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_________________________

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

I swear, you are the vainest man I've ever know...Always lookin' at yourself in the mirror. Must really like what you see!

-- Dixie, to Cage, from Cage #4

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Only one way to find out!

(Click panels for larger images.) _________________________

Featured Characters:

  • Cage
  • Dixie
  • Mrs. Dickens
  • Clifto
  • Egg
  • Tombstone, aka Lonnie Lincoln
  • Hammer
  • Mick "Mountain" Marko
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From the Inside Dustflap:

When no one else will help, call the...Hero For Hire!

In this neighborhood, you don't need to go looking for trouble. Trouble finds you. Hope Dickens planned to send her daughter to college, but a stray bullet from a drive-by shooting sent her baby girl to the cemetery instead. In this neighborhood, you can't count on the cops. People here have to make their own justice. To set things straight, Hope hires the one man who's always available, for the right price.

Long before a botched prison experiment granted him bulletproof skin and superhuman strength, Luke Cage lived on these brutal streets- and he knows how tough life can be. Even if Hope Dickens can't pay his bill, he's willing to bend the rules a bit. Her dead daughter deserves that much. To get justice, Cage is forced into the crossfire of the three-way turf war among the mob, Lonnie Lincoln's cold-blooded crew, and Clifto's gangbangers. But what better way for Cage to get the job done than to play all three sides against the middle, and get rich off the criminal's cash in the process?

Cage is the latest smash-hit series from the Marvel MAX line. Intended for mature readers, MAX offers a raw, uncensored look at the gritty underbelly of the Marvel Universe. Sometimes violent, but always compelling, Cage is urban action at its street-level best.

 

  Cage


Reprints: Cage #1-5

List price: $19.99 (US) $32.00 (Canada)
ISBN: 0-7851-0966-8 Original Release Date: 12/4/02

128 pages

CREATOR CREDITS:

Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Richard Corben
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia
Letters: RS & Wes Wbbott
Editors: Axel Alonso and John Miesegaes

SPECIAL BONUS FEATURES: (10 pages total)

  • "Straight-up Real Nigga" Introduction by Darius James (2 pages)
  • Cover sketches for Cage #1, 2, 4 (3 pages)
  • Unused cover sketches (1 page)
  • Coloring Corben by Jose Villarrubia (3 pages)
  • Cage concept sketch by Richard Corben (1 page)

Buy From:
TALES OF WONDER: $13.99 AMAZON USA: $13.99
AMAZON UK: used AMAZON CANADA: used

SYNOPSIS:

Cage #1
22 pages + cover March 2002

The mother of Hope Dickens wanders into a strip club to find Cage, a huge hulk of a man that she has heard will help people who need dirty jobs done. She tells him her 13-year old daughter was killed in a drive-by shooting, an innocent victim who received the bullet intended for someone else. Cage agrees to help her even though she can hardly afford his usual price. His first order of business is to track down the person who the bullet was meant for. He comes upon a group of gang-bangers who are playing basketball in a neighborhood court. His method of interrogation produces the name of their leader: Clifto.

He heads to a bar where he meets the bartender named Dixie. She is worried he's going to cause trouble in the neighborhood, and she warns him to steer clear of Clifto, as well as Lonnie Lincoln, aka Tombstone, who has recently moved his gang into the neighborhood. While Cage considers if Tombstone was behind the attempted hit on Clifto, he sees a local Italian restaurant with a bunch of mob types milling around. Then, as he is seated enjoying his beer, an officer of the law walks up behind him.

* * *

Cage #2
22 pages + cover May 2002

The cop is busy sizing up Cage, telling him he "doesn't want any trouble." He tells him to stay away from Lincoln and the Italian mobster Hammer's business. As the dirty cop leaves, Cage wonders to himself what's the connection between these groups, and what are they fighting over? As Tombstone's boys come over to ask Cage questions about his activities, Cage doesn't answer and instead walks silently into Hammer's eatery. He sets up a meeting with Hammer for later that evening.

Later, Clifto comes to meet with Cage, saying he heard Cage was looking for him. Clifto never gets his answers, but he also doesn't directly answer Cage's inquiry into who was trying to kill him. At the meeting with Hammer, Cage offers his services to Hammer, who readily accepts. On his way down the street, Cage stops to speak with one of Tombstone's men, when Clifto comes up and shoots the man down, dead. Clifto tells Cage "case closed" and moves on. Cage arranges a meeting with Tombstone.

* * *

Cage #3
22 pages + cover July 2002

Tombstone meets with Cage and tells him that he is prepared to offer a deal to gain Cage's estimable services, since he is scared that he will be working for Hammer. Standing behind Tombstone is the NYPC cop that met with Cage in the bar. Cage walks out without telling Tombstone yes or no. He meets with Dixie later that night and they wind up going home together. The next morning, Cage looks out her window and sees the mayor walking around, surveying the neighborhood.

Cage talks with Clifto, who is still under the illusion that he has a grip on the neighborhood he used to control, and while they chat they see Tombstone walking into Hammer's restaurant. Later that night, as Cage reflects on a long, lost lover who died in street violence, he and Dixie hear shots ring out. Cage goes outside to check on it and sees Hammer standing over the dead bodies of some of his men. Hammer looks up to see Cage walking over to Tombstone's local boy's home, pulling him out of his doorway and dragging him down to kneel on the sidewalk in front of Hammer. Cage, having delivered the gunman who killed Hammer's men, walks back to Dixie's place. Hammer executes the gangbanger.

Later, Cage goes to visit Tombstone, who offers him double his last offer to work for him. Cage says "Deal."

* * *

Cage #4
22 pages + cover August 2002

As Cage thinks back on his days as a con in jail, back when a doctor offered him the potential for freedom in exchange for experimenting on him, the dirty cop comes in again and sits next to him at Dixie's bar. Cage suckers the cop into thinking they can work together and turn tables on their "boss." Cage goes to plant the seed to Clifto's gangbangers that their time is up and that Clifto's about to get hung out to dry. In his next meeting with Tombstone, he makes his "boss" suspicious that the dirty cop is double-timing him with Hammer. Later, in front of Hammer's restaurant, Clifto and his boys show up to face off with Hammer, Cage standing behind the Italian. The cop shows up to warn Clifto away, but Tombstone is also there to make sure the cop meets his fate. Gunfire breaks out and the cop goes down, as do many of Hammer's and Clifto's men. When the bullets stop firing, Cage has walked calmly away. Tombstone follows him, with Mick "Mountain" Marko, a huge mongoloid toughman. Putting a gun to Dixie's head, Cage is forced to take the beating of a lifetime from Marko.

* * *

Cage #5
22 pages + cover September 2002

Dixie patches up Cage and thanks him for what he did to save her life. He goes out to face down Tombstone's men, who are lynching one of Clifto's boys. He beats them all to a pulp, demanding to know the secret to the gang tensions rising in the neighborhood: what are they all fighting for? Marko is on the rampage looking for Cage, and when the two finally battle again, Cage wins the decisive rematch. After putting the screws to Marko, he finds himself in between the two major combatants for the neighborhood, Tombstone and Hammer. From the rooftop above, Clifto starts tossing lit sticks of dynamite down, demolishing buildings left and right. Tombstone fires his assault weapon up to the roof, shooting Clifto to death. Finally, the two men turn their guns on Cage, who still stands between them. Unaware that he is bulletproof, they both fire at him. Cage just smiles... -- synopsis and panel image by Gormuu


       
     

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