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Luke Cage, Hero For Hire #1, cover art by John Romita Sr. 

Watch: John Romita Sr. on why he has mixed emotions about Luke Cage's original costume

Contributed by
Aug 18, 2017

The costume is a crucial part in the creation process of just about every superhero. The look, especially at the point of inception, almost always becomes a permanent part of that character, ingrained in most fans' memory whenever they think of that hero.

Few artists in comic book history have had a greater flair for eye-popping costume design than John Romita Sr. He's responsible for such iconic looks as Wolverine's original yellow-and-blue suit, Nova's classic uniform, the Falcon's red-and-white w/wings redesign, the Black Widow's signature dark blue jumpsuit, Ms. Marvel's original duds ... and maybe his best work, the Punisher's legendary skull outfit.

However, there is one costume Romita has mixed feelings about: Luke Cage's swag-tastic original look.

You know the one we're talking about: the wide-open yellow shirt with blue pants and yellow boots, topped off with the metal headpiece, cuffs, and the chain belt. For Bronze Age kids, It was peak '70s Blaxploitation, and it was one of the most instantly recognizable outfits in comics. For Romita, it's a get-up that brings back some regrets.

During SYFY WIRE's extensive interview with the comic book icon, Romita explained why he has "mixed feelings" about Luke Cage's recent prominence in pop culture, thanks to his presence in his Netflix solo series as well as the upcoming team-up series, Marvel's The Defenders, which is now available for streaming on Netflix. As he sees it, he thinks he went too far with the costume design and always wished he had changed certain elements of that original outfit.


1970s-era original Marvel Superheroes art by John Romita Sr. 

It's rare to hear any creator, let alone one with such a storied career as Romita, question his own creative choices. That kind of honesty is yet another admirable quality of a man responsible for so many key elements in the Marvel Universe. Check out the video clip and let us know what you think in the comments below!

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