Luke Cage: Greatest Super Villains!

Luke Cage’s Netflix series was a certified hit! Now that the name is synonymous with new age “Blackness” after it’s marriage of the Trayvon Martin hoodie with being bulletproof, where does the hero go from here? Luke Cage made his debut in 1972 created by Archie Goodwin and John Romita Sr. Since then he has moved from a street level hero for hire to the leader of multiple incarnations of the Avengers, Family Man and now the face of the Modern Black Superhero!

Here’s a listing of Luke Cage’s biggest and baddest super villains who we will hopefully get to see in Luke Cage (Netflix) Season 2!

 

  1. Diamondback

Willis stryker-diamondbackPublisher: Marvel Comics

Created by: Bill Mantlo and George Tuska

1st appearance: Luke Cage-Hero for Hire #1, 1972

Brief Biography

Willis Stryker and Carl Lucas grew up together in the inner city. As best friends they joined and later lead the street gang, the Bloods. Street fights honed his knife fighting skills. Years later Carl left the gang and he moved in on Maggia territory. He and Carl then became rivals for the affections of Reva who was Carl’s co-worker. When Carl saved his life and Reva broke up with him he was furious. When he learned that Carl and Reva were engaged he stole two Kilos of uncut heroin from rival Cornel Cottonmouth and used it to frame Lucas.  With his friend imprisoned he moved in on Reva again promising to help Carl in any way he could. She later gets killed as retaliation for the heroin theft. Willis then rose through the ranks of New York criminals to become a member and leader of the Maggia, dubbed Diamondback for his speed with his blades. When Carl escaped prison and returned to New York as Luke Cage he targeted Willis’ gang. When Luke cut a swath through his territory the Maggia gave him an ultimatum be fired of deal with him. He set a trap for Luke but fell through a skylight, an explosive dagger he intended for Luke fell next to him it killed him on spot when it detonated. A resurrection and enhancement is needed to make this guy a modern and credible threat!

~DIG DEEPER INTO DIAMONDBACK HERE~

 

  1. Hardcore
Hardcore
Hardcore

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Created by:  Marc McLaurin and Dwayne Turner

1st appearance: Cage #1,April 1992

Brief Biography

Nothing is known of Hardcore’s past except he was born on one of the many islands of the Caribbean. It’s also unknown when he left the Caribbean and became a mercenary and later a well-trained assassin selling his skills to the highest bidder. He put together a team called the Untouchables composed of Kickback, Nitro and Tombstone. Under the employ of Cruz Bushmaster, he clashed with Luke Cage while he was based in Chicago. After a long series of encounters, the feud ended with Hardcore’s car plummeting into a cliff and his favourite weapon set to explode. He was assumed to have died on impact, but with Hardcore you never know.

~DIG DEEPER INTO HARDCORE HERE~

  1. Black Mariah
Black Mariah
Black Mariah

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Created by:  Steve Englehart and George Tuska

1st appearance: Hero for Hire #5, 1972

Brief Biography

A drug don in her own right. She ran a cartel called the “Rat Pack”. Her organization was New York based and were thieves who robbed the bodies of the recently deceased using a stolen ambulance [Avengers Origins: Luke Cage #1]. When her gang took the body of Frank Jenks, his widow hired Luke Cage to investigate. Her gang was defeated by Luke Cage and she was jailed. Shades an old acquaintance of Luke’s was working for her at the time [Hero for Hire #5]. She later resurfaced working with Scimitar but this time as head of a drug cartel. This time she faced Iron Fist and Luke Cage and was defeated and jailed once more [Power Man and Iron Fist #88]. In prison she befriended Jennie Royce the former secretary of the “Heroes for Hire” (Luke Cage and Iron Fist). Once out of prison she convinced Jennie to trick Luke and Danny into getting the “Supersoul Stone” from Tombstone. Jennie eventually hands the gem to Mariah and the two make plans to take over Tombstone’s criminal empire [Powerman and Iron Fist Vol.3 #1].

