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The Greatest Luke Cage Stories Ever Told!

Every day in November we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!

Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).

Today’s list is the Greatest Luke Cage Stories Ever Told!


10. New Avengers #1-5 “Break Out”

This is the storyline where Luke Cage becomes a member of the Avengers. Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch depict Cage as one of a group of heroes that form the new team. Cage has a major moment against Elektro.

9. Pulse #1-5 “Thin Air”

Cage and Jessica Jones got their own ongoing series (well, for a time) in Pulse, the sequel to Brian Michael Bendis’ Alias. Luke Cage has an amazing confrontation with Norman Osborn at the end of the storyline.

8. Daredevil #178 “Paper Chase”

Luke and Iron Fist are hired by Foggy Nelson to protect a witness. A great issue in the midst of Frank Miller and Klaus Janson’s classic run on Daredevil.

7. New Avengers Annual #1

Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel tell the wedding of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones.

6. Power Man and Iron Fist #50 “Freedom”

Cage officially teams up with Iron Fist in this issue that also celebrates Cage’s record being cleared.

5. Alias #24-28 “Purple”

Really only the last couple of issues were voted on, but I figured I might as well do the whole storyline. This is the story of how Jessica Jones realizes that she wants to be with Luke Cage in a real relationship (she also discovers that she is pregnant with his child).

4. Luke Cage: Noir #1-4

Mike Benson and Adam Glass wrote this acclaimed re-envisioning of Luke Cage as a hero in Harlem during the 1930s. Shawn Martinbrough did a marvelous job on the artwork.

3. Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #8-9

This is the storyline where Doctor Doom stiffs Luke Cage out of a $200 payment, leading to Cage going on a mission of revenge to Latveria. You can read more about it here.

2. Power Man #48-49

Chris Claremont and John Byrne (with inker Dan Green) show why they are so well regarded as a creative team as the two handle the introduction of Iron Fist into Power Man’s comic book. Their team-up also leads to a major change in Luke’s life – his record being cleared!

1. Pulse #11-14 “Fear”

Luke and Jessica’s baby is born! This nifty storyline (drawn by Alias artist Michael Gaydos), shows the evolution of Luke and Jessica’s relationship, including their first meeting!

Okay, that’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!


I didn’t think I’ve read enough Luke Cage stories in order to participate, so I passed on it. However, I’m surprised New Avengers #21 isn’t up there, possibly the best Luke Cage “in the spotlight” NA issue from Bendis alongside the first annual.

As for not Luke Cage “in the spotlight” NA stories, the first part of the “The Collective” storyarc, issue #16 had a great Cage stuff in it, where Luke drags his teammates to the streets to do some community work, as opposed to their usual intergalactic or supervillain business. I would’ve picked it up over the first NA arc (although “The Collective” itself was a horrible, horrible story).

Good choices. I haven’t read Pulse, so I can’t comment on those stories, but I’ve read most of the rest and they’re all some of Cage’s best. I also would’ve included Marvel Team-Up #75, as well as one of the later New Avengers arcs (Breakout was okay, but not my favorite in terms of Cage moments).

Underrated writer Jim Owsley (now Christopher Priest) had a fantastic PM & IF run in the 80’s, with my personal fave, “Getting Ugly”…


Would also place (though I know it has its detractors) Azzarello’s “Cage” mini-series.

was going to be surprised if the story where Luke shows Doctor doom even he has to pay his bill for Lukes service did not make the list . plus figured most of the picks would be the Luke iron fist team ups . though nice to see the Luke Jessica romance make the cut

Didn’t have enough picks to vote, but I think Marvel Team-up #75 would have been on there.

Also, didn’t really think of Daredevil as strictly a Luke Cage story but I’m glad to see it up there (Luke’s best moment, catching Sheldon with a sad, bored look on his face: “About time I got to do something.”).

If it qualifies I would also pick Marvel Team-Up Annual #4 with Spidey, DD, Power Man, Iron Fist and Moon Knight vs. The Purple Man. A classic (from MY childhood, anyway).

Had I voted, it would have been pretty much all stuff from Power Man and Iron Fist. Man, I loved that comic. Though Alias and the Dr. Doom story would have been in there, too.

“Where’s my money, honey?”

I was under the impression that MAX was out of normal Marvel continuity, but it seems that Jessica Jones series is in the normal continuity. Is this the case?

No Mary Jo Duffy/Kerry Gammill? For shame. The most enjoyable, low key, humourous, and warm comic I’ve ever read. A real buddy comic. I miss when comics were comics.

Can’t really understand why the Miller story shows up here. It’s a cool issue, don’t get me wrong, but I would hardly call it a Luke Cage story. That’s like voting Batman RIP as the greatest Tim Drake story. He’s in the story, but only in a peripheral role.

luke cage noir by benson and glass — the best!
how about a movie written by these guys?

Sadly, I haven’t read enough Luke Cage stuff to pick anything, although I have read the New Avengers stuff on here.
I was wondering, though.. Is Cage’s enemy Bushmaster the same one who was a cyborg snake-man in the Serpent Society?

Mary: No, but they’re brothers.

I don’t care for the Daredevil issue. Cage came off as a buffoon. It was mildly amusing at best, and, I thought, maybe the worst Miller DD story.

I’m surprised none of the current Thunderbolts stories showed up. I understand they’re good, even if I haven’t read them.


I didn’t feel like I knew Luke Cage well enough to vote, but now I feel like I should have shelled out for a couple Marvel Essentials volumes and done some research.

Ronald Jay Kearschner

November 14, 2011 at 10:33 pm

I’d buy LUKE CAGE, HERO FOR HIRE off the rack for a quarter whenever it was available and would have loved to see more of those stories here. I definitely recommend the ESSENTIALS. Also try POWER MAN ANNUAL # 1, a great self contained, James Bond like adventure. I just checked: The title was changed to POWER MAN before prices went to .25 cents. (.25 cents for comics! Now that was a childhood!)

meaningless albert

November 15, 2011 at 12:03 am

i’m happy that noir made it

I definitly would have added New Avengers #22, which is in my opinion the best luke cage story ever written,(I also think this issue won wizard magazines single issue of the year for 2006 but that might have been issue 21) and also New Avengers #49 where luke gets his baby back from skrull jarvis and then kicks the crap out of bullseye and venom.

I’m glad that Noir made the cut. I consider it the best Luke Cage story I’ve ever read. Although, I haven’t read most of them. I am glad that 3 of the 4 I would have voted for if I’d have come up with 10 made not just the top 10, but the top 5. (The other was a Marvel Team-Up, but I don’t remember which issue. Just that it and the Bushwacker story were the two that made me a Cage fan.)

I’d have to see some interior art.

The Power Man-Iron Fist series was one of the most enjoyable comics at the time, and was definitely underrated. Good characterizations, nice art and some interesting plots. I’m going to have to dig those comics out and reread them!

What kind of NON-Luke Cage fan MORONS voted on this list?!?!?! Yes, there are some good stories here, but THE Luke Cage story is New Avengers # 22!!! I was standing up cheering at the end of it! I didn’t want it to end! Edit the list! And Amazing Spiderman # 123 is the beginning of a life long friendship and creates GREAT banter between the two for the Marvel U.

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New Avengers #22 should of been on this list definitely. I was a fan as a kid of Luke Cage(during the Cage series) as a kid and had a friend tell me this was a must read one comic day. Amazing story! While reading this list I was wondering when I would see it and to my dismay, no appearance.

What about the max mini series ?

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