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