It’s been a big couple of weeks for Marvel’s first Harlem-based comic book hero, Luke Cage. Power Man recently arrived on Netflix, giving the world yet another taste of Marvel’s grittier side, as well as adding some fuel to the Defenders fire. To some fans’ disappointment, though, the show glossed over much of its classic 70s vibe from its source comics in favor of a modern flavor – aside from a few fun hints.
However, fans looking to step back into that 70s groove for some keister-kicking Luke Cage action are in luck. Animator Genndy Tartakovsky has you covered.
Generally synonymous with stylized Cartoon Network series like Samurai Jack and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the talented cartoonist lends his unique style and vision to Cage! #1. Written and drawn by Tartakovsky, the story picks up where not far from where Luke's saga first began, in the disco and funk-fueled 1970s. We find our hero running amok in Harlem, taking down bank robbers, slapping high-fives with kids, and heading out for a night on the town. Take a look at some highlights and variant covers from the the issue:
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When Misty Knight fails to show up for their tete-a-tete, though, Luke gets mad. Then he grows concerned. For some odd reason, the superheroes of the city are disappearing at a rapid rate. Unfortunately, that also means there’s no one around to round up the city's nefarious ne’er-do-wells – nobody aside from Luke Cage, that is.
Featuring fun pop-ins from a few X-Men favorites and some classic villains – with their 70s looks and duds lovingly restored – Cage! #1 is a celebration of Luke’s comic book roots. Tartakovsky’s stylized artwork is always a plus, contributing panel after panel of kinetic action. Here, the Russian-born artist also shows off his writing skills, creating some kooky if era-appropriate banter and a simplistic if highly-enjoyable storyline.
While the plot is nothing Earth-shattering, it does tease an enjoyable mystery in the works, along with plenty of fun cameos and guest shots. The latest book is ideal for fans of the classic Cage books. At the same time, with its quick pacing and light if rarely necessary exposition, folks whose only exposure to Cage is on the TV shouldn't have too much trouble getting into it.
Cage! #1 is currently available in stores and online.