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Why Marvel's New Power Man May Be The Strongest Superhero Ever

Contains spoilers for Marvel Comics' "Timeless" #1 

In Marvel's far future, Power Man has become one of the strongest heroes in existence. However, despite his extraordinary abilities derived from several other formidable heroes, Luke Cage has an enemy who rivals his powers in Immortal Moon Knight. Cage's attempts to stop him set up a potentially universe-shattering battle between mighty beings.

In "Timeless" #1 (by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, Juan Cabal, and VC's Travis Lanham), readers are taken to a dark future where the Earth is facing extinction at the hands of the Immortal Moon Knight, a villain with the combined powers of StarkTech, the Eternal Machine, and Khonshu, the God of the Moon. Cage, the planet's last hero standing amidst cataclysm across the galaxy, is the only person capable of stopping Moon Knight's reign. But, taking down Moon Knight is more than just about saving the world for Cage, as he knows behind the mask of the blood-hungry villain is one of his closest former friends: Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist.

But how does a hero, even one with the incredible abilities of the future Power Man, stop a threat on an unprecedented cosmic level? You need one of the biggest power upgrades ever seen in comics. Cage's last stand to save Earth occurs as he wields the extraordinary abilities of several of his former allies, including the Hulk, Sentry, and Iron Fist. 

Power Man's name gets an all-new meaning

Power Man's name becomes quite literal in "Timeless" #1, as he is the last survivor of the Age of Heroes.

With the Immortal Moon Knight ready to wipe out Earth, Power Man reveals himself. Calling him a powerhouse might be understating his abilities. Cage is the last confessor of the Sentry, indicating he was given the powers of a million exploding suns and possesses the Void, the dark reflection of the Golden God's powers. Additionally, Power Man has the powers of The Hulk, as he shares he's looked through the green door, reality's connection to the Below-Place, the home of the One Below All, and gained the strength of the Jade Giant. If that wasn't enough, Power Man has Iron Fist's powers, as his hand lights up with chi. With Luke Cage's bulletproof skin and potentially more powers not shown gained from others, the future Power Man is one of the strongest heroes ever.

Power Man comes face-to-face with Immortal Moon Knight in the issue, using his combined powers to knock him to the ground, revealing that Khonshu has taken the body of Danny Rand. Power Man uses Hulk's strength and Sentry's flight to knock Moon Knight into space. It's there he finds out Khonshu killed Danny before taking his form. Despite getting his arm sliced off and nearly failing and dying, Power Man combines his incredible powers together to blast through a giant-sized Khonshu who emerges from Danny and takes him out for good. In the process, Cage saves his planet and ensures its people will live to see another day, but is left drifting through space and time.

Power Man's fate is teased

After his battle with Khonshu, Power Man floats across space and time before his body is ripped into pieces. But, in the present-day Marvel Universe, Tony Stark catches his energy reading in space, believing it's high-speed debris that burned out. The issue ends with Cage's body reforming itself in deep space. Like the Hulk and Sentry, killing Power Man is a near-impossible feat. As a result, his tissue and skin emerge as he clutches his fist, indicating his journey isn't quite over.

Is it likely the god-like version of Power Man shows up in the present-day in Earth-616 continuity? Considering his near-infinite upper power level and Luke Cage's existence already, it would be difficult to make room for him alongside the modern-day Avengers or any other heroes since his powers dwarf them significantly. Marvel already has trouble using Sentry due to his overpowered abilities, and Power Man is Sentry plus Hulk and Iron Fist. However, it's not outside the realm of possibility. Since he does seem to be (at least briefly) in the main Marvel Universe, he could eventually reform his body and find a new purpose in a reality that hasn't yet suffered such a dark fate as his own. At the very least, Marvel could feature future Power Man again in next year's annual "Timeless" anthology, in a similar role to this year's issue, as his powers could continue to show glimpses of the future Marvel Universe and stories coming in the new year.

"Timeless" #1 by Marvel Comics is in comic book stores now.