Hero, Dynamite and Henchman

That’s the cover above to Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1.  I can remember buying the first issue off the stands [cover date June 1972].  Lucas was sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit.  In an effort to get early release, Lucas agreed to an experimental treatment designed to boost a person’s immunity to illness.  Instead it gave him super-strength and steel hard skinLucas used his new powers to escape prison and take on the identity of Luke Cage, Hero for Hire.

I loved the idea of a hero who took on cases like a private eye.    And although Cage was a “Hero for Hire” he often took on cases for no pay when the cause was right.  I really got into the comic.   In “shop” class we had to create business cards, so while other kids were creating cards as lawyers, plumbers and the like, I created cards that read “Blackjack Joey, Hero for Hire.” I explained to the teacher that “Blackjack Joey” was my secret identity [taking the moniker of my favorite professional wrestler, Blackjack Mulligan, and combining it with my middle name Joseph].

That was over 38 years ago.  So you can imagine my amusement when looking through the December issue of Previews to see these two comics coming out in the early months of 2011.

That’s the cover to Black Dynamite: Slave Island coming from Ape Entertainment.  It’s a 48 page full color graphic novel based on the “Black Dynamite” movie which starred Michael Jai WhiteBlack Dynamite: Slave Island was written by Brian Ash with art by Jun Lofamia.   The book is suggested for mature readers and will set you back $5.95.

Harry Walton: Henchman for Hire is a 62 page full color graphic novel [$9.95] from Arcana Studio.  Written by Zak Sherman with art by Tom Martinek and Jason Worthington, it is the story of a “disenfranchised ex-super-hero sidekick” who decides to “work his way up the ranks” and become a super-villain.

I’m not sure either of the two books are my cup of tea, but they did make me want to go back and re-read Luke Cage, Hero for Hire.