Super Hero Squad Rumorbuster

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Case For... Luke Cage

To begin, this is an idea I've tinkered with for a while. I didn't want to simply spout off wish-lists of characters, no matter how obscure or unlikely just because there's plenty of space. If you want a run of the mill Super Hero Squad want-list, you can visit any message board to see threads that are nothing but laundry lists of "needed" characters. Here, in each edition of "The Case For..." we're going to make the argument for a particular character. The main criteria is that there needs to be actual reasons why the character should be made. Of course, as the line goes on and the number of characters that have been released increases, we may have to stretch for some of the choices. On with the show...

Luke Cage has been a mainstay of the Marvel Universe for the better part of 36 years. Not always in the spotlight (for instance, after Power Man and Iron Fist ended and before his 90's revival in Cage he was largely missing. After the short-lived Cage and before minor revivals in Heroes For Hire and in the pages of Alias he was also mostly absent), he remains a recognizable icon.

His ties to many super teams make him a great roster-filler. Heroes for Hire, the Fantastic Four (albeit, only briefly), the Defenders (mostly in a consultant capacity during the Valkyrie/Nighthawk/Hellcat incarnation) and most importantly the Avengers would all find a place for the bullet-proof tiara wearing hero.

As a member of the New Avengers, Cage is one of the few remaining characters in need of a Super Hero Squad now that Ronin (as either Echo or Hawkeye depending on your preference) is amongst the released rumored Walmart SKUs and we've already seen Sentry's sculpt. Of the post-Civil War New Avengers, only Echo, Iron Fist and Cage remain un-sculpted.

He also remains a key-player in the Bendisverse, the corner of Marvel's universe controlled by Bendis. From his role in the Max series Alias, Secret War, House of M, New Avengers and Secret Invasion, Cage is a prominent star of the modern Marvel Universe. Outside of the Bendisverse, Cage is also going to be amongst the featured Avengers in the Avengers/Invaders mini-series, and of course we're also anticipating a Gendy Tartakovsky Cage out of continuity mini-series some day.

The downside: outside of his 70's era costume, he's never had a distinctive and consistent design. Preparing cage in a retro-70's costume is going to be too retro, too throwback for some, while his current non-costume is about as distinctive as "Ms. Marvel in jeans and a hoodie" or "Tony Stark in a suit that looks nice. Not too nice, because he's not a snob, but it's still sharp. Expensive sharp, not necessarily design sharp" would be. Distinctive until Cage changes his shirt.

Also, no fan could rest until an Iron Fist is released to team up with. Although Hasbro has shied away from "dream packs" where both characters in the two-pack are related in such a way that the pack feels complete, satisfying, Luke Cage and Iron Fist would be a dream-pack for many fans. It would also make up for the number of Cable/Deadpool fans who shook their fists at the heavens upon learned they needed to purchase separate two-packs to get the pair.

In short: Cage may not be A-List, but he always ends up in the high profile projects and would help round-out any Squad fan's New Avengers roster.

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