Carl Lucas the man that would one day be known as "Luke Cage" was born and raised on the streets of the New York district of Harlem. He was the son of Esther and James Lucas, a retired N.Y.P.D. detective. Lucas spent his youth causing trouble on the streets with his half-brother Willis Stryker and their friend Reva Connors. He eventually joined a gang called The Rivals along with his best friend Stryker, he fought the rival gang the Diablos and committed various petty thefts, often on behalf of deformed crimelord Sonny Caputo a.k.a. Hammer. Lucas was in and out of juvenile homes throughout his teens, he dreamed of becoming a major New York racketeer until he finally realized how his actions were hurting his family; he sought to better himself as an adult, finding legitimate employment. Meanwhile, Stryker rose through the ranks of crime, but the two men remained friends.
However Stryker's activities came to the attention of the Maggia, who did not appreciate his activities and he was badly attacked in a mob hit, but Lucas there to save him. After that Reva ended the relationship and turned to Lucas for comfort. This created a rift between the two former friends and Stryker believed Lucas was the cause of the break-up. Stryker planted heroin stolen from Cottonmouth's organization in Lucas' place and tipped off the cops. Lucas was arrested and sentenced to prison; he attempted to get revenge by contacting the Maggia, only for the group's attempt on Stryker's life to go awry - Stryker survived. After that Lucas lost contact with his family.
While in prison, Lucas was consumed with hatred and rage by his friends betrayal and the supposed loss of his father. He spent his time getting into brawls along with various escape attempts. Because of this he was transferred to Seagate Prison one of the toughest facilities off the coast of Georgia. On his various first day he became target of racist and sadistic prison guard; Albert Rackham. His brutality toward Lucas was the reason he was later demoted which made him hate the inmate even more. Dr. Noah Burstein came to the prison to carry out secret medical research and recruited Lucas as a volunteer. He was secretly working on experimental cell regeneration based on a variant of the Super-Soldier process.
He immersed Lucas in an electrical field conducted by an organic chemical compound. However when he left equipment unattended, Rackham tampered with the controls, hoping to kill Lucas. However the treatment was accelerated past its attended purpose causing mutagenic change throughout his body fortifying his cells giving him superhuman strength and durability. Lucas with his new found powers used them to escape the prison and his way back to Harlem. A chance encounter with criminals inspired him to use his new powers for profit.
Out of Prison
Midtown High School
Meeting Misty Knight
- You're beautiful, you're a little older than he usually likes them."
"Yeah, just a heads up… That’s not a great flirting technique."
"But I'm not finished, dumb men like little girls, me, I ponder a woman."
"Why don't you ponder me another cosmo.
- --Luke Cage and Misty Knight
As Cage went to Harlem's Paradise to relax, he approached Misty Knight, oblivious to who she was. As they were talking, she started glancing at the balcony that contained Cornell Stokes and Mariah Dillard. Cage took note and asked her if she was looking for something. She denied it and claimed that she was just listening to Raphael Saadiq, reminiscing about his old album. Cage called her old fashioned, which Knight retorted back to him much to both of their shared amusement.
She continued to look up at the balcony and Cage asked if she was one of Cottonmouth's models, to which she denied. Cage stated that she is beautiful, but a tad older than what Cottonmouth is used to. Before Knight denied the advance, Cage finished by stating that idiots like little girls and he only liked real women. Flattered, Knight asked for another cosmo, but before he could make it, he was approached by Candace Miller, who stated that Cottonmouth wanted more drinks, noting she did not like to go up alone, to which he obliged. He finished making Knight's Cosmo and told her to wait for him.
Cage and Miller entered the balcony which sat Cornell Stokes, Mariah Dillard, Domingo Colon and Tone, and gave them bottles of Ace of Spades. Before Cage could leave, Cottonmouth stopped him and asked why he looked strange, Dillard answered because his suit is too small. He asked Cage what happened to Dante Chapman, the usual bartender, Miller replied that he had called in sick. Cottonmouth, then, offered him a job that would give him better pay, asking if he had ever held a gun. Cage denied the offer as he did not want to get involved and left the balcony with Miller.
A Sad Discovery
- Everyone has a gun, no one has a father."
"Ain't that the truth."
"You sure they did it?"
"People started calling me half an hour after it happened.
- --Luke Cage and Pop
The next day, Cage was walking at the front entrance of Pop's Barber Shop, where he stumbled across a newspaper on the streets, with the story of Dante Chapman's death. In the barber shop, Pop and Cage sat down and started reminiscing about Chapman, Shameek Smith and Chico Diaz. He talked about how he tried to keep them away from the gangs. Still in disbelief that Smith and Diaz would kill Chapman, Pop asked Cage if he saw anything. Cage denied what he saw, refusing to tell Pop about Diaz and the gun he had seen.
Infiltrating Harlem's Paradise
Cage, worried about Shameek, dressed up as a dishwasher and infiltrated the Harlem's Paradise kitchen. Then, he noticed Shameek Smith entering the kitchen, being personally escorted by Tone. He overheard the conversation that Cottonmouth now wanted to meet with Smith, personally. Before leaving the kitchen, Smith gave one glance at Cage and left. Before Cage started to do something about it, Shades then walked into the kitchen, whom Cage immediately recognized from Seagate Prison, stopping him in his tracks and making him leave.
Saving Genghis Connie's
- I don't like your tone, you're being disrespectful, it's unnecessary."
"I think, he think, he gonna bring it."
"I can, not the way I want to, I'd kill you.
