Sunday, April 18, 2010

New Avengers: Luke Cage #1

I generally like John Arcudi's work, and this is no exception. This is the definition of an unnecessary tie-in series, with Luke Cage heading down to Philly to help out an old neighborhood kid he remembers from his days as a hero-for-hire. I think the reason I dug this issue is because I think that was the coolest incarnation of Cage, as the hero-for-hire who rarely took payment because the people he helped most often couldn't afford it. Bad business, but a neat outlook for a hero.

Cage's trip to Philly ends up putting him in the sights of Hammerhead and Mr. Negative, the organized crime bosses from Amazing Spider-Man. There is a fun little brawl between Hammerhead and Cage that shows off their respective power-ups nicely. It is a lot of fun seeing both of them talking smack while being impressed at how strong the other is. The fight breaks up because of the police's imminent arrival, but it is clear there will be a round two. Arcudi has a really good voice down for Cage, he's a good guy who's moved up and on in the world, but he hasn't forgotten his roots. If Cage was wearing a real costume (and the issue had better art) this would be even better.

Eric Canete is very impressionistic and he's not a perfect fit for this book. People's bodies change around and faces can look mighty strained. I think he was a better fit on the industrial look of Iron Man in that recent mini than he is on a street level book like this. His storytelling is fine, but I think a more "classic" artist might have brought in a bit more sales.


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