I have to say that I was not really a fan of Power-Man back before he became the leader of the New Avengers. It's hard to take someone seriously as a hero when he dresses like a chocolate disco banana with a golden-tiara to frame his afro and a bromance with a rich-white-boy with a tattoo fetish.
So I'm really glad that Marvel decided to modernize him by putting him into regular street clothes - no fancy latex or costumes - and getting rid of his afro. This Luke Cage looks like someone you'd see sitting on the steps of a busy Bronx apartment building keeping the streets safe from drug dealers, crime lords and common thugs.
But Marvel did give one last nod to his disco past by making sure everyone on that street knows his name thanks to that bling.
The Marvel Universe Series Luke Cage's blister card reads: "It's been a long time since Luke Cage went by the name Power Man, and a lot has changed. he's gone from being an independent operator, making money with his powers to a leadership role in the Avengers. There was a time when his bulletproof skin and super strength made him impulsive and short tempered, but his recent responsibilities force him to think of others first before he acts."
Drawn by sheer circumstance to become a member of Captain America's New Avengers following their dis-assembly in the wake of the Scarlett Witch's breakdown, Luke Cage now not only leads the New Avengers, but the Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers as well. Now if only he had time for his wife and child - Jessica Jones - the heroine known as Jewel, Knightress and, more recently, Power Woman (Yeah she has powers too) - and their daughter Danielle.
Jessica Jones took Danielle and recently left her husband and Avengers unable to accept that her daughter has to grow up in such a hostile environment in the prelude to the Avengers vs. X-Men war - leaving a distracted Luke Cage in her wake (I wonder if that's why he lost to Namor?)
What's to like about the Marvel Universe Luke Cage?
I'm glad that they brought him down to being a modern 21st century Street-Figher rather than a disco-bouncer - though I refuse to believe that there are men walking around the streets of New York with bling that large.
Happily most of everything you see here can be removed, specifically, the twisted Iron-Beam, the skull cap (Can't be that cold if you're going out in nothing more than a sleeveless-shirt), and the bling - though you'd have to remove his head to do so.
Personally I prefer him without the accessories - including the I-beam, because if you follow the comic books, then you know that Luke Cage likes to get his hands dirty up-front-and-personal, or uses a chain. As is, he looks a bit comical rather than threathening:
Here is Luke Cage au naturel:
You can give him other accessories like a chain, but unfortunately, only one of his hands can grasp it - poorly at that:
What's NOT to like about the Marvel Universe Luke Cage?
You've probably noticed it by now, his articulation is shockingly poor. The upper torso is fine, yes, but the thick burly legs limits almost all movements around his hip area and his feet - which severly retards pose-ability. He's also a bit hefty. So hefty that the pegs of the stands cannot handle the weight of the figure and he feet keep popping out of their pegs. What you see here is around the extent of what you can do with his lower torso:
There's also a good and bad problem with his open hand. Marvel gave Lucas cage so much hand detail that you can actually see that the 2nd and 3rd digits in his right hand are separated. Looks a bit weird, but it's cool in terms of detailing. Unfortunately, because the digits are individuals, they lack the "group" strength to hold on to anything, including his I-Beam, which will constantly fall out of his one hand. Larger objects are easier to hold.
It's only good for showing off his bling, but does look really nice when his left hand is in his right hand.
There's no avoiding having to have this character though especially if you're a New Avengers fan - and it's about time that an African American was given leadership of a prominent team - Storm doens't count (Blue eyes? White Hair? She's practically caucasian).
The Marvel Universe Luke Cage is available on Amazon for US$ 18.68 (Roughly PhP 803 plus shipping). He was purchased at the Budget Terminal of the Singapore Airport for SG$ 18.60 (Roughly PhP625).
We close with a scene from the Marvel Civil War aftermath that I long pined for but never actually got to see (Note that Cage was able to grasp the larger width of Iron Man's neck, but his legs had to be straight because if they weren't the peg would not support the additional weight):