With Doctor Noah Burstein, the man who gave young Carl Lucas his powers and transformed him into Luke Cage, the Power Man, revealed to be a live, questions Luke Cage has had about the doctor are beginning to bubble to the surface. Luke isn’t sure he likes the answers.
The Ninth Ward gang prepare for their attack on Luke, Warkhawk, Lenore, and Burstein.
Cyril Morgan talks to a mysterious benefactor who is displeased with his handling of the situation. This person calls in a small brigade of hitmen to deal with the problem of Cage, Warhawk, and Burstein.
The story is really beginning to get some traction with Luke Cage #4. Where the previous issues were setting up the mystery and the shock turn in #3, this one begins to move into the answers and solutions part of the Burstein mystery.
The complex relationship between Luke and Burstein explodes as the doctor wants to take credit for everything Luke Cage has ever done. Worse yet, he talks of Warhawk, the Ninth Ward gang, and even Luke himself as if they are more things than people. Despite this, he insists on calling all of them “his sons,” which irks Luke Cage even more.
The blow up between Luke and Burstein is aptly cathartic and gives this issue a lot of power and impact.
This comic characterizes an individual in the Ninth Ward gang really well, and he becomes an interesting antagonist in this story. He is smarter than most of the other members, he’s more ambitious, and he isn’t even given a name yet. This character is given a lot of depth, and I hope he sticks around for another issue or two.
There’s a large fight scene towards the end where Nelson Blake II gets to strut his stuff a bit more. The armored hitmen look pretty cool, and Luke and the Ninth Ward guys kicking their asses looks pretty sweet. As always, Blake manages to show a lot of emotion with facial expressions and body language. The panels are clean and detailed. I’ve had issues with this being done in a Luke Cage comic in my last reviews on this site, but it’s clicking for me now.
Marcio Menyz’s color work strikes an interesting balance that sticks more in the green-yellow range than the others. This fits very well given that yellow has always been Luke Cage’s principal costume color. It really works.
This is my favorite issue of the series thus far. I put my faith in Power Man and Iron Fist scribe David F. Walker to continue his success trend with Luke Cage, and that faith has been rewarded. The man understands the character, and I look forward to his continuing work with Marvel’s greatest hero. You need to check this one out.
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