Super Power: Luke Cage’s Burnstein Process Makes Him More Than A Super-Soldier

SUPER POWER

IvaN The UnStoppable

IN MARVEL UNIVERSE

LUKE CAGE IS A REFORMED GANGSTER

In ‘Power Man and Iron Fist’ (2016) #4, Power Man and Iron Fist face the menace of Jennie Royce. AP Photo/Marvel Comics

In ‘Hero For Hire’ (1972) #2 , the origin story of Lucas Cage is told.

Having reached adulthood, Luke Cage sought to better himself by finding legitimate employment. He maintained former gang ties and when one of his friends, Stryker, a criminal was hit by the Maggia, Luke saved him. This created a rift with another former gang member Reva who turned to Lucas and broke up with Stryker. Learning this, Stryker planted heroin stolen from Cottonmouth’s place and tipped off the cops. Lucas got arrested for a crime he did not commit and was sentenced to prison.

In prison, Luke was filled with rage over his friend’s betrayal and the supposed loss of his father. He got into brawls and his violent behavior got him transferred to Seagate Prison, one of the toughest prisons.

THE BURNSTEIN PROCESS IS A VARIATION OF THE SUPER-SOLDIER SERUM

At Seagate Prison, Dr. Burnstein was doing medical research on cellular regeneration based on a variant of the Super-Soldier serum. He selected Lucas as a volunteer.

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He immersed Lucas in the “Electro-Biochemical System“, a device that contained an electrical field conducted by an organic chemical compound. When he left equipment unattended, Rackham tampered with the controls, hoping to kill Lucas. However, the treatment was accelerated past its intended purpose causing mutagenic change throughout Lucas’ body, fortifying his cells giving him superhuman strength and durability. Lucas used his new-found powers to escape the prison and make his way back to Harlem. A chance encounter with criminals inspired him to use his new powers for profit.[10]

Luke Cage (Earth-616)

The Burnstein Process granted Luke Cage superhuman abilities, even greater than Captain America such as superhuman strength (he is able to lift up to 50 tons), a healing factor, nigh-invulnerability and superhuman stamina.

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Powers

Burstein Process: Luke Cage possesses various superhuman physical enhancements after undergoing a Super-Soldier experiment known as the Burstein Process, which was designed to increase his body’s cellular regeneration rate.

Luke Cage (Earth-616)

Let’s look at some examples of Luke Cage’s Burnstein Process super power in battles.

IN ‘UNCANNY X-MEN’ #12, LUKE CAGE FIGHTS NAMOR UNDERWATER

In ‘Uncanny X-Men’ (2012) #12, Luke Cage fights Namor underwater. AP Photo/Marvel Comics.

In ‘Uncanny X-Men’ (2012) #12, the Avengers and the X-Men are searching for Hope at Tabula Rasa.

Cyclops sends Sunspot, Namor and Hepzibah to Tabula Rasa, while the Avengers send Thing, Luke Cage and She-Hulk.

The Avengers stumble upon a cave, investigate and are attacked by creatures. Meanwhile, the X-Men and the Queen also investigate. Then, Namor discovers Luke Cage and a battle ensues.

Namor attacks Luke Cage with an airborne piledriver then tosses Luke into the river. Using the Burnstein Process, Luke Cage holds his breath underwater. Noting that Luke can’t breathe nor speak, Namor says Luke Cage is weakening. Then, Luke Cage draws a punch. Namor exclaims “Imperius Rex” and responds with a devastating punch that creates a wave out of the water.1

Then, Namor knocks out both She-Hulk and Luke Cage by using Luke Cage as a bludgeon.

OUTCOME: LUKE CAGE LOSES BY KNOCKOUT

IN ‘POWER MAN’ #48, POWER MAN DEFEATS IRON FIST BY HOLDING HIM IN A CHOKE HOLD, NEARLY KILLING HIM

In  ‘Power Man’ (1977) #48, Luke Cage defeats Iron Fist by holding him in a choke hold, nearly killing him. AP Photo/Marvel Comics

Power Man arrives at Danny Rand’s apartment looking for Misty Knight but instead finds Colleen Wing. Luke Cage attacks Colleen who calls Danny and Misty for help. Danny arrives and a fight follows between Luke Cage and Danny Rand. Using his Burnstein Process super power, Power Man uses superior strength and holds Iron Fist in a choke hold that nearly kills him.

Not wanting to be a killer, Power Man stops himself.

OUTCOME: POWER MAN WINS BY NEAR DEATH

FEAT OF THE DAY: IN ‘CAGE’ #20, THE HUMAN TORCH FREES LUKE CAGE FROM THE BOGEYMAN WITH A SEMI-NOVA

In ‘Cage’ #20, the Human Torch frees Luke Cage from the bogeyman with a semi-nova. AP Photo/Marvel Comics
In ‘Cage’ #20, the Human Torch frees Luke Cage from the bogeyman with a semi-nova. AP Photo/Marvel Comics
In ‘Cage’ #20, the Human Torch frees Luke Cage from the bogeyman with a semi-nova. AP Photo/
Marvel Comics

SOURCES

Power Man and Iron Fist Vol 3 4 in Marvel Database.
Hero for Hire Vol 1 2 in Marvel Database.
Luke Cage (Earth-616) in Marvel Database.
Uncanny X-Men Vol 2 12 in Marvel Database.
Power Man Vol 1 48 in Marvel Database.
Cage #20 in Comic Vine.

FOOTNOTES

  1. Uncanny X-Men #12.

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