Monday, 19 September 2016


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

POWER MAN, as all true MARVELITES know, was the
name of a villain who fought The AVENGERS in #s 21 & 22 of
their own mag back in the '60s.  However, in the '70s, the name was
dusted down and applied to LUKE CAGE's superhero alter-ego, a
mercenary HERO FOR HIRE, who wasn't necessarily spurred
to random acts of goodness merely out of a sense of altruism
like most other characters in the superhero 'business'.

I never quite understood why black heroes usually had the
word 'black' prefixed to their names, as if we needed to be made
etc.)  We had eyes, didn't we?  It was different with The BLACK
PANTHER, as the word referred to the colour of his costume,
not his skin, but I'm so glad Luke Cage wasn't called Black
Power Man, as that would've been simply silly.

(*Black Lightning, of course, is a DC COMICS hero.)

Anyway, that's enough waffle from me - enjoy some pages
from the first (and perhaps only - anyone know?) issue of his
own Giant-Size reprint mag from 1975.  Did you own this ish?
Then let's hear from you in the comments section.


B Smith said...

I can only presume that Billy Graham was working over breakdowns by George Tuska for that "Revolution" story.

Kid said...

It does have a bit of a Tuska look, doesn't it, BS? George Tuska drew the strip at one point, so it's possible he helped out on Billy Graham's pages.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kid,

This is not a comment on your post, merely a first hello.

I've been following your, excellent BTW, blog for several years now and often been tempted to comment. However, being on the lazy and slightly paranoid side, I have avoided signing up for "data mining" id's like Google et al.
Obviously, I'm aware of your hassle with an unnamed blogger (I have my suspicions as to who it may be and agree that there is a slightly hysterical nature to his ripostes) and can understand your reluctance to accept anonymous comments but I would still like to contribute comments nevertheless.

Anyhoo, kind regards from this Marvelite from the early seventies; keep up the good work.

Jim MP

TC said...

In the late Silver Age/early Bronze Age (i.e., late 1960's-early 1970's), DC and Marvel were both going overboard with "relevance" and what today would be called political correctness. Thus, they brought in token ethnic characters, and then beat you over the head by including "Black" in the superheroes' code names, to make sure you got the point. Subtlety was never the strong suit of the comic book medium in general or the super-hero genre in particular.

I never had this issue. I think I had the one (maybe #16 or #17) where he adopted the "Power Man" name. Also #21, where he fought the original Power Man.

The original PM also appeared, along with the Swordsman, in Tales of Suspense #88 and Avengers Annual #1 in 1967. Both were reprinted in the 1970's, the former by Marvel UK in The Titans, the latter in a Giant-Size Avengers issue.

Phil S said...

Black Power ( Man). When you think about it at the time calling a hero Black Power Man had an entirely different meaning ! Not ( Black) Power Man. In fact I think I'll suggest it to people as a retcon. He fights for Black Power! He's the Man!
In fact I always liked his original title Hero got hire. Made him sound like Sam Spade type.

Kid said...

I wasn't sure whether you wanted your comment published or not, JMP, or whether it was merely for my eyes only. If so, let me know and I'll delete it. However, you're welcome to comment as long as you use a consistent name, regardless of whether it's your real name or not. Comment away.


I meant to touch on that a bit more, TC, but had to wrap things up as I suddenly had to go out. Yeah, you're right, there was nothing subtle about putting 'black' before the characters name; in fact, it was somewhat patronizing. JP, a fairly regular commenter, once mentioned that he remembered reading a letter in one of the comics (can't recall if it was B Goliath or B Lightning) from a black reader saying that very thing. I've got Avengers Annual #1, so must take another look at it. (The story was also reprinted in issues of Fantastic, a British comic in the '60s.


It was much the same with the Black Panther, Phil, who was renamed the Black Leopard for a few issues of the FF in the '70s. The Black Leopard didn't quite have the same impact as a name 'though, so despite the unwelcome connotations, his original title was eventually restored.

Graham said...

I had this was the first Luke Cage issue that I bought. I liked those reprint Giant-Sizes that came out in the summer of '75. They expanded my Marvel knowledge greatly. As far as I know, this was the only Giant Size Power Man, but he did have at least one Annual that I remember. I really enjoyed Cage, but didn't become a regular reader until he teamed up with Iron Fist, which remains one of my all time favorite series.

I have to say that I've never heard another person of any race say "Sweet Christmas!"

Jeffrey Crawley said...

Hi Kid, Jeff Crawley submitting a comment, after quite some time.
Regarding making characters "black", in the movie versions of Marvel characters, what are your thoughts on Kingpin and Nick Fury transitioning to black, from the white originals?

Kid said...

Yeah, G, those Giant-Size mags were great! I suppose 'Sweet Christmas' was the Comic Code approved version of what, at the time, might otherwise have been considered blasphemy.


To be honest, JC, I was perturbed by Nick Fury being changed, until I was told by a friend that, in the comics at least, the bald, black Nick Fury is supposed to be the son of the original. With The Kingpin, again I'd have preferred him to be as he was in the comics, but it's hard to imagine another actor who could have physically embodied the character in the way that Michael Clarke Duncan did. (Although I've been told that Vincent D'Onofrio is good in the TV series.) Nothing racist about my views - I'd be equally perturbed if Luke Cage, T'Challa or Bill Foster were turned into white guys. I just prefer the characters to be the same ones I grew up reading, that's all.

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