This week Luke and special guest Darryl Ayo talk about Luke Cage Noir, living myths, and a lot more. There’s less goofing and more insight in this one which makes it good. Also like – 10 minutes of talk were deleted but it’s after the episode discussion – but it is still a loss, but also still check this out.
Universes and Comics Covered:
- Earth-90214 – Luke Cage Noir #1-4
You can find Darryl here on Twitter.
Check after the jump for the image gallery and notes!
Luke Cage Noir #1-4
Writer – Mike Benson, Adam Glass, Art – Shawn Martinbrough, Colors – Nick Filardi, Letters – Cory Petit
Luke Cage is let out of prison where he’s known as The Power Man and is a local legend. He goes and gets a haircut and a shave and catches up since his friend Stryker now runs Harlem. The rumor is he was released because of a scientific experiment he survived but he’s dismissing them. He heads over to Stryker’s place and he’s welcomed back by his friend. He soon asks about Josephine, the woman he loved, who died in a fire in a hospital. Stryker hands him a necklace she’d had. That’s when Charlie Tuna, someone Luke previously beat up, pulls a gun on him. Luke remembers him being a dick and stands up to him and Charlie backs down and runs off. Stryker has to leave and Luke is left with another dancer who talks about how Josephine got into drugs and prostitution after he was arrested and he’s suspicious of Stryker and what all happened. when he leaves he’s approached by Randall Banticoff who wants to hire him to look for his wife who was murdered in Harlem and wants Luke because he has a reputation. In return, Luke demands a fresh start and they agree after pressuring. Luke is suspicious of this too – just a whole lot of suspicion.
He heads to the morgue and finds out that Banticoff’s wife was choked. He decides to head to graveyard next to look for Josephine since the necklace is too suspicious since it didn’t show signs of the fire she supposedly was injured in and she would have kept it. He finds her coffin is empty and that he’s got a gun carried by Tombstone pointed at him – along with two dogs – ready to pounce.
We flashback to Luke seeing a man slap a woman’s ass. He threw the man through a window and beat the hell out of him only to find out he was an officer – Albert Rachman. Tombstone shot him in retaliation.
Back in the present Luke beats the dogs away and has to face down Tombstone – an albino black man with super tough skin. He smacks Luke around and tells him to leave. Luke instead stays. The next morning he finds Banticoff waiting for him and we find Daisy was likely killed by surprise. Banticoff is heartbroken and gives Luke some more money.
Luke follows Banticoff and sees him flirting with a black woman and follows her eventually getting to a small apartment where he’s knocked out, finds a lease in his name, blood all around the room and the police looking for him. He heads out the window and up to the roof where Rachman and Tombstone and the other cops are waiting for him. They have papers wanting him for the murder of Daisy Banticoff and forged release papers saying he was out in prison for the time of the murder. He distracts them by calling Tombstone by his birthname which causes him to punch an officer for laughing at it and Luke continues, pointing out his whiteness. Rachman wants to kill him but Tombstone wants to punch him out. Luke avoids his blows, steals his gun and shoots down the rooftop water tower allowing him to escape. He heads to a church that he saw a card of and finds Josephine there but her face is scarred and she says he never should have come.
Luke heads back and finds Stryker waiting for him, offers him a job running an apple farm saying he’s an important symbol. He asks to duck into the bathroom and sets it up to explode with gas lanterns.
That night he finds the dancer from before and pushes her onto the tram line where she drops her bag. Luke gets her to talk about how the police and Tombstone worked to help Stryker take over the crime including dealing in heroine and they’re getting the funding with someone downtown. Also Rachman wanted Josephine but she avoided him so Tombstone and Stryker got to her. Luke pulls her up but she wants her bag with drugs so she jumps back down and steps on the third rail.
While Luke tries to put the clues back together especially seeing how Daisy and Banticoff fit in. Luke goes after the photographer Snap, who admits the Banticoffs hung out their and Rachman was involved. Luke tries to pay him but Snap refuses, asking for a photo instead. Afterwards Luke breaks into Stryker’s joint, steals all his money and lights the place on fire and we see how Luke survived being shot – he had a flask in his breast pocket.
Stryker, Rachman, and Tombstone meet to figure out how to take him down and reveal their secret – Lucas Cage Jr.
And in the street, Randall Banticoff is kidnapped.
Cage stores the money, Randall escapes and Cage returns to the morgue. He noticed earlier that she was bloated and then realized she was too bloated and finds that she’d been pregnant until the child was removed and Tombstone finds him again. He reveals they got Rachman to think Josephine was interested in him, knowing Luke would get angry. When the plan fell apart he attacked her face and back in the present Luke jabs him with embalming fluid and then he explodes. He gets into Rachman’s car where he is waiting, drives it off a bridge and Rachman dies in the water.
Luke goes back to Josephine to apologize for what he did and she reveals he has a son and Tombstone let her live to raise the kid and they have him now. Luke says goodbye, and then gets the word circulating that he wants to talk with Stryker and he meets him in the barbershop where Stryker has a blade to Junior. Luke goes in acting unconcerned, and when Stryker asks for a towel, Luke wraps his hands with it and the barber helps take out the other two men. Luke ends with a gun to his head though and the barber stabs him with scissors through the eye killing him. In the process he knocks off an old army photo. Luke gives the key to the money to Junior and his son says goodbye. Luke goes after Banticoff next and confronts him with the fact that he knows Banticoff is passing for white, making a lot of money, and killed his pregnant wife to make sure the kid doesn’t reveal he’s black. Banticoff shoots him and he falls out the window and dies. As Luke stands, he rushes out and tells people what they saw and as he bleeds out he tosses himself into the river because the myth is important to the people and Josephine and Junior ride out with the money Luke took from Stryker.
The question of what are we born for
The importance of legends and stories and community
The quick world building and use of song
That photo showing up in the barbershop
What powers does he have?
Effectively repeating panels – the Banticoff scene
Tombstone and the ultimate difference of passing privilege – Banticoff vs Tombstone
The exoticness of Harlem