Power Man #21
Issue(s): Power Man #21
Luke gets a Dear John letter from Claire, and they actually write out the word "choke" in his word balloon.
Then Erik Josten shows up to fight a grudge match against Luke for the use of the name Power Man.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show 1974 / Box 9 / EiC: Roy Thomas
1974 / Box 9 / EiC: Roy Thomas
A favorite because of how righteously mad Luke gets that Erik is endangering innocents over something as stupid as the rights to the name. Of course, it's somewhat out of character, given that Erik didn't want the name to begin with ("I've got a name! It's Erik Josten"), but the Enchantress insisted, back in Avengers #21. But I suppose he might have gotten attached to it, over the years.
It's always been a little difficult for me to accept Erik's heroism as Atlas because of this issue, truth be told.
Posted by: Dan Spector | February 3, 2013 3:39 AM
And then, of course, there's the bashing-Herc's-skull-in in Avengers 274. Erik's heroism in Thunderbolts was difficult to reconcile with a lot of his actions over the years.
Posted by: Michael | February 3, 2013 8:57 AM
One thing that's always confused me - Josten got his powers in the same manner as Wonder Man, right? That should make him way out of Luke Cage's league.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 5, 2015 11:53 AM
I'd argue you have it backwards. Luke Cage is a lot more powerful than people realize, something you'll see that i point out throughout his solo and PM/IF run. It is somewhat inconsistent since a lot of writers also have the idea that he's just a street level hero. But i think there's a strong case to be made that Cage isn't street level powered, it's just that he prefers to stay involved at the street level.
On the other hand, Roger Stern agrees with you which is why we'll see that Josten has been losing his power over the years to the point where he becomes the low-powered "Smuggler" in Stern's Peter Parker run.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 5, 2015 12:06 PM
Just checked the Marvel Universe wiki and it lists Cage at 25 tons. I thought Wonder Man was at something like 75 tons (of course his powers and Josten's have changed so much they are not listed). I thought I had remembered Cage being a lot lower when the expanded MU started listing strength levels in the late 80's. Maybe a faulty memory. Still, 25 tons should be way short of Josten if he really had Wonder Man-like strength levels.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 5, 2015 12:27 PM
I believe it was established at one point (probably in T-BOLTS) that since the device that gave Wonder Man his powers was designed and calibrated for Simon Williams, it didn't work quite as well for Josten. It still gave him super-strength, but not quite as much as it gave Wondy.
Posted by: Dermie | March 5, 2015 1:08 PM
According to my old Marvel Universe Handbooks, Cage is able to lift 3 tons (and has invulnerable skin), while Josten was in the same category as Wonder Man, who could lift 95 tons. That's a BIG difference!
Posted by: Bill | March 5, 2015 2:57 PM
Good to know I didn't have a faulty memory - I thought it was much lower than the 25 tons they list him at now.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 5, 2015 3:16 PM
If that's from the Deluxe Handbook, don't forget that's after Josten was also infused with Pym particles.
A lot of Josten's early career was teaming up with Swordsman to get kicked around by Captain America or Hawkeye.
I guess i only have a dog in this fight because i didn't like when Cage was added to the Avengers and there was a reaction that Cage was just a street guy who wasn't worthy to be on the team. As long as he can lift "tons", i'm happy.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 5, 2015 5:09 PM
Fnord, that's very understandable. I was never much of a fan of Luke Cage but in my last days collecting Avengers they inducted Rage who seemed, though probably physically stronger than Cage, a much weaker character with no track record, so I have no problem with the Avengers bringing in Cage, although his old "hero for hire" concept doesn't really mix well with the Avengers.
But it brings up the larger issue with the Deluxe Handbooks. How closely should we believe them? I remember that Rogue was listed at 50 tons, yet only like a year later, in San Francisco, working on those electric barbells, she was AVERAGING 50 tons a lift. So clearly characters, through hard work, can move up. Luke Cage is listed at 3 tons, yet Mr Fantastic considered him as a replacement for the Thing, one of the strongest characters in the MU at the time.
And, given Cage's personality, I can see him whipping someone who is stronger. It's just interesting that they never really seemed to decide how powerful Josten was until after he became Goliath.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 5, 2015 6:21 PM
In the end, there could be only one. And he was Luke Cage- The Power Man! (Cue up Queen's "Princes of the Universe".)
Posted by: Brian Coffey | May 25, 2017 12:44 AM
Kinda s**tty of Roy Thomas to disrupt that actually pretty cool splash page with his little nudge-nudge wink-wink caption.
Posted by: Wis | January 20, 2018 8:02 AM
Comments are now closed.
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