While imprisoned, Luke Cage was subjected to medical experiments that ended up giving him superhuman strength and bulletproof skin. Once free, he used his newfound abilities to be a Hero for Hire and protect people who had nowhere else to go for help.
In this issue, after helping out yet another family in need, Luke Cage finds out that the man who essentially made him who he is today, Dr. Noah Burstein, has died. It was supposedly suicide, but one person thinks otherwise. When the mystery just begins to unravel, Cage is attacked by men who seem to actually be able to hurt him. How could this be? Who are these men? What really happened to Burstein? Cage and another one of Burstein’s former experiment-turned-psychopath are on the case!
Walker’s writing in this issue is on point. His characterization of Luke Cage is particularly impressive. We can see humor, seriousness, humbleness, and confidence in one package. Cage handles himself in a professional manner while still bringing his strong personality through.
The dialogue in this issue is natural and believable, which contributes to the steady pacing of the story. The use of caption boxes to convey narration from Cage’s point of view is a great addition. We get to see not only what he is going through, but what he’s thinking while it’s happening. A surprise character at the end of the issue proves to be most intriguing and will lead to a pretty insane issue #2.
Blake’s artwork looks fantastic. There are really clean, smooth, and soft lines that accompany vibrant colors and expressive characters. Cage is a gritty character, but the artwork shows us another side to him—an honest, kind, and helpful characterization other than one of simple sheer power and destructive abilities. Marcio Menez’s colors are bright and warm. The use of light sources really adds to the natural look of this issue, as well as the believability.
This issue stays pretty close to home and shows us where Luke Cage’s roots lie. At the same time, Walker and Blake are onto a bigger story that stays pretty open-ended at the conclusion of this book. It’s definitely a series for any and every Luke Cage fan, and isn’t something you’d want to miss out on. We get to see Cage’s power, but we also see his vulnerability—something that doesn’t show too often. Sound intriguing? Head to your local comic shop and grab a copy of this issue for yourself!
Written by: David F. Walker
Illustrated by: Nelson Blake II