EXTRACT: LUKE CAGE DEBRIEF
Servo Guards, they’re not a problem. You hit ‘em, they go down. Maybe you have to hit ‘em a couple of times. It’s a chore, not even a fight. But you send me out against someone like Vapor , and I have to say What? That may not be the best use of my particular abilities, if you know what I mean.
But we got her. Wasn’t much of a fight in the end since the Agent brought in a team. And Whiplash? That guy. If I wanted to deal with crazy Russians, I’d go to Coney Island.
The call came in and I answered it. You knew I would. If you think I did it because I owe Nick Fury anything, though, think again. I don’t give one goddamn about the government, and I consider S.H.I.E.L.D. part of the government. What did they ever do for me? They put me in jail in the first place. They lied to me about the experiment and then when it turned out the way it did, they all of a sudden wanted to make me a hero.
No. You can’t railroad a man, lie to him, and then want to be his friend when he’s useful.
I’ll put Whiplash down if he needs to go down. Because that’s what I do. Every time there’s a threat to my city and my people, I’m there. Don’t think it’s because I have some kind of ideal. I don’t care about Iso-8. I don’t care about S.H.I.E.L.D.. I don’t care about Director Nicholas Fury.
Let me put it another way. If you’re looking for a hero, look somewhere else. Whatever anyone says about allegiance to SHIELD or even the United States, I have one allegiance.
That’s to this city. These streets. These people. My family.
That’s what I care about.
And if Doom turns out to be behind all this, he’s going to find that out the hard way. Call that a promise.
PREPARED BY MARIA HILL
S.H.I.E.L.D. PERSONNEL FILE: Luke Cage
Classification: Independent Operator (“Hero for Hire ”)
Criminal Record: Exonerated of earlier charges and sentence overturned at retrial.
Power: Superhuman endurance and invulnerability
Known History: Falling in with a gang called the Rivals during his youth, Carl Lucas was framed by a romantic rival for a crime he didn’t commit. Convicted and sent to brutal Seagate Prison, Lucas volunteered for an experimental cell regeneration process. In the middle of the experiment, a guard who despised Lucas attempted to overload the scientists’ machines in an effort to kill him. Instead, the sudden surge in power gave Lucas strength and endurance well beyond even that which was intended by the experimenters.
Lucas punched a wall through the prison and escaped back to New York where he vowed to clear his name. To earn money he set up a “Hero for Hire” business in Times Square and quickly gained a formidable reputation as a private investigator and bodyguard. He adopted the name of “Luke Cage” to throw the police off his trail but chose to keep the name even after he exonerated himself. He soon found an unlikely business partner with Daniel Rand, better known as Iron Fist .
Observations: “Luke likes to pretend his heart is as impenetrable as his bulletproof skin, but I know better. The first thing he did when he got superpowers was to start helping people. Sure, it was for money, but the way I hear it he worked pro bono half of the time or more. He acts all street-smart and cynical, but the man is a born hero. That’s what makes him such a great partner -- and a better friend.” — Iron Fist