- You know who I am... But NOBODY'S cagin' me up again! No way... Not ALIVE!
- -- Luke Cage
Appearing in "Vengeance is Mine!"
- Diamondback (Death)
- Reva Connors (Main story and flashback)
- Rackham (Main story and flashback)
- Bertha (First appearance)
- New York City Police Department
- Unnamed Officers
- United States of America
Synopsis for "Vengeance is Mine!"
While realizing that his calling service isn't working so well and that he should get an office, Luke Cage is attacked by hitmen hired by Diamond Back to stop him. When the attack fails, Luke is confronted by Claire Temple, a local doctor who is shocked to find that Luke isn't injured by the attack, but insists on having her colleague look at his bruises. They arrive at the clinic where Claire works to find that it's been worked over and the othe resident doctor -- who turns out to be Noah Burstein the man responsible for Luke getting his powers -- has been attacked by the syndicate looking to convince them into paying a protection fee.
When Claire suggests that they take up Luke's services, Burstein wants to mull it over, questioning the ethics of a Hero for Hire. Luke leaves before Burstein can recognize him as an escaped con. Meanwhile, Diamondback has his inventor Gadget create new gimmicked switch blades to deal with Luke Cage.
While the next day, Luke Cage arranges to rent out an office above the Gem theater, operated by D.W. Griffith, who operates the theater for his uncle. After establishing his office, Luke gets a call from Burstein who tells him to come to the clinic immediately because Claire has been kidnapped. There Luke blows his cover, Burstein pleads for Luke to stop Diamondback.
Tracking Diamondback to his lair, Luke is surprised to find that it is his old friend and betrayer Willis Stryker. Luke is now more determined to defeat Diamondback and bring him in so that he can clear his name. However, during the fight Diamondback falls through a skylight and is blown up by one of his own trick switchblades, ruining any hope Luke had that Stryker could clear his name. Just then Claire arrives with Burstein and the police, and Luke wonders if Burstein will turn him over to the authorities.
Marvel's newest, nitty-grittiest super-star yet! But has he met his match in Diamondback?
- As seen on page one, this issue is Story#944-Z.
- No letters page is published.
- Showing at the Gem Theater this month is Hell Canyon Outlaw and Hang 'Em High. The Gem will continually show a preference for previously released westerns.
- When Luke discovers Doctor Burstein, this leads to a flashback of Luke's past. During this flashback, it is shown how Luke came to acquire his costume. His costume's previous owner was an escape artist, which Luke came to admire. Before Luke chose this costume though, the store's owner presented Luke with a costume in much resemblance of the DC superhero "Shazam". The store owner said he received the costume after the original owner was involved in a lawsuit.
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- 3 Images from Hero for Hire Vol 1 2
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