Luke Cage Epic Collection

  • Type: Ebooks
  • By: Archie Goodwin
  • Age Category: Teens
  • Genre: Sci Fi/Fantasy/Horror, Graphic Novels
  • Recommended by: Eric S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9781302936112
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Move over Black Panther. Let’s check out Power Man!

The comic book character and the fictitious African kingdom of Wakanda has been very popular since the premier of Marvel’s blockbuster film, Black Panther in 2018.  He was the first African American superhero to become mainstream when he appeared in an issue of the Fantastic Four in 1966.  However, Luke Cage was the first African American superhero to be a main character in a storyline, not a sidekick, and be featured in his own comic book series.  Created in 1972, Luke Cage a.k.a. Hero for Hire was the product of the era of Blaxploitation films.  In retrospect, his origin story, which resolves around imprisonment for a drug crime he didn’t commit and the struggle to rebuild his life after prison, seems to ironically foreshadow the effect of the War on Drugs and mass incarceration, which decimated urban communities in the United States in the 1980s and 90s.

I remember reading a few issues of Luke Cage as a child under the title of his other alias, Powerman. At the time, I thought it was cool to see a BIPOC superhero character that looked like me (except for his massive muscles L.O.L).  So, as an adult it’s been fun to revisit this character through reading the EPIC collection, because it contains all the early issues of this comic book series.  Two volumes of this collection are available as eBooks on Hoopla.  I hope you enjoy them as well.