Gang War: Luke Cage #1 Review: Mayor Interrupted

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In Gang War: Luke Cage #1, the mayor of New York reaches a breaking point. Also, Luke Cage becomes a vigilante again.

We reviewed the book on the Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!

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Gang War: Luke Cage #1 Review:

Written by Rodney Barnes, with art by Ramón F. Bachs, Luke Cage is fed up with his mayor duties and decides to do something about the out-of-control crime in the city… With his fists!

For host Alex Zalben, his issue wasn’t necessarily with the book, but the idea of the mayor of New York going out at night and engaging in vigilante justice — despite current Mayor Eric Adams’s often bizarre behavior. “We are clearly getting to the end of [Luke Cage] being mayor in New York City, and they have never fully explored this,” Zalben said. “Why have we not had a comic book that is Spin City, but with Luke Cage?”

Justin Tyler called Zalben crazy for being upset we’re seeing Luke Cage be a vigilante when “every superhero has a job, and they fight crime. Everyone. And they do both, and it’s fine.”

More to the point, Tyler added that he liked the way the issue ended, with a team-up with Cloak and Dagger. And Pete LePage enjoyed the specificity of the issue, like Luke and Danny Rand having lunch at Sylvia’s in Harlem. “Loved all the cameos!” LePage added. He also “very much enjoyed the art” on the issue, but missed Sanford Greene’s take on Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

Gang War: Luke Cage #1 Official Synopsis:

GANG WAR: FIRST STRIKE! In the wake of the Anti-Vigilante Act, Luke has been trying to save the city from behind a desk. But a meeting with old friend DANNY RAND reminds him of the good old days when problems could be punched in order to solve them. As New York descends into a GANG WAR, Luke must use every power he has to protect the innocent and save his city!

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