Luke Cage and Morbius: The Living Vampire (two of the most popular characters to bust out of the 1970’s) get their first Marvel Epic Collections in February.
Luke Cage (known to long-time fans as Power Man) is first up with the Luke Cage Epic Collection: Retribution which collects the vast majority of his solo series, before he joined forces with Iron Fist. Volume one encompasses Hero for Hire (1972) #1-16 and Power Man (1974) #17-23. In his earliest adventures (by Archie Goodwin, Steve Englehart, Billy Graham, George Tuska, and Tony Isabella), Cage battles a variety of “out-of-sight” villains such as Black Mariah, Cottonmouth, Mr. Death, Big Ben, the Phantom of 42nd street, and even Doctor Doom.
This collection leaves room at the end to bookend with the rest of the Power Man series before leading to one of the best duos in comic history with the inclusion of Iron Fist’s name on the marquee. There are currently three volumes of Power Man and Iron Fist Epic Collections (although, sadly, the first volume is currently out of print).
Tough guys like Luke Cage weren’t the only staple from Marvel in the 1970s; monsters also came back in a big way with Morbius: The Living Vampire leading the charge out of the shadows. The Comics Code Proof “living vampire” (Get it, not “undead”. What a loop hole!) comes into 2021 with the Morbius Epic Collection: The Living Vampire by Steve Gerber, Don McGregor, Gil Kane, Rich Bucker, and Pablo Marcos.
The first volume includes Morbius’ first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #101-102, as well as the bulk of his solo work in Fear (1970) #20-26, Giant-Size Super-Heroes (1974) #1, Marvel Team-Up (1972) #3-4, and his stories from the Marvel Magazine Vampire Tales (1973) #1-8 (which appear in the original black and white format), and a battle with one of his fellow monsters in Giant-Size Werewolf by Night (1974) #4. These stories include battles with both heroes and villains, including some dust-ups with Blade.
Both editions will be available in February at your local comic book shop and bookstores.
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