~DIG DEEPER INTO BLACK MARIAH HERE~

 

  1. Tombstone
Tombstone
Tombstone

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Created by:  Gerry Conway and Alex Saviuk

1st appearance: Web of Spiderman #36, 1988

Brief Biography

Lonnie Thompson Lincoln is a tall Albino African American with a disfigured nose, filled pointed teeth and damaged vocal cords limiting o speak in whispers, nicknamed Tombstone as a play on his middle name and deathly pallor. Senior year in Harlem High School Lonnie was a bully and extortionist. When Robertson was editor of the school paper Lonnie ‘convinced” him to kill an article which would have exposed his criminal activity to the school. This was just the beginning of his life of crime as he would become a mobster and later assassin clashing with Daredevil, Darkhawk, Spiderman Luke Cage and the Punisher. Even when depowered and imprisoned he went on to make a gang comprised of himself Rocket Racer, Hypno Hustler and big Ben Donavan.

~DIG DEEPER INTO TOMBSTONE HERE~

 

  1. Big Brother

big-brotherPublisher: Marvel Comics

Created by:  Marv Wolfman

1st appearance: Power Man #38, 1976

Brief Biography

He started life as a weak and sickly and almost illiterate child from Brownsville. In a bid to fit in he joined a local gang but was always caught. At sixteen he was sent to prison where he honed his intellect. He volunteered for a project in computing and in a year he was teaching his teachers. After leaving prison he continued to hone his skills and even implanted himself with bionics to grant him superpowers. He partnered with the Cheshire Cat who became his lackey as they tried to put an end to another Villain called the Baron. They used Luke Cage to deal with him after their fight ended in a draw. When Cage realized he was used he tracked down Big Brother who had already set his plan in motion; he would shut off the cities electricity if he was not given a billion dollars; this would result in thousands of deaths. Luke Cage caught up with him and he was seemingly killed in the explosion though Cheshire Cat survived. I can’t explain my fascination with this villain but a modern update would not hurt!

~DIG DEEPER INTO BIG BROTHER HERE~

 

  1. Manslaughter Marsdale
Manslaughter Marsdale
Manslaughter Marsdale

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Created by: Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz

1st appearance: Amazing Spiderman #271; December, 1985

Brief Biography

Manslaughter Marsdale started out as an enforcer for Madam Fang, and also ran a boxing gym with her in New York. Early in his life, he underwent a procedure that made it so he no longer felt pain and possesses near superhuman strength. When the star boxer at the gym refuses to renew his contract, and decides to go with Madam Fang’s rival, she sends Marsdale to “persuade” the boxer not to sign. Marsdale would have been successful if not for the intervention of Spider-man. During Norman Osborn’s “dark reign” Marsdale was mysteriously attacked and placed in a coma by an unknown assailant. The assailant; the villain Zodiac; revives Marsdale from his coma and earns Marsdale’s loyalty. Marsdale joins Zodiac’s “Gang-with-no-name”.

~DIG DEEPER INTO MANSLAUGHTER MARSDALE HERE~

 

  1. Cornel Cottonmouth
Cotton Mouth
Cotton Mouth

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Created by:  John Byrne

1st appearance: X-men: Hidden years #6, 2000

Brief Biography

A drug dealer and Pimp operating in New York. Cornell was enhanced by unknown means even before Luke cage had been imprisoned. He made a name for himself not just because of his snake like appearance but his signature way of dealing with his enemies. He would send them a package with poisonous snakes inside once they opened it they would be poisoned and killed. When Willis Stryker wanted to get rid of Luke Cage by framing him for drug possession he stole the coke from Cornell Himself. When Cage escaped and came searching for the origins of the drugs he ran into Cornell and worked for him in hopes of finding his records. When Cornell found out they fought and Cornell was defeated and his records man killed. After this and without his records and as rumors of his defeat spread he was ruined. He became a full time Pimp who came out of retirement during shadowland where he clashed with New Powerman/Victor Alvarez and Iron Fist. He allied with Deadly Nightshade, despite the defeat he escaped and is still at large.

