Cage (Max Comics) #1 Review


Brian Azzarello and Richard Corben unlock Cage! Life on the streets is a high stakes game. There are winners and losers. Those that play by the rules, do so at their own risk, and often pay a price. Who’s got their back? There’s a man who can set things straight. A specialist. He doesn’t come cheap, but if you’ve got the bank, he’s got game. And plenty of it. Some know him as a “Hero for Hire.” Some as a “Power Man.” For others, he’s an urban legend. He’s all, and none, of the above. His name is Cage. It’s time you got to know him. Dory Dickens wants justice for her daughter, cut down in her prime in the crossfire of a rapidly escalating gang war. In a sea of corrupt cops and rival gangbangers, there’s only one man with the juice to dispense the kind of street justice Dory craves, and his services don’t come cheap. Lucky for Dory, the man called Cage has plenty of reason to play hero in a world where there are none. The team behind BANNER, writer Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) and artist Richard Corben (House on the Borderland), unite once again to knock fandom on its collective butt!


The Good

Cliches- Surely a sign of the times. I loved how this single issue took me back to the 80’s and 90’s. I have not seen a “gold tooth” in far too long! Big saggy jeans on someone’s waist instead of their knees? Sweet Christmas take me back in time baby!  Perhaps even my social circles have changed but gangsta slang has changed dramatically since the 90’s. Here are men actually being manly and burly, not a single well groomed metro sexual or tight/skinny jeans in sight? Oh sweet blissful nostalgia! Sue me I loved it!

Art- Richard Corbin’s art is very animated as it relates to faces and body language. The colors are the rel star of the show though with a style highly reminiscent of a coloring book but the small details on each characters skin is impressive.

Hardcore- Listen up closely all Luke Cage fans you need to hunt down this series Luke without wife or kid and stripped of mainstream appeal in a real urban ghetto= the baddest thing since Wesley Snipes Blade. I honestly can’t describe the intensity of this rendition of Cage. This is the essence of the character Ex-con, muscle for hire with a heart of gold. 

Cover- Bling Bling! Cage’s gold tooth and gold stylized brass knuckle illuminate the cover of his debut issue. Very artful and distinct though the Knuckle design later gets recycled for use on Tyrone Cash the black Hulk.

Parent perception- The mother’s plight really drew me in and pointed out the flaws with how a parent views their child. From experience (I smoked pot through out highs school and my mom never knew, despite being able to tell when her own students were indulging). This mom make’s statements throughout her plea to Luke that echo the cracked mirror of reality. The mother states her daughter was not into gangs but as a teen she’s into boys, f boys in the area are all in gangs and she likes are guys ergo she is connected to a gang willingly or otherwise. She later states her daughter never cut class and stayed out of trouble. Parents lets not delude ourselves you have no idea what really happens in school with your kids. The politics of school, the cutting of class even twenty years later you still won’t discover. Delusions I tell you! What this also points out is how death makes everyone a saint…….Once you die people will strive to only speak “well of the dead” even if their complete fabrications.

Emotion- The art worked well with the story to convey the pain and anguish of the mother reached not just Cage but me. That’s where the story really sank it’s hooks into me and never let go.


The Bad

Pg- Keep your kids away from this one, really. Strong language and nudity galore. In marvels defense though there is a big old warning slapped on the front of this book.


The Ugly

Emotional, gripping, violent, sexual and utterly fun! 4/5


I'm a Caribbean born Lecturer, Multidisciplinary specialist/Androgogue/Philosophical Pedagogue; with backgrounds in Philosophy, Social Studies and Geography; founder/CEO of World of Black Heroes, freelance writer and all around comic book geek. I enjoy a good book, video games, movies and most of all fatherhood. Written credits include work for where my writing inspired the music compiliation "Kindah" available in multiple languages on Itunes, The Caribbean Journal of Education, The University of the west indies, Comicvine, Independent comics etc.

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0 thoughts on “Cage (Max Comics) #1 Review

  • December 11, 2012 at 4:14 am

    Black HEROS should be written by black writers ,you guys despite your gallant efforts ,just can’t capture the soul of black characters.They all come out so horribly stereotypical and then to make matters worse,you then get the approval from another company head who don’t have a clue.

    • October 8, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      @ Erik Baker
      So can black people not write black people as well?
      While I agree many writers delve into the stereotypical its not always the case.
      And having a black writer on a black character is not always a good thing… look at the mess of Hudliuns Black Panter. Where all the black character teamed up just because they were black including Blade has said the only races her cares about are the living and the undead.

      • August 24, 2015 at 3:16 am

        Sorry it so long to respond Mac, but my answer is yes I believe black writers can write for white characters simply because of indoctrination. As a black man born,raised and taught in America for all intent and purposes we as a people have the dominant societies prospective. As for Hudlin’s mess I’d have to say that goes for him as well. But his Black Panther Animated series was outstanding to me! @ Mac Donald.

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