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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Luke Cage Key Comic Books Part 4

We are starting to get into more Luke Cage Power Man key comic books, and some of the ones here definitely connect Power Man to his Netflix Defenders members. You can already guess which one in particular, and it's this member that also became his Hero for Hire partner.

As for Iron Fist actually becoming Cage's Hero for Hire partner in the Netflix series, that may be highly unlikely as it would be hard to have both characters in the same TV series. What would be the point of having two separate TV shows for both heroes if they were Hero for Hire partners?

Would be kind of pointless. So, the whole Hero for Hire thing just may be regulated to Power Man concerning the TV shows, or they might even do away with that concept altogether. Would be a shame if they did since it is a great part to the character's mythos.

This Part 3 will take you back if need be. Otherwise, let's power through the next batch of Luke Cage key issues.

Luke Cage & Daredevil aid Defenders
This may be an over-looked key issue worth considering for sure. Luke Cage and Daredevil both cross-over into this story to help aid the Defenders for the first time together.

I'm hesitant to say that they actually join the team in this issue, but they are recruited by Bruce Banner and Clea to help rescue Doctor Strange, Valkyrie, Yellowjacket, and Nighthawk after they are captured by the Sons of the Serpent. It can be argued that they are fill-in Defender's members or this is just a simple cross-over involving the two.

Of course, it's worth featuring here because the live-action TV series has both Luke Cage and Daredevil as members of the Defenders. Also, this issue just may be the first time Daredevil and Luke Cage meet in comic books. If not, it is surely the first time the two team up together.

This comic was published June, 1975.

1st appearance of Cockroach Hamilton
1st appearance of Quentin Chase
1st appearance of Charlton Grundge

Every urban city needs a hitman, and in Luke Cage's world, that hitman is Cockroach Hamilton. No average, ordinary hitman here. Cockroach Hamilton is armed with a custom six-barrel shotgun nicknamed "Josh".

In their first meeting in this issue, Cockroach Hamilton's shotgun is so powerful it actually dislocates Power Man's shoulder. Detective Quentin Chase also makes a first appearance here, and this cop is curious about Powerman's real identity.

Looks like trouble's-a-brewing for Luke Cage. Charlton Grundge is the head of Adonis Chemical, a company that specializes in beauty products. He hires Luke Cage to find out who has been leaking information.

When Powerman tracks employee Harry Wentworth, that's when he runs into Cockroach Hamilton for the first time. Power Man #28 was published December, 1975.

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1st annual in series

Not really much to say about this issue except it's the first annual for the Power Man comic series. Actually, it also happens to be the only annual in the Power Man comic book series as well.

Not much for first appearances, deaths, or whatnot in this issue either. Power Man Annual #1 was published October, 1976.

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1st appearance of  Arch Morton as Chemistro
1st appearance of Cheshire Cat
Arch was the cellmate of Curtis Carr, the original Chemistro, and forced Carr to reveal the secret of the alchemy gun to him. When Arch Morton was released, he tried to duplicate the gun, but it blew up.

This little explosion did give his hands the transformative powers that the gun originally had, so Morton took the mantle of the 2nd Chemistro and makes his first appearance in this issue. 

Cheshire Cat is a trusted associate and employee of Big Brother. The two tried to hack and override all the computers in New York City and hold for ransom. While Cheshire Cat's first appearance is in this issue, Big Brother's first appearance is in the next issue #38. Both would die in issue #40.

Pretty much a minor issue all-around, and Power Man #37 was published November, 1976.

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1st appearance of Goldbug

Mathew Gilden was obsessed with gold and a technologically-powered thief. He has made several sporadic appearances in the Marvel Universe and was even able to capture the Hulk for a tick.

In this issue, Mathew Gilden uses the alias of Jack Smith to hire Powerman to prevent a shipment of gold from being stolen by Goldbug. However, while Powerman protects the gold, a chump named Thunderbolt also drops in claiming that he's protecting the gold also.

Both suspicious of each other, Powerman and Thunderbolt fight. During the ruckass, Goldbug steals the gold shipment. When the two realize what happened, they decide to work together. However, when they arrive back at Powerman's office, they find Smith and police officers there accusing them of stealing the gold.

March, 1977 is the publishing date for this comic book.

1st meeting Power Man & Iron Fist

This issue again, but it is a historic issue concerning both the characters of Luke Cage and Iron Fist. With the Netflix television shows in the works, this was a good bronze age key comic to hunt down when I first listed this in the Iron Fist key issues list last year.
This is the first time Luke Cage Power Man and Iron First meet and the first time Iron Fist appears in the title. The legendary team of Chris Claremont and John Byrne would migrate to the pages of Power Man #48 to continue the Iron Fist saga. 

During this time both Power Man and Iron Fist's popularity were waning as both the movie genres that helped to spawn these characters - Blaxploitation and Martial Arts films - were falling out of favor. So, Marvel decided to put both troubled heroes in a series together.

The move did work and kept Power Man from being cancelled prematurely. The partnership that Luke Cage and Iron Fist would become a classic for fans. 

This comic is a classic for so many reasons, and it is Chris Claremont and John Byrne pre-X-Men. Power Man #48 was published December, 1977.

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Iron Fist joins Luke Cage 
Title changed to Power Man & Iron Fist 
First appearance of Harmony Young 
Last John Byrne

A historic issue right here. This marks the first team up between Luke Cage and Iron Fist and the team up would continue until the series was cancelled. This key issue should have seen a bump in demand for high grade copies because of the planned Netflix television show, but not the case at least yet. 

This issue has the first appearance of Harmony Young, a socialite and model who dated Luke Cage. She is often depicted as shallow and vain.  

Title changes to Power Man and Iron Fist with this issue as well, and it was published April,1978. 

This one did heat up since I last talked about it. The dynamic duo of Claremont and Byrne end with this issue. Claremont would carry on for a while with Mike Zeck before he too leaves the series.

That does it for Part 4, and there's a few important Luke Cage key issues we reviewed. Some of these you saw in other key issues lists like the recently done Defenders keys series and the Iron Fist key issues list done about a year ago.

If you missed Part 3, just click the PREVIOUS link below. Part 5 and more Luke Cage key comic books are in PART 5 to this series so just click the link for more.

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