Sweet Christmas!
~ Luke Cage's catchphrase.
You're right, Stryker. I lost my way. I lost my humanity. I forgot who I was...but then something happened -- Something I didn't expect -- I was reborn!
~ Luke Cage to Willis Stryker.
There's a word we use. Everyone who's ever served as an Avenger, we've spoken that word. Hell, it's a competition to say it. To shout it. Because it is that sacred to what we are and what we do. And that word is assemble. When we come together, we're stronger than when we stand apart. That's what it's always been about. We come together to fight what can't be fought alone. To defeat those things in the world that would drag us down. That would make us lesser. Those things no single hero can withstand. And by we? I mean all of us. When we make the effort to help those who need us-- to help each other, to be there for each other-- we are all Avengers. You are Avengers.
~ Luke Cage on the Avengers.

Luke Cage (born Carl Lucas and also called Power Man) is a fictional superhero from Marvel comics. The character was Marvel's response to the "blaxploitation" movies of the time, such as Shaft, and the character has gone onward to became a famous superhero in the comic book world.

He obtained his powers in an accident in Seagate Prison that left him with near impervious skin and superhuman strength. Cage became a superhero, and is well known member of the Defenders, and the partner of Iron Fist, Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, Victor Alvarez, and Jessica Jones (his later wife).

He was created by Archie Goodwin, George Tuska, John Romita Sr. and Roy Thomas, and first appeared in Hero for Hire # 1 in June of 1972.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was portrayed by Mike Colter.

History

Background

Dr. Noah Burstein recruited Lucas as a volunteer for experimental cell regeneration using similar principles as observed in the Super-Soldier process he had previously used to imbue Warhawk. Burstein immersed Lucas in an electrical field conducted by an organic chemical compound; when he left Lucas unattended, Rackham, in an attempt to kill Lucas, caused the machine to overload inducing body-wide enhancement that gave him unbreakable skin, astronomical strength as well as stamina.

Biography

Early Life

Luke Cage was born in New York and his birth name was Carl Lucas, being the son of Ester Lucas and James Lucas, a retired detective, and the brother to James Lucas Jr. In his youth, Carl befriended Willis Stryker and Reva Connors, and the group spent their time on the streets of Harlem. Carl and Wills eventually joined The Rivals, a gang that fought against the Diablos and committed thefts for Sonny Caputo (who also known as Hammer).

Carl spent his time in and out of juvenile homes, but he dreamed of becoming a racketeer until he realized his actions were hurting his family. Seeking to better himself as an adult, he left the Rivals, but remained on good terms with Willis, who rose through the ranks of crime. Later on, Carl saved Willis when he was attacked by the Maggia, after Stryker gained there attention. After the incident, Reva ended her relationship with Willis and turned to Carl for comfort, causing a rift to develop between the two.

Believing Carl caused his break-up with Reva, Willis planted heroin in Lucas' place and tipped off the cops, having him arrested and sent to prison. He attempted to get revenge by contacting the Maggia, but the group failed to kill Willis, but Reva was killed in the process. Carl lost contact with hi family due to the resent of his James Jr., who intercepted Carl's letters to their father, making them believe the other was dead.

Seagate Prison

While in prison, Carl was consumed with hatred for Willis' betrayal, and was angered by his father's supposed death. He spent time getting into brawls and attempted to escape several times, to no avail. As a result of this, Carl was transferred to Seagate Prison, which was one of the toughest facilities in Georgia. On his first day, he became the target of Albert "Billy Bob" Rackham, a racist and sadistic prison guard. Rackham's brutality eventually caused him to be demoted, fueling his hatred of Carl even more.

Dr. Noah Burstein came to Seagate to carry out secret medial research and recruited Carl as a volunteer, and worked on experimental cell regeneration based on the Super Soldier serum which he had previously used to empower Warhawk. Lucas was placed into the "Electro-Biochemical System", a device that contained an electrical field conducted by an organic chemical compound, and Rackham saw an opportunity to kill Lucas when the equipment was left unattended.

The treatment accelerated through Carl's body, fortifying his cells that gave him superhuman strength and invulnerable skin. Carl used his powers to escape the prison and make his way back to Harlem, and was inspired to use his new powers for profit after encountering criminals. Seeing that he was now a wanted man for escaping Seagate, Carl decided to change is name from Carl Lucas to Luke Cage.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

