Collider's list of recommended Luke Cage issues
Eventually, Luke Cage took a break from the hero life and opened a bar that was sometimes frequented by a private investigator and former superheroine named Jessica Jones. [...]They don't mention that the MAX line - at least in 2001 - wasn't intended to be canon with flagship continuity...although even then, continuity was already being trashed.
Luke’s relationship with Jessica Jones and the attention paid to the character by writer Brian Michael Bendis put the character back on the map, with Luke being a mainstay of New Avengers and Avengers-related comics for about a decade.What, seriously? As I've said before, sales don't prove that by a longshot. So what's their point? Oh, and how does turning him into an Avengers mainstay make up for all the harm done during Disassembled in 2004? When they turn to New Avengers 22, a Civil War tie-in, they say:
Remember what we were saying about Brian Michael Bendis and the New Avengers? While Luke was a part of the series from the beginning, issue #22 of the first volume is one of the greatest Luke Cage stories of all time, as Luke and Jessica decide what is best for themselves and their child in the wake of the superhero civil war. By this point, Cage is not treated as a relic of the 1970s but instead as one of Marvel’s premier characters, and he was a core component in the popular first volume of the New Avengers series; in fact, the first New Avengers Annual was dedicated to the wedding of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, who remain married in the comics to this day.Since when was Luke ever regarded as a mere relic? I don't think he ever was. Besides, if he were, then chances are Danny Rand was too, ditto Misty Knight and Colleen Wing.
But since they bring it up, the extraordinarily poor scripting Bendis and others of his ilk are turning out today is de facto turning all these heroes, major and minor, into relics of a bygone era, and it'll be very difficult to salvage them. On the 2nd volume of New Avengers, they say:
After the return of the traditional Avengers team in a new title (called simply Avengers), Luke Cage was given his own Earth-bound squad, complete with a lease on Avengers Mansion for only a dollar. This team of New Avengers included Cage, The Thing, Iron Fist, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, and Mockingbird, among others. [...]The ridiculous subplot about rent for a mere dollar aside, they overlook that Bendis and company dumbed down the Avengers into a third-rate Defenders or Heroes for Hire, recalling the late 90s series people like John Ostrander scripted. After all, as I've noted before, Spidey, Thing and Wolverine are obvious choices, as opposed to Sersi, Hawkeye, Thor and Scarlet Witch, the latter who was badly mistreated by Bendis. Predictably, no complaints are raised by Collider's staff.
So in the end, how much respect do these reporters have for pop culture figures like Luke Cage, truly? I'd say not much. The terrible way Bendis wrote the leadership for Avengers being passed on only made any attempt to appreciate Cage as an Avenger leader impossible.