Hero For Hire #12
Issue(s): Hero For Hire #12
He uses his alchemy gun to turn the floor under her into glass, causing her to fall through the floor and get critically wounded.
Cage returns from stuffing JJ's money down his throat to see the commotion at the health clinic. The secretary's employer hires Cage to find Chemistro. Cage starts by sending some of the glass Chemistro created to a lab, where they discover that after a while the glass turned to dust.
Chemistro was a lab worker at Mainstream who got sick of the day to day grind and built his alchemy gun on company time, leading to a dispute with his employers that resulted in him being fired. Now he is using his gun to extort money from them. When Cage fights him, he recognizes that he is black and tells him to knock off all the super-villain high talk.
Cage: Who you tryin' to jive, Circles? I heard you rappin'... so climb off the super villain dialogue! Chemistro: Okay bro' -- you want soul to soul, you got it!
Turning the floor into something else seems to be a favorite trick of his. When fighting Cage, he chooses paper instead of glass.
Later in the fight, Chemistro turns his foot to steel, gaining a temporary advantage but losing it when his foot crumbles to dust.
Phil Fox finds that JJ won't run any stories on Cage after the events of Amazing Spider-Man #123.
Instead he tries to blackmail Cage with the info about his prison break, but that doesn't work out so well for him either.
Again, Englehart brings a new level of quality to the writing at Marvel. Despite the fact that it is obvious that he is writing in an exploitation style based on movies like Shaft, his characters and plots seem more meaningful than the majority of Marvel's output in the 70s.
On the other hand, here's what Christopher Priest has to say:
I can't speak to the motives of the white writers who've handled Cage in the heady blaxploitation days of the early 1970's, but, as a reader, most of that work seemed disingenuous, having not much in the way of anything that was true to my experience as a black youth in America. The larger body of work in mainstream super-hero comics is written by whites, and the larger body of African or African-American characters bear not much resemblance to any real black culture. A great deal of it is an appropriation of black culture and voice; it seems to be what white people think black people are. It's more amusing than offensive, but, taken at face value, black society in comic books seems an almost invented culture, as made up as Smallville or the Legion of Super-Heroes' headquarters, sewn together by glimpses of television shows or movies. Black culture as represented by Sherman Helmsley or Jimmy Walker or Richard Roundtree. It's an RPG universe subset Black People, with a list of rules and hair styles and speech patterns, invented for the game, but bearing little resemblance to any actual culture.
I think the disconnect is that Englehart really is trying to write in a blaxploitation movie style and not trying to represent real black culture. Whether that makes these stories OK or not is a different debate, i suppose.
Another "Sweet Sister!". It's not Christmas yet.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place concurrently with and then directly after Amazing Spider-Man #123.
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: N/A
Inbound References (1): show
Chemistro, D.W. Griffith, J. Jonah Jameson, Luke Cage, Noah Burstein, Phil Fox, Spider-Man
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