Born to the police detective James Lucas Sr. and his wife Ester, Carl Lucas spent a large part of his childhood getting in trouble with his best friend, Wills Stryker. Together they formed a street gang known as the Rivals, engaging in petty thefts and other small-time stuff. Both of them had big dreams of becoming major players in Harlem underworld, but Carl began to have second thoughts about his criminal lifestyle after realizing the harmful effect it had on his family. Wanting a better life for himself, Carl quit the Rivals and got an honest job, even started a relationship with his childhood friend Reva Connors. Stryker, feeling betrayed by Carl for leaving the Rivals and “stealing” his crush Reva from him, planted stolen heroin in Carl apartment before tipping the Police. Carl was arrested and charged with possession and smuggling between states lines. Found guilty, he was sentenced to ten years in the infamous Seagate federal penitentiary in Georgia. Wrongly convicted, regularly harassed by the correctional officers, his girlfriend stolen by his former best friend and his family refusing to talk with him, Carl Lucas was one angry man.
Carl temper and hostility to authority made him a prime target for the more sadists of the guards, particularly Albert Rackham who hated Carl with passion. No matter the abuse or insults Rackham hurled at Carl, he refused to break. Their combined hostility reached a turning point when Rackham was approached by Glenn Talbot, US Air Force Major that was willing to pay Rackham for falsifying death of specific inmates, that would be then secretly handed over to Talbot and his group for some unsanctioned experiments on human subjects. Rackham gladly accepted Talbot offer and made sure that Carl was one of the prisoners that were taken to a classified black site, Camp Green.
Head of research at Camp Green was one Doctor Robert “Bruce” Banner. Doctor Banner had been respected scientist working for the military, but budget cuts had forced the closure of Banner's research on gamma rays. Recruited by Talbot group, Banner continued his gamma project, hoping to prove that highly concentrated exposure to gamma rays would give human, superhuman powers. Banner was partially right. In many cases, prisoners exposed to gamma rays did gain superhuman powers like enhanced intelligence, ability to manipulate energy or strength beyond measures. However, in most cases, the subjects would only be disfigured, or as happened to 70% of all test subjects, their bodies would mutate horribly by the gamma ray exposure, twisting them until the subject died screaming in agony.
When the time came to expose Carl to the rays, something unexpected happened that made Luke transformation more drastic than with the other prisoners. He transformed into a hulking green monster with incredible strength. It was later theorized that either because of his great internal rage or already Atlas-like body structure, caused Carls more dramatic transformation. Growing stronger by the minute, Carl burst through his constraints, escaping with ease the lab where he was being tested and went on a rampage. Carl destroyed most of the base, including the holding cells, freeing the other prisoners before escaping himself. The chaos caused by Carl drew the attention of the government, which arrived shortly later, arresting Talbot and his cronies but Banner managed to slip an away. Troubled by a sudden number of powerful and dangerous super-humans roaming free, a special task force was formed to apprehend these gamma mutants. Led by Colonel James Rhodes, the task force soon gained the nickname “Hulkbusters” after the code name given to Carl’s gamma form.
Branded as a fugitive, Carl took up alias Luke Cage and spent next year’s drifting from place to place, always moving to hide from Rhodes Hulkbusters and not to endanger other people when he transformed into the Hulk. As the Hulk, Luke thoughts were clouded by anger but still had enough self-control to use the Hulk for good, helping communities in danger and hunt down more dangerous Camp Green escapes. His travel eventually brought Luke back to New York, where he confronted Stryker. In Luke absence, Stryker had become a high ranking member of a local Maggia crime family, and he and Reva had become a couple. He abused her, hurting her so badly that she had tried to kill him. Stryker survived the attack and Reva was so terrified that he would beat her again that she jumped into the Hudson River, where she is believed to have drowned. Furious for his part in sending him to prison and death of Reva, Luke bet Stryker to an inch of his life, but couldn't bring himself to kill Stryker. Even though had been transformed into green rage monster, he was not a killer. After bringing Stryker to proper medical care, Luke surrendered himself to the authorities.
While in custody, Luke used his time to master his anger, allowing him to control the Hulk. Less anger meant that he wasn’t as strong as he was in full rage mode but with a clearer head, he could now formulate more sophisticated strategies than smashing something. His use of both brain and brawn proved invaluable when the Skrull invaded, helping other heroes like Thor, Iron Man and Captain America to turn the tide of the battle. After the invasion was repealed, Luke formed The Avengers with other heroes. Since then he has earned a full pardon for his previous crimes and apology from the government for wrongful imprisonment. He now lives in Harlem with his on-again, off-again girlfriend Claire Temple, helping the neighborhood in both small and significant ways. Recently he has got troubling news; evidence indicates that Reva is not only alive but also working with Doctor Banner or as he is known these days, MODOK.
Powers and Abilities
Transformation: When Luke body releases a high dose of adrenaline (such when he gets angry, afraid or stressed) his heartbeat increases, causing his body gamma ray altered cells to transform him into green-skinned giant known as Hulk.
Superhuman Strength: As the Hulk, Luke is without a doubt, the strongest being on earth, if not the universe. As the Hulk Luke can use his massive strength to bend steel bars with ease, throw tanks like they were footballs and send powerful tremors through the ground by pounding it. Exact limits of his strength are unknown but are over 100 tons. Amonsgt his many feats of strength are: holding up an entire mountain for hours, overpower the Crimson Bands of Cyttrorak used by Sorcerer Supreme of earth, and destroying entire moon that had a half diameter of the earth. How strong Luke gets is depended on his anger, thy angry he gets the stronger he gets. As he gets angrier, the more he runs the risk of losing control of the Hulk, turning himself into an unstoppable force of destruction, until he calms down.
Superhuman Durability: The durability of Hulk body is incredible, able to withstand a direct hit from heavy artillery, fall from orbital heights and blow from a powerhouse like Thor without damage.
Superhuman Leaping: Hulk incredibly powerful body structure gives him the ability to leap great distances in single bound, estimated to be about 500 mph at his top speed.
Super Speed: Hulk strong legs allow him as well to run and swim at superhuman speed.
Regenerative Healing Factor: Hulk has a powerful regenerative healing ability, allowing him to heal from almost all injuries that otherwise would be fatal to a regular human, as long that his limbs are attached, and his major organs aren’t destroyed.
Skilled Combatant: Luke is a self-taught street fighter with years of experience, further honed by training from martial artist like Captain America and Thor. Use of that fighting knowledge as the Hulk makes him a dangerous opponent.
Despite his many incredible powers and fighting skills, Luke has still several weaknesses as the Hulk. For example, energy draining or radiation-based threats can send attacks that can disrupt the transformation process, forcing him to turn back into Luke Cage. Furthermore, though the Hulk is impervious to most bladed attacks, weapons made out of Adamantium or Vibranium are known to have hurt him. Magic based attacks and magically powered weapons have also injured him in the past.
Equipment: None known.
Transportation: None known.
Weapons: None known.
- No special notes.
- No trivia.
- Appearances of Hulk (Earth-20052)
- Character Gallery: Hulk (Earth-20052)
- Quotations by Hulk (Earth-20052)
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