  • Super Soldier Serum: Luke Cage possesses various superhuman physical enhancements after undergoing a Super-Soldier experiment known as the Burstein Process, which was designed to increase his body's cellular regeneration rate. Additionally, Nick Fury's intel classified him as power level 8, while Captain America (Sam Wilson) and Tony Stark considered him to be a Beta Level Threat.
    • Superhuman Strength: After undergoing the original experiment, Cage's strength was increased to superhuman levels. Initially, it was only sufficient enough to lift approximately 5 tons, but with a second Burstein Process, intensive/extensive physical training, and years of experience as a superhero, his strength was increased to approximately 25 tons and he is able to punch through barriers as thick as 4-inch steel plate. While his experience fighting crime allows for him to gauge the amount of force he exerts, he has been known to cut loose in cases of extreme stress often hinting that he's much stronger than his limits suggest. His strength is currently increased to 50 tons or much more. He was able to knockout the Rhino, a villain known to be a rival with the likes of the Hulk, with one punch. Cage's herculean strength allows him to seamlessly move extremely heavy objects with ease or trade blows with insanely strong extraterrestrials resulting in mild seismic activity, as seen when Luke almost effortlessly carried a semi over seven city blocks because he couldn't get the engine to start. He was strong enough to send a woman flying with just the impact of his thunderclap. His strength also extends to his legs enabling him to leap in a manner similar to the Hulk; however, his leaping is not equal to the Hulk. Nevertheless, he can carry himself at speeds that outdo even the fittest of athletes.
    • Enhanced Speed: While not as fast as most typical speedsters, Cage's musculature gives his legs great power enabling him to move much faster than even the finest human athlete. It is plausible to assume that Cage's physique at least allows for him carry himself at impressive 40 mph.
    • Superhuman Stamina: Cage's muscles generate less fatigue toxins than the muscles of ordinary humans, granting him superhuman stamina. This helps Cage pull off astonishing feats of athleticism despite his excess mass.
    • Invulnerability: Luke Cage's body is as hard as titanium steel. His muscles and bones tissue are super-dense, granting him much greater resistances to physical injury. He can withstand conventional handgun fire of 4 feet and cannot be cut by the sharpest of blades, although in the event of required surgery his skin can be lacerated with an over-powered medical laser. He can withstand up to one-ton impacts or blasts of 150 pounds of TNT without serious injury, and he is impervious to temperature extremes and electrical shocks. His current level of durability enables him to withstand gun fire at point-blank range, and to withstand being lit on fire without suffering any serious or permanent injuries. He has withstood impacts from superhumans a good deal stronger than himself, destructive energy attacks including electricity, and falls from great heights such as ninety story high skyscrapers. It has also been shown that the supernatural fangs of a vampire are not able to pierce his skin. 
    • Accelerated Healing Factor: Luke's invulnerability is usually enough to protect him from damages. However, if injured, Luke's recovery time from injury or trauma is customarily one-third that of an ordinary human. This ability allows for him to rarely require medical attention after even his most tedious of fights.

Abilities

  • Skilled Combatant: Cage is a self-taught hand-to-hand combatant with years of street fighting experience. He also says he has had extensive training with Iron Fist. Through him, he has learned to utilize leverage with his strength in order to increase his combat effectiveness against more powerful opponents.
  • Skilled Athlete: He is also a gifted athlete, even without his superhuman abilities.
  • Extended Education: Cage is self-educated in the law and fluent in several languages.
  • Strong Speaker: He has proven to be very good at speaking positively, truthfully, and with charisma in front of large audiences. His innate nobility has earned him the respect and friendship from a good number of different persons.

Strength Level

Class 50; Cage's strength has increased substantially and is enough for him to lift at least 50 tons, possibly much more.

Weaknesses

  • Near-Unbreakable Flesh: Since Cage's skin cannot be lacerated by conventional materials, his superhuman durability is a hindrance if he suffers injuries that are too severe for him to heal on his own and require surgery, such as internal injuries. While his skin can be lacerated by a highly powerful medical laser and weapons composed of Adamantium, neither of these would be readily available or easily accessible.
  • Radiation: Enough exposure to massive amounts of radiation and the resulting burns can kill Cage, if the injuries are extensive enough.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Ranked 15th in "The Top 50 Avengers" by IGN in 2012.
  • Ranked 72nd greatest comic book hero all time by IGN.
  • Ranked 34th greatest comic book character of all time by Wizard magazine.
  • He was the first African-American superhero to be a titular protagonist in a comic, as Black Panther became so a year after.
  • He's classified as a power level eight by Nick Fury, but is considered a Beta level Threat by Sam Wilson and Tony Stark.

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Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow: The Avengers: (Iron Man | James Rogers | Torunn | Henry Pym Jr. | Azari) | Hulk | Francis Barton
The Avengers: S.H.I.E.L.D. (Nick Fury | Maria Hill | Agent Phil Coulson | Hawkeye) | The Avengers (Iron Man | Captain America | Thor Odinson | Black Widow | Hulk | Hawkeye)
Avengers: Age of Ultron: The Avengers (Iron Man | Captain America | Thor Odinson | Hulk | Black Widow | War Machine | Hawkeye | Quicksilver | Scarlet Witch | Vision | Falcon) | J.A.R.V.I.S. | Maria Hill | Peggy Carter | Heimdall | Erik Selvig | Helen Cho | Nick Fury | F.R.I.D.A.Y.
Avengers: Infinity War: The Avengers (Iron Man | Thor Odinson | Captain America | Hulk | Black Widow | War Machine | Spider-Man | Vision | Scarlet Witch | Falcon | Masters of the Mystic Arts (Doctor Strange | Wong) | Black Panther | Guardians of the Galaxy (Gamora | Nebula | Mantis | Drax the Destroyer | Groot | Rocket Racoon | Star-Lord) | Loki Odinson | Heimdall | White Wolf | Okoye | Eitri | Pepper Potts | Thunderbolt Ross | Shuri | M'Baku | F.R.I.D.A.Y. | Ned Leeds | Nick Fury | Maria Hill | Happy Hogan
Avengers: Endgame: The Avengers (Iron Man | Thor Odinson | Captain America | Hulk | Black Widow | Hawkeye | War Machine | Ant-Man | Captain Marvel | Nebula | Okoye | Rocket Racoon | Spider-Man | Scarlet Witch | Falcon) | Masters of the Mystic Arts (Doctor Strange | Wong | The Ancient One) | Black Panther | Wasp | Valkyrie | Bucky Barnes | Guardians of the Galaxy (Mantis | Drax the Destroyer | Groot | Star-Lord | Gamora) | Shuri | Happy Hogan | May Parker | Korg | Ramonda | Hank Pym | Janet Van Dyne | Thunderbolt Ross | Maria Hill | M'Baku | Ned Leeds | Rescue | Nick Fury | Cassie Lang | F.R.I.D.A.Y. | Loki Odinson | Howard Stark | Peggy Carter | Jane Foster | Edwin Jarvis | Miek

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