Luke Cage, Hero for Hire

June 1, 2021 - Diverse Books, Graphic Novel, Reviews
Author: Archie Goodwin et al.
Publisher: Marvel
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire

The graphic novel that I chose to review for this assignment is Luke Cage, Hero for Hire. This graphic novel was written in 1972 by the Marvel Comics Group. The premise of this book is the fictional story of Carl Lucas. Lucas is a black male who becomes falsely imprisoned by a group of racists. During his incarceration, Lucas is tortured and experimented on by the people imprisoning him. He endures an enormous amount of struggle, until one day, one of the experiments goes horribly wrong and ends up granting him superhuman abilities. With bullet-proof skin and superhuman strength, Lucas is able to escape from prison and devote his life to fighting crime under the new alias, Luke Cage. This graphic novel was created during a time of healing and uncertainty in America. I believe that the creators of this series had a goal to bring a sense of empowerment to young Black Americans who were exposed to racial injustice. To me, the characteristics of the protagonist were developed to portray what would be necessary for the perseverance of young Black Americans, which is thick skin and a mix of courage and strength. By writing this story in a comic book format, I believe the creators were able to express their views of social injustice in a way that was more captivating for a younger crowd.
—Dane Koomen, CMRD101 Spring 2021