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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.
We're here to fight what can't be fought alone, for the people who need us to. The ones who can't fight at all. If that ain't the definition of Avenger--Well, I'm changing the damn definition right now.
~ Luke Cage on the Avengers.

Luke Cage (born Carl Lucas), and also called Power Man is a fictional character and superhero from Marvel comics, appearing as the main protagonist of the titular comics, and a major character in the Avengers and Defenders 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. After legally changing his name, Cage decided to become a "hero for hire" where he would help anyone he came across, but at the cost of a money fee. He would soon take the moniker "Power Man" and became a full-fledged superhero, and became the partner of Iron Fist, Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, Victor Alvarez, and Jessica Jones (his later wife). He is a well known member of the Defenders and the Manhattan Defenders, and was a member of the Secret Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Defenders, Fantastic Four, Marvel Knights, Heroes for Hire, and the Dark Avengers.

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

Since his debut, the character has appeared in numerous media, such as in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he was portrayed by Mike Colter.



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.


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.

Becoming a Superhero

After legally changing his name, Cage decided to become a "Hero for Hire" and moved to the Gem Theater in New York, helping anyone he came across but if they could meet his price. He would come across the nurse Claire Temple after he as attacked by Stryker's men, and encountered Dr. Burstein at the hospital he was taken to. When Claire was kidnapped, Cage tracked her location down and battled Stryker, who fell through a skylight to presumed demise. During his tenure as a hero, Cage encountered Black Mariah, an obese crime lord who would rob corpses by using fake ambulances. His profession also extended others who's alignment were questionable, such as Doctor Doom, but Cage would go to Latveria and fight the country's ruler when Doom didn't pay Luke his fee. After dealing with Doom, Cage would adopt the name "Power Man" once he dealt with the thief Orville Smythe.

Now under the name Power Man, the hero started to work with individual vigilantes and superhero teams, such as assisting the Defenders in fighting against Plantman, the Sons of the Serpent, and the Wrecking Crew. Once the team dealt with Plantman, Cage complained to them that they were interfering with his solo work. The problem was quickly resolved by Defender Nighthawk, who advised to have the group pay him for his services. Cage agreed and later became a member of the team, but later resigned due to feeling out of place and dealt with the villain Cottonmouth. Power Man would soon join the Fantastic Four after the Thing temporarily lost his powers, but later left after he was controlled by the Puppet Master and fought his teammates.

Working with Iron Fist

When Bushmaster kidnapped Claire and Dr. Burstein after finding evidence that proved that Luke was innocent, Power Man was blackmailed by the criminal to abduct NYPD detective Misty Knight. During his pursue of the detective, Cage was stopped by her boyfriend Danny Rand, also known as the Immortal Iron Fist. The two would fight briefly before the truth was revealed, which allowed Power Man, Iron Fist and Misty to join forces to stop Bushmaster and save Temple and Burstein. Afterward, Cage's name was cleared of criminal charges, and he decided to work for Misty and her friend Colleen Wing's agency. He would then decided to leave and partner with Rand, and the two became a team under the name "Heroes for Hire". Despite finding little in common at first, Power Man and Iron Fist became best friends and earned a reputation for stopping criminals. Cage also came across the vigilante Jessica Jones, who was going under the name "Knightress" and had super strength that nearly matched his.

Fugitive and Return

The Heroes for Hire would briefly be disbanded when Power Man and Iron Fist were manipulated by S.M.I.L.E., whom later framed Cage for killing Rand. Becoming a fugitive, Cage decided to break all contact from his allies and moved to Chicago, but managed to have his name cleared once Iron Fist was revealed to be alive. Despite this, Luke decided to remain in Chicago for the time being, and dropped his moniker of Power Man. Later on, Cage returned to New York but ended his superhero tenure, and became the co-owner of the Gem theater with D.W. Griffith. However, he joined Iron Fist's expanded version of the Heroes for Hire after the Master of the World tried to recruit him as a spy and destroyed the Gem theater. Though he initially sympathized with the Master, he refused to betray Iron Fist and helped the team stop him. Cage then decided to remain with the Heroes for Hire, and began a romantic relationship with fellow teammate She-Hulk.

