The Defenders makes its debut on Netflix this week and for those who are uninitiated or need a refresher on the heroes who will make up this super team, I have decided to do a series of unofficial primers showcasing each member of the team. Today I will start with the Hero of Harlem himself, Luke Cage.

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Luke Cage

Real Name: Carl Lucas

AKA: Power Man

Created by: Archie Goodwin, John Romita Sr. and George Tuska

First Appearance: Luke Cage: Hero for Hire (June 1972)

Comic origins: Created in the midst of the “blaxploitation” film era of the early 1970’s, Luke Cage was the first black superhero to star in his own comic book series. Framed for a crime he didn’t commit, Lucas is sent to prison where he volunteers for an experiment that gives him superhuman powers that include superhuman strength and durability, unbreakable skin and an accelerated healing factor. He escapes from prison and uses his powers to clean up the streets of Harlem.

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Pre-Defenders: At the beginning of the Defenders, Luke has been released from prison thanks to some work by Foggy Nelson and returns to Harlem. When he finds out that young people in the neighborhood are being recruited for mystery work and then ending up dead because of it, he tries to intervene with one of the young men to try to help. Failing in that, his investigation into the work these young men are doing leads him to a confrontation with another Defender and embroiled in a battle with the supernatural that threatens to destroy the city.

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