COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Luke Cage: Caged
By The Masked Medic
The last few weeks have certainly been exciting for us comic book fans. Both DC and Marvel have been upping the ante on their cinematic universes. With the addition of Daredevil in She-Hulk, it’s clear that the way is being paved for the return of some of the ‘Defenders’ to Marvel’s big and small screen plans. Whilst I’ve heard rumours about Jessica Jones and Iron Fist, one character’s name has remained fairly quiet so I thought it was time to return to his comic series!
‘Caged’ starts where ‘Sins of The Father’ left off and has Luke Cage returning home after the fiasco in New Orleans where he visits the funeral of the scientist who gave him superpowers. As Luke passes through a small town, he notices that the locals are acting a little odd. When the waitress at one of the diners tells him that her husband has gone missing, Luke reluctantly decides that he’ll help find him. Immediately a SWAT team busts into the diner and although Luke initially has the upper hand, with the help of some knockout gas he is quickly subdued and placed into prison. But this is Luke Cage we’re talking about. He’s got impenetrable skin and is super strong, so it shouldn’t be an issue, right? Well, it turns out that the reason the town is all a little cuckoo is due to the brainwashing of a villain named ‘The Ringmaster’. Luke is bemused but it soon turns out that the Ringmaster’s powers have grown since he came to this town. He makes Luke forget that he has powers and has the other prisoners beat him up. Luckily, Luke has a friend in this prison, Gonzo Acosta, a prisoner who has figured out that something is wrong. The two, along with some other prisoners are made to mine a radioactive substance that it turns out is powering The Ringmaster. Can Luke and his new friend find a way to defeat this jacked-up B-Class villain? And will Cage be able to return to his family in New York in one piece?
I know that Marvel novels are usually way shorter than DC novels, but this story made it feel like nothing happened. The plot is bland, we see almost no character development and the villain doesn’t seem like a threat at all. Now I know that in one way, Luke Cage is limited as a street-level character, but I still think he should be going up against better bad guys. The only issue I like is the final one where we see his relationship with his daughter and his wife, Jessica Jones. I think going forward, I’d probably want to see more of that, or his friendship with Danny because these two novels were disappointing.
Unfortunately for ‘Caged’, the artwork doesn’t add much to the enjoyability of this novel and I found it a little bland and basic. The covers were a little better and perhaps the only saving grace. Overall, this was a majorly disappointing novel and a sad ending to the series. Hopefully, there’s better Luke Cage action to be read elsewhere!
It’s such an odd thing to see Luke like this, but I think it suits him!
It has to be Luke, not only because there were no supporting characters but also because the guy’s got a good heart!
Story Arc: ★★
Character Development: ★★