The Truth About Luke
I just finished watching Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, and I gotta tell ya: It's everything I dreamed of, and more. Look out for a full review on Friday, because it might just rock your face off.
Unfortunately, that's not the only movie I caught today. When I was over at Tug's house, he started flipping through the channels, and we came upon a little film you might've heard of called Gigli. Now I only stuck around for about three minutes, but it was long enough to see Jennifer Lopez threaten to pull a man's eyeball out. For three full minutes. Then, Ben Affleck followed it up with probably the worst line ever written on a piece of paper. He picks up some guy's laptop and snaps it over his knee and says:
"Nice computah. Suck my dick dot com!"
Wow. It boggles the mind. It also reminds me of Luke Cage.
Maybe I should explain that.
I've been thinking about Luke Cage today, what with his recent upswing in popularity and his near-iconic status with Phil and me. But the sad fact of the matter is, he sucks. He's outright terrible to the point where I feel bad for him and he's a fictional character.
The problem--and this is going to sound bad, but bear with me--is that he's a walking, talking black stereotype for whatever era he happens to be in.
In the '70s, when he was one half of a pair that rode the blaxploitation/kung fu movie craze, he sported an afro, a butterfly collar, and a shirt that was open to the waist. And he was an ex-con. And he said things like "Yo mama, sucka." (Seriously. Check out Power Man and Iron Fist #75. It's awesome).
Now looking back on it thirty years later, that's pretty rough, but he was still a fun character with a lot going for him. He was no more a victim of his time then than, say, Wonder Woman, a character created during World War II who wears an American flag as a costume.
But then the '90s had to come along and ruin everything. You might remember that at about this time, ol' Luke dropped the fro in favor of a fade and started going by "Cage" instead of Power Man. And he moved to Detroit.
Now I'm sure that they meant well, but it's ridiculous to the point of hilarity. In the Punisher issues he appears in--and you know I read 'em--he actually says "BOYEEEEEES!" There are no words, my friends.
Fast forward ten years and we get ANOTHER Cage revamp to reflect a new stereotype: Thug Life Cage! At this point, he's just become a caricature. Not only does he hang out in bars and listen to the hip-hop music the kids like on those headphones, but he also likes to fuck white women in the ass. Not that I begrudge him that, specifically. Just the idea that that's going to be his defining characteristic for the forseeable future.
Now he's an Avenger. An Avenger that likes to fuck chicks in the ass. An Avenger that wears muscle shirts with ripped sleeves and stocking caps to the meetings, and says things like "Damn, girl!" whenever he sees an attractive woman. Then again, this is the same writer that had him refer to a bunch of kids as "You yos."
Now I'm sure this is coming out all wrong, and Phil and Mike are probably never going to speak to me again, but it's insane how much actual character development has just been replaced by stereotype with Cage.
I like the guy a lot. I just wish he was a better character.