Power Man #26 (1975)

Nice Gil Kane cover!

This book has been for the most part painfully bad up to now, so when I saw Steve Englehart in the credits for this issue, I hoped we’d get something good.  And we do–but it’s good in a weird way.

Luke is hired to hunt down a vampire, but it turns out he’s just a guy with pale skin who is pretending to be a vampire to lower property values or something. 

This is apparently an old script Steve wrote for the Kolchak the Night Stalker TV show, adapted for Luke Cage.  This is the last time Steve would write Luke Cage.

We discover in the end that he’s just a self-hating albino who is jealous of Cage’s beautifully dark skin.  Come on now, sing it with me: “Ebony and ivory, living together in perfect harmony….”


You gotta love Englehart.  There were so many times that he came close to being as weird as Steve Gerber, but Englehart always kept his scripts mainstream enough that they didn’t seem completely weird.

1 thought on “Power Man #26 (1975)”

  1. Even as a wee lad in 1975, I could figure out that this one-shot story was heavily inspired-at the least-by the late, lamented, and totally awesome “Night Stalker” TV series, but the news that Steve Englehart actually tried to sell this to Universal as a “Night Stalker” script was a revelation to me. I am always on the lookout for new “Night Stalker” minutiae. Would absolutely love to see the Night Stalker return in some form, but not if it results in another massive piece of crap like the ill-considered and conceived ABC 2005 reboot attempt. ( at least it had Gabreille Union, one of Hollywood’s great heartbreakers in it ) As for Power Man, well, I personally preferred this era of his career to the later era with Iron Fist, because A) I don’t really cotton to ‘Martial Arts’ characters, B) Power Man, like Batman, seems to function better without a sidekick, and, C) Power Man seems to me like the type of brother who would prefer to stick to the ‘hood, to “keep it real”, a desire that he would later convey to the Defenders as a reason for leaving that 99% Caucasian team. ( around issue#40, I believe ) The whole idea behind the creation of ‘Hero For Hire’/’Power Man’ was to try to cultivate and develop a black superhero for black kids to get behind, and having Cage hob-nob with honkies half of the time seems counterintuitive to that strategy. Even today, a healthy percentage of America’s black population avoids the fellowship of white people, and that percentage was REALLY high fifty-plus years ago. So, Power Man works much better in an “urban” setting and environment, which is still no reason why he can’t occasionally head “uptown” to help out the Defenders and the FF as he has been known to do- as long as the checks clear! ( see ‘Defenders#’s 24/25, 39-45, and ‘Fantastic Four’s #168-170 ) Excelsior!


Leave a Comment