- --Luke Cage and Sugar
As he was walking inside Genghis Connie's for his date with Reva Connors, Zip gave Cage one of Mariah Dillard's pamphlets, urging to keep Harlem black which seemed to be the message of Dillard's political campaign. As they left, Cage looked on in suspicion before still heading inside.
Later, while Cage was having dinner with Reva, Zip and his crew of thugs started taunting and threatening both Connie Lin and her husband, Jin, for more donation money in order to support the political career of Mariah Dillard, smashing the Lin's property when they refused. Cage went up to the entire crew, stating that they were being disrespectful. Sugar, one of Zip's crew members, assumed Cage wanted to fight, but Cage stated that he could not because most of them would die if he hit them.
Zip showed no sign of intimidation, asking Amos to take care of Cage, assuming that Amos would be more than strong enough due to his reputation of having a powerful punch. Amos punched Cage in the face, but his unbreakable skin causes him to break his hand. Amos recoils in pain, to which Cage threw him out of a window. Zip tried to use a baseball bat on him, but that didn't affect Cage, either, as he threw him against the wall. Koko tried shooting Cage, but he grabbed the gun while the gun shot in the palm of his hand. He, then, slammed him down on the ground. Cage showed Sugar the bullet, asking him if he would like to fight, causing him to flee in fear.
After the brawl, Cage went up to Jin and Connie, apologizing for the broken window and various other bits of damage he had inadvertently caused. To his surprise however, Connie was not angry and instead gave Cage some money, which he denied, stating that he owed her money. Jin stated that he made things worse and that Zip and his crew would be back for more money soon enough under the orders of Dillard and Cottonmouth who would not allow such a defeat to go unnoticed. As Cage left, Connie stated that she wants to hire him. Cage states that he is not for hire anymore, but he would defend her regardless. Cage then stepped out into New York City, putting his hood over his head.
Grabbing a Coffee
- What… What happened to you?"
"It's a long story…"
"I’ve got time. You wanna go grab a coffee?"
"You know I don’t like coffee."
"Neither do I.
- --Reva Connors and Luke Cage
Walking out of Genghis Connie's, he managed to catch up with Reva Connors by the street. She asked him what had happened to him at Seagate that resulted in his powers, and he told her it was a long story. She said she had time and asked if he wanted to get some coffee. Cage replied that he doesn't like coffee, to which Connors stated that she did not, either, so they both ended up at Cage's apartment where they then had sex.
Powers and Abilities
Luke Cage possesses various superhuman physical attributes after undergoing an experiment designed to increases his body's cellular regeneration process.
- Superhuman Strength: After undergoing the original experiment, Cage's strength was increased to superhuman levels, initially it was only sufficient enough to lift approximately 5 tons, but with intensive physical training and years of experience as a superhero his strength was upped to 25 tons. Cage's strength has increased substantially and is enough for him to lift at least 50 tons, possibly more. His current strength levels reach around "Class 50" or higher, allowing him to seamlessly move extremely heavy objects with ease or trade blows with superhumanly strong extraterrestrials resulting in mild seismic activity. As seen when Luke almost effortlessly carried a semi over seven city blocks because 'he couldn't get it to start up'. His strength also extends to his legs enabling him to leap like the Hulk but not nearly as high but several stories.
- Superhuman Speed: While not as fast as most typical speedsters, Cage's musculature legs enable him to move much faster than the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Stamina: Cage's muscles generate less fatigue toxins than the muscles of ordinary humans, granting him superhuman stamina.
- Invulnerability: Luke Cage's skin is as hard as metal and his muscle and bone tissues are considerably denser than the tissues of an ordinary human, granting him much greater resistance to physical injury than an ordinary human. He can withstand conventional handgun fire at a range of and cannot be cut by any blade forged of conventional material. He can withstand up to one-ton impacts or blasts of 150 pounds of TNT without serious injury, and is highly resistant to extreme temperatures and electrical shocks. His current level of durability enables him to withstand gun fire at point-blank range, and can withstand being lit on fire without suffering any serious or permanent injuries. He has withstood impacts from superhumans a good deal stronger than him, destructive energy attacks including electricity, and falls from great heights such as ninety story high skyscrapers.
- Accelerated Healing Factor:If injured, he is capable of recovering from mild injuries in 1/3rd the time it would take an ordinary human.
Skilled Combatant: Cage is a self-taught hand-to-hand combatant with years of street fighting experience. He also says he has had extensive training with Iron Fist. Through him, he has learned to utilize leverage with his strength in order to increase his combat effectiveness against more powerful opponents.
Skilled Athlete: He is also a gifted athlete, even without his superhuman abilities.
Strong Speaker: He has proven to be very good at speaking positively, truthfully, and charismatically in front of large audiences. His innate nobility has earned him the respect and friendship from a good number of different persons.
Class 50; Cage's strength has increased substantially and is enough for him to lift at least 50 tons, possibly more.
Near-Unbreakable Flesh: Since Cage's skin cannot be lacerated by conventional materials, his superhuman durability is a hindrance if he suffers injuries that are too severe for him to heal on his own and require surgery, such as internal injuries. While his skin can be lacerated by a highly powerful medical laser and weapons composed of Adamantium, neither of these would be readily available or easily accessible.
Radiation: Enough exposure to massive amounts of radiation and the resulting burns can kill Cage, if the injuries are extensive enough.
Equipment: None known.
Transportation: None known.
Weapons: None known.
- No special notes.
- No trivia.
- Appearances of Luke Cage (Earth-1010)
- Character Gallery: Luke Cage (Earth-1010)
- Quotations by Luke Cage (Earth-1010)
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