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Avengers Re-Imagined

Avengers Re-Imagined: Luke Cage & Iron Fist

The Heroes For Hire emerge as Earth's Mightiest in the House of M

By Ben Morse


In the world we know, the name "Avenger" comes with a certain amount of distinction. It labels one as a member of an elite fraternity dubbed "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" and represents the apex of what a champion for good can achieve. Beginning next Wednesday, November 14, writer Christos Gage and artist Mike Perkins, the creative team behind last year's UNION JACK mini-series, reunite for a return to the alternate reality ruled by mutants introduced in 2005's landmark "House of M" event. The five-issue HOUSE OF M: AVENGERS will explore what it means to be an Avenger in a very different kind of world. For the next week leading into the debut of HOUSE OF M: AVENGERS, each day Marvel.com will spotlight two of the book's cast of familiar but changed faces with Gage and Perkins exploring the journey they took to re-imagine these classic Marvel characters. Today we kick things off with the core of this strange world's Avengers, Luke Cage & Iron Fist. In a place where everything we know has changed, one thing remains the same: the world still needs Avengers.

Luke Cage in

IN OUR WORLD: Framed for drug possession by his friend and fellow gang member Willis Stryker, Carl Lucas wound up in prison for a crime he didn't commit. After volunteering for an experiment that granted him unbreakable skin and incredible strength, Lucas escaped jail and set himself up as a "Hero for Hire" under the alias Luke Cage. Forming alliances with other heroes such as Iron Fist and the Fantastic Four, Cage gradually scaled back his mercenary tendencies and became a true hero, even joining the Avengers. CHRISTOS GAGE: "Luke Cage is the character we follow. His origin is similar to the one in the regular Marvel Universe which is that a former friend of his was after his girlfriend, so he planted drugs in Luke's apartment and got him thrown in jail for a crime he didn't commit. However, in this world, the human-mutant war was raging at that time, which was about 1979, and the U.S. government was trying to create super soldiers to fight the mutants. They were basically testing the process on prisoners. So, that's how Luke gets his power in this world, he breaks out

Luke Cage in

and goes on the run Whereas in our world, the same thing happens and he eventually clears his name and goes legit, that doesn't happen in this world, because when he got out, Magneto had won the war and the world was ruled by mutants. There was no place for him. He ended up going back to New York, which had changed drastically just in the time he was gone, now that humans were the minority, and he ends up becoming the leader of a criminal organization in 'sapien town.' But somewhere along the way they evolve into freedom fighters." MIKE PERKINS: The big guy with the yellow shirt and the silver tiara. Every time I draw a scene of him walking down the street, the sweet jangle of blaxploitation soundtracks in my ear, baby!" IRON FIST

Iron Fist in

IN OUR WORLD: When he turned nine years old, Danny Rand accompanied his father, wealthy businessman Wendell Rand, and mother, Heather, on a pilgrimage to the mystical city of K'un-L'un, where Wendell had grown up and trained in the martial arts. During the trip, Wendell's jealous partner Harold Meachum, who also loved Heather, betrayed the Rands and left them to die with only Danny being saved by archers from K'un-L'un. Trained in martial arts as his father was by Lei Kung the Thunderer, at age 19, Danny defeated the dragon Shou-Lao to gain the power of the Iron Fist and become K'un-L'uns defender. Journeying back to the United States, Rand took back his father's business from Meachum and established himself as a hero, doing the legacy of Iron Fist proud to this day. CHRISTOS GAGE: "In this world [Luke Cage and Iron Fist are] still buddies, but they're not as close because their backgrounds are so different. In this world, the mystic city of K'un-Lun gets destroyed by Magneto. Iron Fist is consumed with guilt, because he had left to pursue the murderer of his father and he feels like if he'd been there he might have been able to help stop it, because he's the champion of the city. So he has all this guilt over that, and he's a more introverted, more brooding character in the House of M world. Even though he and Luke are friends, he's probably closer to the Sons of the Tiger and the other martial art characters."

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