Earlier this year, Marvel wowed fans with an incredible trailer for “Luke Cage,” the “Jessica Jones” spinoff that premieres this Friday on Netflix. We got to see the hero of Harlem stride down a corridor while bad guys emptied dozens of clips worth of bullets into him. Thanks to his bulletproof skin, he gets through it without a scratch.
But as fans who saw “Jessica Jones” know, having skin that’s tougher than a tank doesn’t mean that Luke is indestructible. In that series, Jessica was forced to blast Luke right in the face with a shotgun. Though the bullet bounced right off his skin, the whiplash caused his brain to slam against the inside of his skull, resulting in severe trauma that nearly killed him.
Every superhero has his kryptonite, so what is Luke Cage’s? What is he vulnerable to, and how could the crime lord Cottonmouth find a way to subdue him in the upcoming series?
Well, for starters, you could fill his shoes with cement, throw him in the Hudson River and have him sleep with the fishes. Luke Cage’s impenetrable skin wouldn’t save him from drowning.
Another weak point for Luke Cage may be his eyes. He survived Jessica’s shotgun blast because a nurse was able to stick an IV needle through his eye to drain excess brain fluid. Some comic book writers have made Luke’s eyes as impenetrable as his skin, but it seems that’s not the case in the MCU. Aiming for the eyes might be the way to bring him down.
There’s always the possibility of poisoning him, though it might take an extremely lethal dose to do it. Along with his bulletproof skin, Luke Cage has strength and a healing factor, making the rest of his body more resilient than the normal human being. Just as it takes a big gun at point-blank range to do any damage, it would require either a corrosive acid or a very potent poison in order to harm Cage.
Then, of course, there’s the possibility that Luke could come down with some sort of medical issue that would require an operation to fix. As we saw in “Jessica Jones,” that’s impossible. Luke’s skin would prevent any surgeon from making an incision. That means that any serious damage to Luke’s intestines, lungs or heart would be near impossible to fix by traditional means.
Also, while Luke is resistant to radiation, he’s not invulnerable to it. In the “Age of Ultron” comic book event series, Luke is killed by radiation poisoning following a nuclear strike from Ultron’s sentinels, though it takes time for the effects of the strike to do him in.
But the best way to bring down Luke can be found in another famous Marvel superhero: Wolverine. The one thing that can break through Luke’s skin is adamantium, the world’s hardest metal and the coating around Wolverine’s bones and claws.
On the other hand, while Luke would be in trouble if he had to fight anyone with an adamantium blade, a scalpel made from that metal would certainly solve his surgery problem.
A couple episodes into “Luke Cage,” a new weapon — one that is original to the show — is introduced that may also do the trick: the so-called Judas bullet. Don’t worry, we aren’t going to spoil what exactly that is here, but if you’re curious you should check out our piece discussing what the Judas bullet exactly is. It’s best seen with your own eyes anyway.