The long-anticipated Marvel and Netflix superhero team-up series The Defenders is almost here, so we're all about to finally see Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist come together for an epic fight. This super team has been a long time in the making, so even if you did watch the four respective standalone series, it can be easy for viewers to forget all the details leading up to the formation of the Defenders. So before you dive into The Defenders this Friday, August 18, here's your primer for everything you need to know about Luke Cage, the strong and silent member of the foursome.
Luke Cage has appeared in two series before The Defenders: his stand alone series Luke Cage and as a main character on Jessica Jones. The first thing to know about Cage is his abilities. Due to a botched lab experiment, Cage has unbreakable skin, which is impervious to everything from bullets to huge explosions. He also has superhuman strength and advanced healing for whenever he does happen to get injured.
Cage received his abilities from a scientist who was conducting illegal experiments in prison. Formerly, Cage was a police officer named Carl Lucas, who had his career and life destroyed when he was framed for a crime and sent to prison. While incarcerated, Cage begins a relationship with prison psychologist Reva Connors, who asks the scientist to help heal Cage after he got involved in a dangerous ring of prison fights. Due to interference from a rival inmate, Cage's experimental procedure was botched, and it wound up giving him his unbreakable skin.
After being released from prison, Cage marries Reva, but their relationship is cut short by Jessica Jones, not that he knows it at the time. On Jessica Jones, Cage actually begins an intimate relationship with Jessica, but that fractures and falls apart when she reveals she killed Reva while under the control of the mind-controlling villain Kilgrave. Upset she didn't reveal this information to him before they got romantically involved, Cage ends things. He later returns, seemingly forgiving Jessica and intending to reignite their relationship, but it's later revealed he was actually under Kilgrave's control.
After leaving Jessica's side, Cage heads up to Harlem, where he uses his powers to bust up a drug and arms dealer named Cottonmouth. Throughout this, he reunites with nurse to the supernatural Claire Temple (the only character to appear in all four Defenders standalone series), and develops a romantic relationship with her.
Now that he's finally joining up with the rest of the Defenders, it'll be interesting to see how the normally solitary Luke Cage works with a team. Also of note, whether or not his relationship with Jessica Jones is still torn apart, and whether his new relationship with Claire Temple will raise eyebrows from Matt Murdock, her close friend.