~DIG DEEPER INTO CORNEL COTTONMOUTH HERE~

 

  1. Power Master
Powermaster
Powermaster

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Created by: Chris Claremont and Daniel Green

1st appearance: Iron Fist #15, 1977

Brief Biography

Growing up on the street with his little brother Quincy, he became renowned for his street fighting and level head under pressure. After his brother was injured in an accident and had his feet and hand chopped off, he became a member of the Maggia’s European division. He worked his way through the ranks until he became division head. His keen insight helped him to stay a step ahead of the FBI, CIA and Interpol. He attempted to duplicate a power man formula so he could gain superpowers. The formula was a success, and he became more powerful than ever. However, his powers were unstable. After surviving an explosion, he slowly became living metal.

~DIG DEEPER INTO POWER MASTER HERE~

 

  1. Chemistro
Chemistro
Chemistro

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Created by:  Kurt Busiek and Denys Cowan

1st appearance: Power Man and Iron Fist #93 (May, 1983)

Brief Biography

The younger brother of Calvin Carr who was the first Chemistro he stole his brother’s gun after coming from prison and tried to take down Luke Cage and Iron Fist after defeating Misty Knight and Colleen Wing. This didn’t go as planned however and he found himself defeated and jailed.

When the Hood was assembling a super powered gang he was one of the first to join. Only to be jailed on the raft a supervillain prison. His alliance with the hood proved solid when the Hood broke into the prison and rescued those loyal to him. Carr was present when the hero Tigra was tortured for information on the new avengers. He was instrumental in breaking the seal protecting their home and even showed off his new fighting skills. Again they were defeated and sent to the Raft.

~DIG DEEPER INTO DELUGE HERE~

 

  1. Shades
Shades
Shades

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Created by:  Archie Goodwin and George Tuska

1st appearance: Luke Cage, Hero for hire #1, 1972  

Brief Biography

Shades and Comanche were fellow hoods from Harlem who ran the streets with then, Carl Lucas and Willis Stryker. The four of them made up the gang called the Rivals. They worked the streets for the more established mobs. When they grew up, Lucas went straight, but Shades and Comanche continued to associate with Stryker once he became a mobster himself. They attempted to manipulate Lucas into starting a prison riot. After Lucas escaped, the guard responsible for Lucas’ mishap, Rackham, took his frustration out on the prisoners, especially the Black ones. Shades and Comanche were able to dig escape tunnels out prison and went after Rackham, carrying a burning hatred for him due to his treatment of them in prison. The pair tracked Rackham across the country, committing small crimes to make cash.

~DIG DEEPER INTO SHADES HERE~

 

  1. Fish
Mr. Fish
Mr. Fish

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Created by:  Don McGregor and George Tuska

1st appearance: Power Man #29, 1976

Brief Biography

Mort Noris and his younger brother where born into the ghetto’s of New York. After their parents died Mort took to crime to provide for himself and his little brother. Thanks to his brutality he was recruited by the Maggia crime Family based in New York. One night he was tasked with robbing a truck of an unidentified radioactive isotope for his bosses. After securing the truck he and his brother were accidentally irradiated by the compound. Rushing into the polluted east river Mort when he surfaced found himself transformed into a green scaled, finned headed, clawed hand, flipper footed creature. His condition and the resulting superpowers got him promoted to the head of the local Maggie territory. He then tried to strong arm local business by blowing up their trucks and buildings so he could get protection money or control over their entire operation. His reign of terror came to an end when said business owners hired Luke Cage to help them. Luke found his base of operation while Fish though the defeat of Luke would add to his notoriety. They battled high above a skyscraper and in the end Mr. Fish was defeated and fell to his death. After his death his young brother took up the mantle of Mr. Fish having been exposed to the same radioactive Isotope.

