After a stunning succession of Marvel trailers being dropped at this past Comic-Con, comic book fans rejoiced in the exciting upcoming projects in development. Probably the closest one to be released is Luke Cage through Netflix on September 30th. The trailer had great action and atmosphere and everyone is excited to see more of the gritty side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
But, exactly how much to we know about the infamous hero for hire? There might be a fact or two that might shock you about the famed superhero. Let's start with:
1. He Was Actually A Criminal Before A Hero For Hire
Luke Cage actually grew up in Harlem. You know, the place that Abomination destroyed in the Incredible Hulk. He lived in a pretty rough neighborhood where crime ran wild. He eventually joined a gang with his best friend, Willis Stryker, to pull off petty crimes like theft, mugging and street-fighting. However, Cage and Stryker soon found themselves going on different paths, Luke wanted to go straight because he saw that his criminal actions were hurting his family and loved ones.
Stryker didn't like this, so he framed Cage with drug possession that landed him in prison. Guess you just never know who you can trust.
2. His Powers Were The Result Of A Failed Attempt To Create Another Captain America
During Luke Cage's time in prison, he got the attention of a scientist named Dr. Noah Burstein. Dr. Burstein recruits Cage to be apart of his experiment to try and recreate the effects of the super soldier serum that created Captain America. However, it doesn't go quite as planned and the procedure leaves Cage with unbreakable skin and superhuman strength. So, the procedure might not have gone quite as planned, but it wasn't exactly a failure either.
3. Luke Cage Was Actually The First African-American Superhero To Headline His Own Title
Technically, Black Panther doesn't count because he is not African-American, he's Wakandian-American, so get away from the comment section. Luke Cage first appeared in the year 1972 under his own comic book series named, Luke Cage: Hero For Hire. His character was actually created to ride the popularity of the Blaxploitation films that became very popular in the '70s. His Blaxploitation roots can be seen in his past as an ex-con living in a traditionally black neighborhood, who used vernacular and he even had a catchphrase, "Sweet Christmas."
4. He Teamed Up With The Punisher When He Was Using Black Face To Disguise Himself
Yep, this is about as stupid as you think it is. While trying to hide out from some bad people, Punisher actually gets plastic surgery and disguises himself as black man, a plan that he didn't really have in mind. Soon he crosses paths with Luke Cage (because I assume Black Panther and Falcon were too busy with Avengers stuff) and they team up to take down a bunch of drug dealers, mobsters and such. It's not a bad story, but it does sort of get weirdly preachy at times and it's just an all around strange concept for Marvel to make a story out of. Just always say no to blackface.
5. Actor Nicolas Cage Actually Took his Last Name From Luke Cage
Yep, apparently the Spirit of Vengeance himself is a huge comic book nerd. Not only does he have a Ghost Rider tattoo on his back, but he also took the last name of Luke Cage to make a better name for himself as an actor. Believe it or not, Nicolas Cage belongs to the Coppola family — you know, Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola, Roman Coppola and so forth. Nicolas Cage didn't want to be just known as another part of that family so he changed his last name to something that stood out more. I can easily say that it worked for him.
6. He's Had Plenty Of Relationships In The Past, Including Claire Temple
Luke Cage has had a long past of previous relationships including Misty Knights, Harmony Young and Jessica Jones (as you saw in her solo series). However, some might not know that he has also dated night nurse, Claire Temple who was portrayed by Rosario Dawson in Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Even though it seems that they are planning on not giving Claire Temple and Luke Cage a relationship in the TV series, it's still interesting to find out what kind of past he's had in the comics.
Luke Cage, however, does eventually marry Jessica Jones and they have a daughter named Danielle, who he named after his best friend, Danny Rand a.k.a Iron Fist.
7. Luke Cage Isn't His Real Name
Yep, sorry Nicolas Cage, but you took the name of a superhero that wasn't even his real name. Luke Cage was actually born Carl Lucas. He took the name Luke Cage after he escaped from prison after his "botched" experiment made him more powerful than any guard in his way. He used his new name to lay low and use as a superhero name. It's a lot better than Power-Man.
8. He Has Been Much More Than A Hero For Hire
Luke Cage is most commonly known as a Hero for Hire with his best friend Iron fist and a Defender in the upcoming Netflix series. However, you might not know that Luke Cage been a part of several superhero teams including: the Secret Defenders, an expanded Hero for Hire team, Marvel Knights, the Thunderbolts and a bunch of different versions of the Avengers. The very first superhero team he joined was actually the Fantastic Four (after teaming up to take down Dr. Doom). Now, if only we can see Luke Cage with the Avengers on the big screen.