Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Then he reviews one every other week.
This week I picked up the long-delayed Cage! #1 from Marvel, written and drawn by the Emmy-award winning Genndy Tartakovsky, the man responsible for several of the cartoons I watched the hell out of as a kid including Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack, along with inks by Stephen DeStefano, colours by Scott Wills and letters from Clayton Cowles. Marvel have timed this pretty well (after it was delayed for 9 years I mean), hot off the heels of their Luke Cage TV series with Netflix that dropped last Friday. Coupled with how much I enjoyed that (I binged it all over 3 days), and the other book starring Luke Cage being one of my favourite books on the stands right now (the excellent Power Man and Iron Fist by David Walker and Sanford Greene), this was a must-buy for me.
Cage!, unsurprisingly stars Luke Cage as the hero for hire, as he takes down bank robbers, slams some baskets and heads out to catch up with Misty Knight. When she’s a no-show, he finds that many of New York City’s heroes are missing in action, with the cops scrambling to pick up the slack without them. Luke takes it upon himself to figure out where they have all gone, and why he wasn’t taken too.
The plot to Cage! is simple (I would, at this point say refreshingly simple compared to some current superhero comics) and the dialogue is hilarious and very much of the 70s era this harkens back to. In fact, the book even acts like it still is the 70s, with an appearance from some beloved mutants and a superb editors note. Where the book really shines is how it pulls this all together into something that feels truly fun. This is rendered even more clearly as Tartakovsky brings his signature art to the book. The aesthetic is hugely expressive, with heavy line art emboldened by DeStefano’s inks and a warm colour palette that adds to the feel of the era. The whole package of the art is kinetic and larger-than-life, while feeling incredibly nostalgic both for the cartoons I watched as a kid and the 70s time period (I know I wasn’t alive in the 70s, shut up).
Cage! is a hell of a lot of fun. It may have been hugely delayed, but hopefully that means that the release schedule will be pretty consistent for this four-issue mini. Fans of the Netflix series should definitely check this out, even if it is a little tonally different, but equally fans of anything Genndy Tartakovsky has ever put out will love this too. Check it out at your LCS or digitally today!
Score: 8 Bank Rollers out of 10