Following the conclusion of writer David F. Walker’s stellar Power Man & Iron Fist, Luke Cage gets his own series. The first issue in this new ongoing series was released this week. David Walker is proving his voice for the character is the definitive one as Luke Cage starts off strong.

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***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***

Harlem’s hero finds himself back home, doing what he does best. His brand of justice, available to anyone in need with one simple phone call, takes a back seat after an exciting open. A tragedy, tied to Cage’s past, demands his attention and forces him into a messy mystery.

David Walker has such a firm grasp on the character, he could write Luke Cage Vs. A Laundry Machine and it would be entertaining. This is one of those creator/character chemistries that don’t happen very often.

Power Man & Iron Fist was over too soon, it’s an under-appreciated masterpiece of old school comic book fun. A Marvel book that many internet voices claimed they were so desperate for. Regardless, Walker moved on, this new series is a chance to fine tune his characterization of Power Man even more.

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There’s an infectious light sarcasm about Luke that makes him more real than even the wonderful Netflix version of the hero. Luke’s dialogue about his line of work and the people he helps add an extra layer of character that wasn’t there before. Walker quickly takes readers through a surprising and effective emotional arc as Power Man revisits his past.

Every interaction Cage has with anyone in this issue is a standout moment of his character shining through. His slightly arrogant but majorly wholesome mindset provides plenty short and sweet scenes that never linger too long.

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Nelson Blake II and Marcio Menyz pull their weight as well, Luke Cage #1 is a beautiful book. The art solidifies every character moment and action sequence as a memorable one. Every panel provides a clean and stimulating visual without wasting any space.

It’s a drastically approach than that of Power Man & Iron Fist, but very much stands on its own. Luke appears as much less of a teddy bear than the previous series’ interpretation.

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David Walker wrote a wonderful Danny Rand, but taking him out of the equation allows his Luke Cage to really stand out. There aren’t many comic writers right now that have this clear and deep of a connection with a character’s voice. Walker continues to grow as a force of nature for Marvel comics. One that deserves more attention.

Luke Cage really couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. New readers from the Netflix series and longtime fans alike can enjoy Walker’s interpretation of Harlem’s hero.

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New Jersey scum who worships comic books like religious literature. Yell at me on Twitter @griffunk

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