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Hero For Hire: The Best Luke Cage Fan Art

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Luke Cage, sometimes known as Power Man, was created by Archie Goodwin, John Romita, Sr. and George Tuska, and debuted in his own book, Luke Cage, Hero for Hire, back in 1972. He wasn't Marvel's first black hero --- that was Black Panther --- or its first African American hero --- that was Falcon --- but he was the first black hero to launch in his own book and be given a push as a solo hero. In short, he was the first black hero who was made to be a star, and he was one.

We've collected some of the best Luke Cage fan art we could find to celebrate the release of his new Netflix series. A lot of it harkens back to his original 1970s look, but some of it incorporates more recent looks, or takes him in a new direction. If there's one thing that Cage's comics history proves, it's that you can take him in a lot of different directions, but he'll always be unbreakable.

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12 Facts You May Not Have Known About Luke Cage, Hero for Hire

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Sweet Christmas! This week we're taking a look at Carl Lucas, aka Luke Cage, aka Power Man, aka Cage, aka the Hero for Hire, Marvel's first blaxploitation superhero. If you're stoked for his upcoming Netflix series but have no idea about his past in the mean streets of Marvel's New York, have no fear! This video covers Cage's history from his origin to his lasting friendship with Iron Fist to his relationship with Jessica Jones to his connection to Hollywood's finest actor, and even more.

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20 Great Black Comic Book Characters

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It's no secret that white male leads have dominated comic books since --- well forever. In the '60s, Marvel and DC finally started to put a change to that with the addition of super-powered people of color, which led to some of today's biggest names in comics. But it still wasn't enough. Eventually the lack of diversity led to the onset of Milestone Media in the '90s, where Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle crafted several intriguing characters. With an increasingly active black nerd, or blerd, community, new black characters are being created every day --- primarily through independent publishers, though Marvel has also kickstarted a focus on one of its most notable black characters --- but more on that later.

To celebrate Black History Month, ComicsAlliance is running down our list of 20 Great Black Comic Book Characters. Our list considers old staples as well as some new favorites, including a certain katana wielding badass, space explorers and of course, plenty of superheroes.

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Greatest Best Favorite Avenger Ever: Group J

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With Avengers: Age of Ultron just around the corner, interest in these heroes has never been greater, so we’ve decided to pit all the official comic book Avengers against each other in a battle for your affections. Who is the greatest, best, favorite Avenger of all time? Only you can decide.

We’ve created voting groups that mix up different eras of Avengers membership. The biggest name in Group J is probably Wonder Man, so that gives you an idea where we are in this thing. A third Ant-Man, a second Power Man, and the one and only D-Man help round out the list. The top two or three from each round go through to the next, so vote tactically, but we're not sure there's an obvious favorite this time around!

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Ask Chris #223: Prepare For Trouble, And Make It Double

Ask Chris #223 art by Erica Henderson

Q: Why aren’t there more heroic duos or “tag teams?” -- @awa64

A: Friend, I don't usually like to start off these columns by specifically denying the premise of the question, but there are a lot of heroic duos in the world of superhero comics. I mean, even if we're just limiting ourselves to the most famous superheroes out there, the top of that list is going to include both the World's Finest and the Dynamic Duo, and you don't have to look much harder to find other pairings further down the list.

Unless, of course, you're specifically asking why there aren't more actual pro wrestling tag teams that have taken up crime-fighting when they're not busy in the ring, in which case I have no idea, but rest assured that is something I want to see.

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Bizarro Back Issues: Power Man And Iron Fist Battle The Daleks (Sort Of) (1982)

Power Man & Iron Fist #79, Marvel Comics

In this week's installment of the X-Men episode guide, I mentioned that there was a comic from the early '80s where Power Man and Iron Fist, Marvel's mismatched mercenary superheroes, battled against a slightly off-model version of Doctor Who's Daleks. It's one of my favorite old-school oddities, but it occurs to me that some of you might not know about this, and that is a shame. I can't imagine going through life not knowing about it. It's just not right, which is why I thought I'd step in and take everyone for a trip into the back issue bin to talk about how Luke and the Fist battled against the Dreadlox and then punched them so hard they were never seen again.

This is, and I cannot stress this enough, a thing that actually happened, and the amazing part is that it's actually even weirder than it sounds.

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Link Ink: Edgar Wright Resumes ‘Ant-Man’ Movie, MythBusting ‘The Walking Dead’ And Luke Cage Joins ‘Marvel Heroes’

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Click through for all of Wednesday's Links.

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‘Mighty Avengers’ #1: Racial Dynamics, Disenfranchised Youth And Absent Dreadlocks [Review]

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Depending on who you ask, Mighty Avengers #1 is either a big deal or completely unnecessary. To some, it represents a significant moment: Marvel putting sincere thought and effort into publishing a super hero title starring a cast of characters who are mostly persons of color. To others, it's an idea that's "contrived" or "forced," taking away jobs from hardworking, honest, god-fearing, and completely fictional white people. That, or it's yet another Avengers title from the publisher, and there are some who already complain that there are far too many.

But wherever your feelings lie, what matters most -- what should matter most -- is whether or not Mighty Avengers is a good comic. Written by Al Ewing and with art by Greg Land, Jay Leisten and Frank D'Armata, Mighty Avengers #1 is, in many ways, a very promising start.

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Ask Chris #154: The Super-Bad ’70s

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Over a lifetime of reading comics, Senior Writer Chris Sims has developed an inexhaustible arsenal of facts and opinions. That's why, each and every week, we turn to you to put his comics culture knowledge to the test as he responds to your reader questions!

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‘Mighty Avengers': A Step Forward For A Publisher, A Change In Tone From An Editor

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After days of teaser images from Marvel hinting at some kind of new series, this morning the publisher finally announced a relaunch of Mighty Avengers. Written by Al Ewing with art from Greg Land, the new series features a team led by Luke Cage, with Falcon, White Tiger, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, Blue Marvel, Monica Rambeau (now named Spectrum), a new Ronin, and the new Power Man as members. Notably, the team is comprised mostly of heroes who are people of color and/or women.

Mighty Avengers has been championed by Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, who in the past has gone on record as describing the idea of an Avengers team comprised of all or mostly black characters as being "contrived," but now says, "people who are interested in these characters and want to see heroes that reflect them have a genuine point."

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