The Stark-Fujikawa Corporation would buy the team and kicked Cage and Scott Lang out due to their criminal records, which resulted in the others quitting in protest. Luke then returned to basics and feeling that he had lost touch with the streets, decided to fund a bar and started to rid crime from his neighborhood. Around this time, Luke had a one night stand with an intoxicated Jessica Jones, which caused the two to become distant from one another. The heroes later made peace with each other when they worked as Matt Murdock's lawyer, and Cage started to provide emotional support when she was forced to recall her past trauma with the Purple Man. While his feelings for her grew, a wrench was thrown when Jessica revealed that she was pregnant with his child from their one night stand. Upon his revelation, the two decided to move in together and the two later began dating.


When Nick Fury discovered that Lucia von Bardas was financing numerous supervillains and criminals in the United States, he recruited Cage, Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Daredevil and Black Widow to stop her. Unbeknownst to the heroes, Fury made von Bardas an example when the president told him to leave it be, and destroyed Castle Doom, which killed countless people. Fury then had the heroes' minds erased to prevent them from stopping him, as he knew they wouldn't condone his actions. However, Cage would be attacked by an alive but disfigured von Bardas, which caused him to be hospitalized until he was taken to the Night Nurse. Fury would speak with Cage and Jones, and apologized for involving him in the secret wars and putting the two in danger.

Following the incident, Captain America called on several heroes to help stop the prison break at Ryker's Island, and Cage arrived and proved himself. Seeing this, Captain America decided to recruit him into a new iteration of the Avengers, and Cage later married Jessica after the birth of their daughter Danielle. Despite his recent marriage, Cage would find himself caught in the Superhero Civil War, and sent Jessica and their child to Canada since he avoided the superhuman registration act. He was briefly attacked by S.H.I.E.L.D. until he was assisted by Captain America, Iron Fist and Falcon, and became a member of the Secret Avengers to fight against Iron Man's faction. Captain America would eventually surrender due to the destruction of the civil war, and Cage was among the heroes horrified by the captain's death. Luke Cage then became the leader of the New Avengers to deal with the Raft escapees and the corruption within S.H.I.E.L.D., and recruited Iron Fist, Wolverine, Doctor Strange and Spider-Woman (who was actually Queen Veranke) to the group.

Ultimate Marvel

In the Ultimate Marvel comics, Luke Cage has no powers like his mainstream counterpart, instead being a member of the Defenders who are all wannabe superheroes who only formed the group for fame. The Defenders were later gifted with powers by the Norse god Loki, whom granted Cage with superhuman strength and durability. In truth, however, Loki used the group to have them ambush and fight the Ultimates.

Powers and Abilities


  • 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 90 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.



  • In The Super Hero Squad Show, he was voiced by Lil' JJ.
  • In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, he was voiced by Christopher D. Duncan.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man, he was voiced by Ogie Banks, who also voiced Ned and Ted Johnson in Barbie: Dreamhouse Adventures, Zak Saturday in Ben 10: Omniverse, Darui in Naruto Shippuden, Ricardo "Omni-Mass" Perez in Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighter, and Cedric in Butt-Ugly Martians.
    • Banks reprised his voice for the character in Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, Lego Marvel's Avengers and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order.
  • In Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, he was voiced by Ryōkan Koyanagi.
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was portrayed by Mike Colter.

Video Games

  • In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, he was voiced by Greg Eagles, who also voiced Gray Fox and Donald Anderson in Metal Gear Solid, Peter Stillman in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Grim in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, and Aku Aku in the Crash Bandicoot series.
  • In Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, he was voiced by Robert Wisdom.
  • In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, he was voiced by Khary Payton, who portrays Ezekiel in The Walking Dead and voices Cyborg in numerous media, and also voiced Aqualad in Young Justice, Azrael in the Arkhamverse, Knox in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Wasabi in the Big Hero 6 animated series.
  • In Marvel Heroes, John C. Mathis III, who also voiced Donald Anderson in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops.
  • In Lego Marvel Super Heroes, he was voiced by John Eric Bentley.

