CAGE #1 – Review
Writer: Genndy Tarktakovsky
Penciller: Genndy Tarkakovsky
Inker: Stepen DeStefano
Colorist: Scott Willis
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics
1977, New York. After a long day of stopping bank robbers and being a role model to the neighborhood kids, he’s 10 minutes late for his date with Misty Knight in Chinatown. When Misty never comes to the restaurant, Cage leaves to find out why she stood him up. There must be a good reason behind it…right?
If you’re familiar with Genny Tartakovsky of Samurai Jack fame (Star Wars: Clone Wars is still my personal favorite) then rest assured you’re getting the same level quality as the rest of his works, just in print. Although it’s set in the same time period of Luke Cage’s origin, it doesn’t take itself quite as seriously as the earlier comics did. Cage seems to live in a heightened reality of 1970’s New York, where the original comics were just IN 1970’s New York…because…well…it was the 70’s. The issue also has some really funny parts, but there are some interesting character moments as well, like why Luke Cage isn’t considered in the same class of hero as the other heroes of Marvel.
In many ways this book feels like a love letter to the early Hero For Hire comics as much as it is a parody or spoof. There’s a fine line, but if anyone can walk that like it’s Tartakovsky. There’s 70’s slang, Cage rhymes sometimes in his dialogue, but it’s all done tongue and cheek. His impatience is also played for laughs, since he completely loses his cool when Misty is ONLY 35 minutes late.
This book is not tied into the current Marvel canon, nor is it some “untold story” of the early comics. It exists in its own bubble. That may be a plus or a negative depending on how much of a continuity snob you are. This could have easily been a pilot of some new animated series that would have been an instant trending topic on the Internet. If you have knowledge of the original Luke Cage comics you’ll appreciate the nods to that series, but it’s in no way a requirement to enjoy the series. As with pretty much anything Genny Tartakovsky touches, high recommend.