Soap Opera Digest: Soap Trek, The Next Generation (June 18, 1996)

Luke & Sonny (General Hospital)

THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD:Shady loner Luke strutted into Port Charles in 1978-and quickly became GH's answer to James Bond. Edgy and streetwise, Luke tackled mob bosses, dodged hitmen, wooed the ladies and literally saved the world-often in the same episode. Today, GH is still a first cousin of the prime-time action series, thanks to the 1993 arrival of moody, mob-connected, sexy Sonny, who showed all the earmarks of vintage Luke during 1994's exciting Puerto Rico remote.

IT'S A DIRTY JOB...Luke worked at the campus disco, but moonlighted for mobster Frank Smith. Years later, ran a strip club (and turned sweet Karen into a drug-addicted stripper) while doing Smith's dirty deeds.

...BUT SOMEBODY'S GOTTA DO IT: Luke has spent his life trying to get out of organized crime, whereas Sonny kind of likes running with the "in" crowd.

WHAT CHANGED LUKE? Laura. Things were great when her passion for danger equaled his, but when she decided to hang up her running shoes and focus on family, Luke had to do some serious soul-searching.

WHAT WILL CHANGE SONNY? Learning to forgive the people who hurt him most. Once he starts trusting Brenda again and makes peace with Mike, he'll be a lot happier.