Motion Comics

  • In Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D, he was voiced by Jesse Falcon.
  • In Wolverine: Weapon X, he was voiced Trevor Devall, who also voiced Shuichi Aizawa in Death Note, Dukey Test in Johnny Test, Hot Dog in Krypto the Superdog, Marchosias in Shakugan no Shan, Iruini and Brutaka in BIONICLE, and Jayce Talis in League of Legends.
  • In War of the Realms: Marvel Ultimate Comics, he was voiced by Deven Mack.


Power Man for hire -- Cage speakin'.
~ Luke Cage.
You know who I am... But NOBODY'S cagin' me up again! No way... Not ALIVE!
~ Luke Cage.
But you wish I was unselfishly aidin' mankind like you wanted to--? --Savin' the universe gratis like the Fantastic Four or the Avengers or some other local super-studs? I lost enough of nothin' already in this life, man. Girl I loved, lotta good years-- No more, baby!
~ Luke Cage to Dr. Noah Burstein.
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 to Katherine Farrell on the Avengers.
Honestly, Danny, I've thought about this long and hard... I'm sitting this one out.
~ Luke to Iron Fist on the second superhuman civil war.



  • 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.


           AvengersLogo.png Heroes

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Beast | Black Cat | Black Knight | Black Panther | Black Widow | Cannonball | Captain Britain | Captain Marvel | Crystal | Cyclops | Daredevil | Falcon | Firebird | Firestar | Hawkeye | Hellcat | Hercules | Invisible Woman | Iron Fist | Jane Foster | Julia Carpenter | Maria Hill | Miles Morales | Mister Fantastic | Mockingbird | Moondragon | Nadia van Dyne | Namor | Noh-Varr | Quake | Quasar | Quicksilver | Red Hulk | Scarlet Witch | Scott Lang | Sentry | Sersi | Shang-Chi | She-Hulk | Silver Surfer | Spectrum | Spider-Man | Storm | Sunspot | Thing | Tigra | Vision | War Machine | Winter Soldier | Wolverine | Wonder Man | Yellowjacket | Yondu Udonta

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Betty Ross | Bucky Barnes | Ghost Rider | Gwen Stacy | Loki Laufeyson | Mary Jane Watson | New Goblin | Nick Fury, Sr. | Odin | Pepper Potts | Red Guardian | Rick Jones | Ronin | Sharon Carter | Shuri | Silver Sable | Thunderstrike | Venom

The Avengers: United They Stand: Coming Soon
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Ant-Man | Black Panther | Black Widow | Captain America | Falcon | Hawkeye | Hulk | Invisible Woman | Iron Man | Mockingbird | Ms. Marvel | Quake | Spider-Man | Thor | Vision | Wasp | Winter Soldier | Yellowjacket
Avengers: Assemble: Ant-Man | Arsenal | Black Panther | Black Widow | Captain America | Captain Marvel | Falcon | Hawkeye | Hulk | Iron Man | Ms. Marvel | Red Hulk | Songbird | Spider-Man | Thunderstrike | Vision

Ultimate Avengers 1 & 2: Captain America | Giant-Man | Hulk | Iron Man | Thor | Wasp | Black Panther | Black Widow
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 Raccoon | 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 Raccoon | 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

Video Games
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           Fantastic Four logo.pngHeroes

Human Torch | Invisible Woman | Mr. Fantastic | Thing

Later Main Team Members
Ant-Man | Black Panther | Brainstorm | Crystal | Devil Dinosaur | Flux | Ghost Rider | Hulk | Iceman | Lyja | Medusa | Moon Girl | Ms. Thing | Namor | Namorita | Nova | Powerhouse | Power Man | Sharon Ventura | She-Hulk | Sleepwalker | Silver Surfer | Spider-Man | Storm | Thundera | Tigra | Wolverine

Fantastic Four (1994): Fantastic Four (Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, Thing)
Fantastic Four (2005): Fantastic Four (Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, Thing)
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer: Fantastic Four (Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, Thing) | Silver Surfer
Fantastic Four (2015): Fantastic Four (Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, Thing)