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YMMV / Luke Cage: Hero for Hire

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  • Broken Base: Cage, a miniseries by Genndy Tartakovsky that brings the character back to his Blaxploitation roots which lingered in Development Hell before finally being released in 2016. One group is happy to see Luke "Sweet Christmas" Cage return to his roots in the Blaxploitation genre, while another group isn't so happy that the comic is reducing Cage back to an outdated stereotype after evolving as character in the years since. It's generally agreed, however, that Tartakovsky applying his personal drawing aesthetic to the character is pretty cool.
  • Complete Monster: Hardcore is a merc hired by crime boss Cruz Bushmaster to find way to give him Luke Cage's powers. Hardcore wants to kidnap Luke's friend, Dakota North, to learn more about Luke and hires Nitro, a psycho with exploding powers, to do it, knowing that Nitro will kill several people in process. Luke saves North, but Hardcore escapes. It is soon revealed that Hardcore has kidnapped the scientist that gave Luke Cage his powers and is forcing him to work in his lab. Hardcore has set up a lab in Colorado that is run like a concentration camp, where Hardcore will kidnap people with no family and experiments on them. Either these experiments will kill the test subjects right away or give them powers, but eventually kill them anyway. Hardcore also kidnaps the brother of a local child Luke has befriended and uses him to lure Luke to his lab. Hardcore wants to experiment on Luke, but he escapes, so Hardcore kills the man Luke was trying to save. As Luke escapes, Hardcore reveals that he allowed one of his test subjects, a man named Steele, to escape with samples of the Power Man formula, which Steele is planning on using to poison the water supply in Colorado, to force the world to work on a cure for this condition. Hardcore allowed that to happen, simply to distract Luke and get a chance to escape. Luke stops Steele, but Hardcore blows up the lab, killing everyone left inside. Later, Hardcore kidnaps Luke again and threatens to kill several of Luke's loved ones that he has kidnapped, if Luke doesn't agree to a dangerous experiment that will give Cruz his powers. Despite being Cruz's subordinate, Hardcore is in fact the true Big Bad of that particular Story Arc.
    • Douglas Carmody. See that page for details.
  • Creator's Pet: Many fans grew tired of Luke's overexposure over the years since he's a favorite of Brian Michael Bendis.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: 4thLetter! once did a countdown of (the writer's) favorite comic books. When Luke Cage came up and the "how much I know about him" section came up, it read, "Enough to know Jessica Jones has trouble sitting down."note 
  • Faux Symbolism: The 'cage' in his name and the chain-belt his old costume had.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Doctor Doom infamously once told Luke Cage that he was surprised to see a black man in the Fantastic Four. Years later, when Michael B. Jordan was cast in the 2015 adaptation, many expressed a similar kind of bewilderment.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Where's my money, honey?"
    • "Nobody laughs at Mr. Fish!"
    • And of course, "Sweet Christmas!"
  • My Real Daddy: Mary Jo Duffy has probably had the greatest influence on the character, and before his 00s revival by Brian Michael Bendis. Honorable mentions should probably go to Chris Claremont and Fred Van Lente too.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In the 2018 series, Luke develops CTE as a consequence of years of taking blows to the head, and the symptoms start to pop up. At one point, he struggles to remember his own daughter's name.


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