strange.[volume & issue needed]
Following a Skrull invasion, Captain America (James "Bucky" Barnes) organizes a meeting with the New Avengers at his home, offering it as a base of operations. Cage is offered the role as leader of the New Avengers, but turns it down, giving the role to Ronin.
Following the Siege of Asgard, Steve Rogers appoints Luke Cage leader of the Thunderbolts program. Soon after, he begins to recruit new Thunderbolts, a balanced mix of former and older members, personally inducting the Ghost, Moonstone, the Juggernaut and Crossbones, with MACH-V, Fixer and Songbird's cooperation, and using the Man-Thing's powers for long-distance transportation.
Reforming the Avengers
To convince Cage to rejoin the Avengers, Steve Rogers and Tony Stark sell the newly renovated mansion to Luke Cage for a dollar, allowing him freedom to recruit his own Avengers team and operate without directly taking orders from Rogers, though Rogers insists on having Victoria Hand join them as a liaison. Cage and his team are forced to assist Doctor Strange, Daimon Hellstrom, and Brother Voodoo in thwarting an attempt by Agamotto - the original owner of the Eye of Agamotto - to destroy existence, culminating in the apparent death of Brother Voodoo. Although initially against the idea of being paid for being on the team, Cage is convinced to accept the offer.
Following his imprisonment on Utopia, he decides, following a conversation with Daredevil, to resign from his Avenger duties to ensure the security of his wife and child. After the X-Men are defeated, Cage, Jessica, Squirrel Girl, and Iron Fist resign from the Avengers.
Powers and abilities
Luke Cage possesses superhuman strength and stamina, and has extremely dense skin and muscle tissue, which render him highly resistant to physical injury. Cage possesses these abilities as a result of a cellular-regeneration experiment which fortified the various tissues of his body. His skin can resist high-caliber bullets, puncture wounds, corrosives, biological attacks, and extreme temperatures and pressures without sustaining damage. A second exposure to said experiments further enhanced his strength and durability.
The same experiment which granted him his great strength and durability has also given him a faster-than-normal recovery time from injury.
Luke Cage is an exceptional street fighter and was a gifted athlete before receiving superhuman abilities. He has also studied martial arts under Iron Fist's instruction, learning how to couple leverage with his strength in order to increase his combat effectiveness against more powerful opponents.
He owns a jacket that is as durable as his skin, having been exposed to the "Power Man" treatment during his second exposure.
In this reality Luke Cage is Power Fist, a mix between the 616 versions of Luke Cage/Power Man and his friend Iron Fist. He is also this reality's leader of the Avengers. He leads them to eradicate the Vi-Locks and his life is saved by Sunfire when she is stuck on his world. He later moves to Quentin Quire's reality to replace one of his selves who had died when he shouldn't have.
House of M
After gaining his powers, Luke forms a crime syndicate in Hell's Kitchen, which he later turns into a Human Resistance Movement and recruits several human heroes to his side, including Cloak, who looks up to Luke as a father figure. He is the first person that Layla Miller comes to 'awaken' from the House of M reality and joins the force that takes down Magneto and his children in Genosha.
Luke Cage, dressed in his original disco shirt outfit, is a member of the Avengers and one of the first heroes to become infected by the alien virus, ultimately infected by the zombified Sentry, along the other Avengers.[volume & issue needed] He also encounters Ash Williams not long after being infected.[volume & issue needed] He is among the few heroes who manages to eat the Silver Surfer, and receives cosmic powers by doing so.[volume & issue needed] At the end of the Marvel Zombies miniseries, he helps to devour Galactus and becomes a member of "The Galacti" (along with Iron Man, Spider-Man, Giant Man, Wolverine, and the Hulk), who travel across the universe devouring all life on planets, however Galactus's energy bolts hit the lower half of Cage's body.[volume & issue needed] Next, the Marvel Zombies attack a Skrull planet, only to encounter the Fantastic Four - consisting of Black Panther, Storm, the Thing and the Human Torch. It pleases the zombies so much that they attempt to capture the Fantastic Four and try to transport back to their fully populated reality, but the FF manage to escape. He also has a role in Marvel Zombies 2, joining Spider-Man in fighting against the other Galactus as he realizes that their hunger has faded over time.[volume & issue needed] His lost arm is replaced by a transplanted arm from an unknown being (possibly alien) and his lost lower half is also replaced with a cybernetic one. At the series conclusion, he is transported to another universe which also gets taken by the infection. Cage fights to defeat the hungry zombies of this reality, leading the converted Shi'ar against Earth, but is defeated and killed by the prime zombies of the new world.
A different version of Power Man appears in the Ultimate Marvel universe as a member of the Defenders, although he is never referred to as "Luke Cage". In this universe, the Defenders consist of several people who want to be superheroes but have no useful superpowers, and appear to be more interested in the celebrity aspect of being heroes than actually doing anything heroic. This version originally never had any powers, however in Ultimate Comics: New Ultimates, he and the Defenders all appear with powers, given by Loki.
In other media
- Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter, appears as a series regular in the 2015 Marvel/Netflix series Jessica Jones. The character is introduced as a bar owner who Jones runs into in the course of an investigation. He was formerly married to a woman named Reva Connors until Kilgrave controlled Jessica Jones into killing her.
