- Latveria is European, Mr. Cage-- I have no black subjects, and-- sad to say-- no one ever emigrates to my land. Thus, in order to pursue them unobtrusively-- for I am not welcome in the United States-- I needed a black, and I needed to hire him. Enter, Luke Cage.
- -- Doctor Doom
Appearing in "Crescendo!"
- Doctor Doom
- Doctor Doom's Renegade Robots
- Primus (leader) (Destroyed)
- Unnamed (but probably based on the number 2) (Destroyed)
- Tertius (aka Terry) (Destroyed)
- Quartus (aka Quad) (Destroyed)
- Frank Jenks (Only in flashback)
- Georgie Simms
- General Manntoff
Synopsis for "Crescendo!"
Furious over the constant attacks on his office, Luke Cage is visited by a businessman seeking his services. Uninterested, Luke shows the man out when he spots one of the thugs that have previously attacked him and chases off after him. However, the thug -- named Georgie Simms -- puts up a decent fight and is able to make his escape.
After visiting Claire, Luke decides to take the job and learns that he is being paid $200 a day to seek out enemies of the businessman's employer who have stolen his technology and are hiding out in the Bedford-Stuyvesant ghetto. Luke tracks them down and is shocked to find that the people he's fighting aren't African-Americans as they appear, but really robots. After destroying one, the others manage to get away.
Curious as to who his mysterious employer is, Luke tracks down the phone number given to him and is shocked once more to find that it's the Latverian embassy. Fighting his way in, Luke learns that he is in the employ of Dr. Doom. Doom explains to him that some of his robots had gone rogue and because he is not liked in America and the robots having disguised themselves as "Black Men", he sought out the services of Luke Cage to deal with the problem. Doom promises to pay Luke upon success in his mission, and Luke resumes tracking down the remaining robots.
However, when Luke destroys all the robots and makes his way back to the Latverian embassy, he is angered to find that Dr. Doom has closed up the embassy and returned to his home-land, skipping on his bill. Furious to no end on being stiffed on a job, Luke vows to get his payment from Dr. Doom, no matter what.
This story is continued next issue...
Luke Cage's latest customer is — Dr. Doom! Looks like none of our halcyon heroes is in for a quiet month, doesn't it?
- The cover misrepresents the story in multiple ways:
- The robots on the cover look nothing like the robots in the story.
- Cage is pulling white skin off the robots on the cover, while in the story they are disguised as African-Americans.
- The robots on the cover are trying to restrain Cage from getting to Doom, while in the story, Doom hires Cage to track them down.
- The Bell telephone operator Cage gets an address from in exchange for a steak dinner is a nod to the comic strip character Friday Foster.
- As seen on page one, this issue is Story #1896Z.
- This issue features a letters page, Comments to Cage. Letters are published from William E. Hoyden, Earthwoman, and Brian Earl Brown.
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