~DIG DEEPER INTO MR.FISH HERE~

 

  1. Spear
The Spear
The Spear

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Created by:  Don McGregor and Frank Robbins

1st appearance: Power Man #33, 1976

Brief Biography

When his father, a professional wrestler fell sick and lay dying he agreed to an experimental treatment in hopes of saving his life. It failed however and he was killed. This left his mother near comatose and left him and his brother longing for revenge. He became the Spear to avenge his father’s death by killing the man responsible. He fought Luke Cage in his bid for revenge and was defeated and jailed. He later returned to a life of crime alongside Deadly Nightshade, Mr. Fish, Chemistro, Cheshire etc. He recently fought both the New Power Man and Misty Knight during Spider-Island.

~DIG DEEPER INTO SPEAR HERE~

 

  1. Cheshire
Cheshire
Cheshire

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Created by:  Marv Wolfman and Ron Wilson

1st appearance: Power Man #38, 1976

Brief Biography

Cheshire was the sidekick of the Villain Big Brother who fought Luke Cage early in his career. After his partners defeat he disappeared for years. When he resurfaced he was no longer associated with Big Brother instead he had joined a gang comprised of old Luke Cage Villains; The Spear, Chemistro, Mr. Fish, Comanche and Cotton Mouth working for Deadly Nightshade ;who fought the New Power Man. After their defeat they returned during Spider-Island and fought Misty Knight’s Heroes for Hire.

~DIG DEEPER INTO CHESHIRE HERE~

 

 

  1. Coldfire
James Lucas-Coldfire
James Lucas-Coldfire

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Created by: Marc McLaurin and Dwayne Turner

1st appearance: Cage #3, June 1992

Brief Biography

Growing up with his family in Harlem, New York James and older brother Carl never really got along. Their relationship worsened as Carl became involved in crime as a teenager. When his mother died because of Carl’s friend he was convinced Carl was to blame. When Carl was presumed dead and Luke Cage came on the scene he convinced his father to move from place to place in hopes of keeping them separated and believing the other to be dead . When Cage was closing in on their location Dakota North confronted him but he was rescued by Hardcore. Taken in by “The Corporation” he complied with Power Master’s and Hardcore’s plans to deal with his brother. While there he became interested in gaining superpowers so he could deal with his brother Cage.

He was trained in the ability to transfer his consciousness into incendiary protoplasm. His father was taken hostage to ensure his cooperation.  He battled Luke but eventually teamed up with him to save their father. In the process his body was killed and his energy form began to dissipate. After the explosion he was assumed dead though his energy form was seen moving. He has not been seen since.

~DIG DEEPER INTO COLDFIRE HERE~

 

 

  1. High Tech
High Tech armor
High Tech armor

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Created by: Steve Englehart, George Tuska, Billy Graham

1st appearance: Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #12; 1973

Brief Biography

Calvin Carr worked in the chemical laboratory at Mainstream Motors developing additives for their products. The job bored Carr, so during his spare time he would conduct his own experiments. One of his experiments yielded what he dubbed the “Alchemy Gun”. Carr had worked on the invention during company time and using company equipment, so his boos, Horace Claymore, told Carr the gun belong to Mainstream. Carr refused to turn over the gun deciding instead to keep it, and was fired by Claymore. Seeking revenge, Carr began a weightlifting regiment and bulked up, and then after making a costume, went to exact his revenge on Mainstream and Claymore.

~DIG DEEPER INTO HIGH TECH HERE~

 

 

  1. Mangler
Mangler
Mangler

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Created by:  Don McGregor and Frank Robbins

1st appearance: Power Man #34, 1976

Brief Biography

When his father, a professional wrestler fell sick and lay dying he agreed to an experimental treatment in hopes of saving his life. It failed however and he was killed. This left his mother near comatose and left him and his brother longing for revenge. By unknown means he gained superhuman powers and assisted his brother Spear in trying to kill Luke Cage. He was defeated and jailed.

~DIG DEEPER INTO MANGLER HERE~

 

admin

Caribbean born college lecturer, Multidisciplinary specialist/Androgogue/Philosophical Pedagogue; 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 Islandstage.net, Comicvine, Independent comics etc.

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