Luke Cage, keeping it realer than most

March 12th, 2014 by | Tags: , ,

Richard Corben - Cage - fence

Richard Corben, Brian Azzarello, Jose Villarubia. CAGE, 2002.

I re-read this one the other week. It’s one of the comics I got way back when I was getting back into comics, and was probably one of my first Corben comics, too. I hadn’t read it in years, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot since I re-read it. It looks like the last edition debuted in 2002, and the series hasn’t been re-packaged since, which is a shame. The intro to the hardcover, written by Darius Jones, is called “Straight-up Real Nigga,” something I can’t imagine Marvel ever associating with Cage in the here-and-now, but also an idea I’d love to see the character actually be able to deal with in the comics themselves.

Corben and colorist Villarubia put in work on this page, and it’s probably my favorite image of the character. There’s no tiara, no yellow shirt, nothing that screams “This is Luke Cage!”, but it’s still signifying nonetheless. You get the sense that he’s dangerous, he’s mad, and he’s invincible. You can hurt him, you can knock him down, but you don’t get to win. That background Villarubia threw behind him in panel 4 is great, a bloody sunset that follows in Cage’s wake.

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5 comments to “Luke Cage, keeping it realer than most”

  1. He’s one of my favourite character too. It’s been years since I’ve followed any of the “big two” titles, but I did pull off my bookshelf Luke Cage Noir for a re-read over the Christmas holidays. Damn, so great.

  2. Were those dudes beating on the brother hanging from the goal, or is he just chilling while waiting for Luke to bring it?

  3. @Rhio2k: Yeah, they were beating him. Cage starts a gang war, or helps it along, and the folks in black were the new bosses of the block.

  4. I like this Luke Cage story but there is a vocal amount of people out there who really hate it. I’m not exactly sure why.

  5. @David Bitterbaum: It’s super-stereotype-y and created almost entirely by white dudes, so I can see how people would feel a (justified) type of way over it.