Quote1.png Rob'ries, jailbreaks -- anythin'-- nobody 'members an official-lookin' vehicle later an' it pays awful darn good! We's specialists-- Got every angle nailed! Heist a body, take de cat's home an' office keys, an' rip 'em off 'fore day gets closed up. Yeah... we got a one-of-a-kind operation here, boys-- An' it's all yours, thanks to your own Black Mariah. Quote2.png
-- Black Mariah (Mariah Dillard)

Appearing in "Don't Mess With Black Mariah!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • "Pipe-Man"
  • "Blade Artist"
  • Black Mariah's Men
    • Georgie Simms (Unnamed) (First appearance)
    • Little Bob
    • Little Carl
    • Little Al
  • Black Mariah Next Appearance of Black Mariah (First appearance)

Other Characters:

Races and Species:



  • Black Mariah's Fake Ambulance

Synopsis for "Don't Mess With Black Mariah!"

When Frank Jenkin's is murdered in the Gem Theater, Luke Cage informs his widow of his demise. However, Luke is shocked when another ambulance arrives after one already picked up Jenkin's body. When Jenkin's widow shows up at the Gem, Luke tells her the bad news and tells her that he'll find her husband's body -- free of charge. As it turns out Jenkin's body was stolen by Black Mariah, an obese criminal who's men would pose as ambulance drivers and steal people who died in public and loot their possessions.

While tracking down Black Mariah, Luke Cage seeks information from the street informant known as Flea, who sells his information to Cage for fifty dollars. However, Luke refuses to pay until he checks out the information. After Flea's information turns out to be incorrect, Luke still manages to track down Black Mariah and battle her and her goons. During the battle, Luke makes short work of Mariah's men, while Mariah tries to escape in a boat. However, Luke pounces on the boat, destroying it and sending Mariah in the water.

After Black Mariah and her gang are turned over to police, Jenkin's widow arrives on the scene to thank Luke. Flea takes this moment to come to collect payment from Luke. Believing that Luke was trying to make her pay for his services she throws the 50 dollars in his face and storms off. Flea takes the money and leaves, and Luke ponders over his decision to be a "Hero for Hire"


  • This issue contains a letters page, Comments to Cage. Letters are published from Greg Chamberlain, Judy Rivas and Les Baptiste. The letters page reveals that Syd Shores inked last issue.
  • Page one notes in its credits: With special thanks to Archie Goodwin for having it all together.

See Also


  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks

Like this? Let us know!

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.