There are superheroes that everybody recognizes, even people who don’t read comic books, like Superman, Batman, or Spider-Man. There are superheroes that have risen in popularity (mostly thanks to the recent glut of movies and TV shows) to the point that they’re fairly well known, such as Green Lantern or Daredevil. And then there are the superheroes that only die-hard comic book fans know much about. This would be the case with the newest Marvel superhero to get his own Netflix series, Luke Cage, also known as Power Man. Unless you were reading comic books in the 1970s and 1980s, chances are that you are not very familiar with Luke Cage, which is a shame, as the character is one of the true bad asses of the Marvel Universe. Despite always being, at best, a tier three hero in terms of popularity, Luke Cage looks to be finally getting his due thanks to his upcoming Netflix show. So, in an effort to prime you for the debut of the TV series, here are some fun and interesting facts about the man with the unbreakable skin, Luke Cage.
10. The Character Was Originally Inspired By “Blaxploitation” Movies
Luke Cage first appeared in the Marvel comic book Hero for Hire, which was published in June 1972. Creators Archie Goodwin and John Romita, Sr. were under orders from their editors at Marvel to capitalize on the then popularity of Blaxploitation movies such as Shaft, Super Fly and Blacula. Looking back at some original cover art for the Luke Cage comic books, you can instantly see the similarity to Blaxploitation movie posters. Sadly, Cage’s initial popularity faded along with the rest of the Blaxploitation genre in the late 70’s. Marvel then decided to then pair Cage with another hero, Iron Fist, who was created to capitalize on the popularity of a different fad, 70’s martial arts movies (notably Bruce Lee films). The newly formed duo earned enough readers to save them from cancellation.