Tuesday, May 09, 2017

That face looks suuuuuper punchable.

He had kidnapped Luke Cage's loved ones, faked Luke's death when he kidnapped him, and was plotting to steal his powers for his boss; he even quotes friggin' Hitler this issue: from 1993, Cage #12, "The Death and Life of Luke Cage" Written by Marc McLaurin, pencils by Dwayne Turner, inks by Christopher Ivy.

The villain Hardcore had been hassling Luke Cage for the entire run of this series, but he's not even the big bad, he's more like the concierge. His plot was supposed to force Cage to submit to giving his powers to Cruz Bushmaster, son of an old Power Man/Iron Fist villain; that goes slightly awry when the senior Bushmaster sucks the life out of his son and returns to life! Dakota North and Iron Fist had come to save him, and while Cage is weakened, he's also super-pissed to see his old friend, since he had been arrested for Fist's murder in the last issue of their shared title. Cage begrudgingly works with Fist to beat Bushmaster, who seemingly overloads and dies in an explosion.

Cage is almost on the verge of forgiving his old friend (who had been believed dead, due to a complicated replacement that may have gone through a couple of writers!) when he sees Hardcore getting away; and his father and brother were still missing. Feeling that Hardcore was "too slippery" to leave to the law, Cage is determined to stop him at any cost, including sucker-kicking Iron Fist. Fighting on Hardcore's getaway car, Cage relents against killing him (for fear of letting down his father) but Hardcore is killed when one of his weapons was going to go off and he panics and drives off a cliff. The issue ends with Cage on the other side of a crevice from his friends, underlining the divide between them, I guess. (Although I know Dakota North would appear in the series again.)

I don't know why Marvel seemed dead set against Power Man and Iron Fist teaming up again for, what, a good ten years or so. They were pretty against the name "Power Man" as well, now that I think of it. I think it would take a couple issues for Cage to find his dad and brother, and the series would end at #20 after a Silver Sable/Terror Inc. crossover and an Infinity Crusade issue.


Dale Bagwell said...

I remember this guy's marvel trading card form back in the day, but never saw him in the comics until now. So he was always supposed to be a big deal but never graduated to the big boys huh? And he stayed dead too apparently. Hmmm, could bring him back in the second season of Cage if they wanted.

googum said...

He did have a card, didn't he? I'm not sure he came back after this.

Dale Bagwell said...

He did yeah, back in 1993.
Here's the link:

Said he uses or used, adamantium coated armor and weapons, bu they don't seem to have helped him out that much here. He only had a 2 in strength, so that didn't help him out much either.