- A series centered on the character, Luke Cage, is scheduled to premiere on Netflix in 2016 with Colter reprising the role and Cheo Hodari Coker serving as showrunner.
- Colter is also set to reprise his role in The Defenders, a crossover miniseries.
- Luke Cage appears in The Super Hero Squad Show, voiced by Lil' JJ. This version is a member of Heroes for Hire alongside Iron Fist and Misty Knight in the episode "A Brat Walks Among Us". He also has a cameo appearance in the very first episode "And Lo... A Pilot Shall Come!".
- Luke Cage/Power Man appears as one of the main characters in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series, voiced by Ogie Banks. This incarnation, a teenager, is part of Spider-Man's team (along with Iron Fist, White Tiger and Nova). The episode "The Parent Trap" reveals that Luke received his powers from a S.H.I.E.L.D. version of the Super Soldier Formula developed by his parents and his civilian name is presented here as his actual birth name. He also finds his parents, who were working for Scorpio because he said he had Luke captured and promised their son in return. He soon reunites with them at the end of the episode.
- Luke Cage appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "To Steal an Ant-Man", voiced by Christopher B. Duncan. He and Iron Fist are hired by Hank Pym to retrieve his stolen Ant-Man suit from a thief who uses it in bank robberies.
- Luke Cage appears in Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, voiced by Ryōkan Koyanagi.
- A film adaptation of Luke Cage was in development since 2003 by Columbia Pictures, with a screenplay penned by Ben Ramsey, Avi Arad serving as producer and John Singleton directing. Jamie Foxx and Tyrese Gibson were considered for the lead role, while Dwayne Johnson, Isaiah Mustafa and Idris Elba expressed interest in playing Luke Cage. In May 2013, it was announced that the film rights for Power Man had reverted to Marvel Studios.
- In November 2013, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that if Marvel's Netflix TV series such as Luke Cage become popular, “It’s quite possible that they could become feature films."
- Luke Cage appears as a playable character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Greg Eagles. He is heavily a melee character and his powers include super strength and chain-related attacks. His New Avengers, Hero for Hire, Cage, and street costumes are included. Cage has special dialogue with Arcade and the Wrecking Crew. A simulation disk has Cage fighting Ultron in S.H.I.E.L.D.´s Omega Base.
- Luke Cage appears as a non-player character in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, voiced by Robert Wisdom. In the PlayStation 2 and PSP versions, Spider-Man helps him fight infected people. If the train tracks are switched to where Cage is fighting, he attacks Spider-Man in hopes of getting the symbiote suit off him. Otherwise, he becomes infected and attacks Spider-Man. When Symbiote-Cage is defeated, Cage becomes an assist character who uses his super strength on enemies.
- Luke Cage appears as a playable character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, voiced by Khary Payton. He is locked into the Anti-Reg side during the Civil War portion of the game. His stealth costume from Secret War is his unlockable alternate costume. His default costume heavily resembles his design seen in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows both in clothes and overall appearance.
- Luke Cage appears in Iron Fist's ending for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as a member of his new Heroes for Hire.
- Luke Cage is a playable character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online.
- Luke Cage is a playable character in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Luke Cage is a playable character in the MMORPG Marvel Heroes, voiced by James C. Mathis III.
- Power Man appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by John Eric Bentley.
- Luke Cage appears as an NPC in Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Ogie Banks. He also appears in Disney Infinity 3.0.
- Luke Cage appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel's Avengers, voiced by Ogie Banks.
- Luke Cage is a playable character in Marvel: Future Fight.
In popular culture
- Actor Nicolas Cage, born Nicolas Kim Coppola, used the character's name to form his stage name to avoid the appearance of nepotism as the nephew of the director Francis Ford Coppola.
- The Simpsons comics parody Luke Cage: Carl Carlson becomes Nuclear Power Man of Heroes for Rent.
- Cage was parodied in Milestone Comics' Icon #13 as Buck Wild, Mercenary Man. This issue also took swipes at Black Goliath, Black Lightning, The Falcon, and Brother Voodoo, each of whose powers Buck had at different times managed to acquire for periods of time.
- In the January 4, 2006 episode of the animated TV series The Boondocks, Huey Freeman is asked what a superhero based on him would be called. After stating that no superhero would ever be based on him, because it would not be commercial enough, he says. "Besides, all the black superheroes are corny. They'd probably give me a metal headband and a yellow disco shirt or something stupid," referring to Luke Cage's original look. This joke had also been used in an earlier Boondocks newspaper strip.
Luke Cage was ranked as the 34th greatest comic book character of all time by Wizard magazine. IGN also ranked Luke Cage as the 72nd greatest comic book hero of all time stating that "Cage embodies much of what we love about Marvel's heroes", and 15th in their list of "The Top 50 Avengers" in 2012.
- Essential Luke Cage, Power Man Vol. 1 (Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1-16; Luke Cage, Power Man #17-27)
- Essential Luke Cage, Power Man Vol. 2 (Luke Cage, Power Man #28-49, Annual #1)
- Essential Power Man and Iron Fist vol. 1 (Power Man and Iron Fist #50-72, #74-75)
- Essential Power Man and Iron Fist vol. 2 (Power Man and Iron Fist #76-100)
- Luke Cage: Second Chances Vol. 1 (Cage Vol 1 #1-12, material from Marvel Comics Presents #82)
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- Cage (Marvel MAX: Cage Vol. 2 #1-5)
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