Your favorite bromantic couple are back back to defend the streets of New York in a new volume of Power Man and Iron Fist! Announced through Fast Company Marvel revealed that Cyborg writer David Walker and Runaways artist Sanford Greene would be the creative team responsible for bringing the defenders into a new age for the House of Ideas.
Marvel editor Jake Thomas explains why these would well together on a project such as this: "David and Sanford are both extremely well versed in the background of these characters, the world they're from but they're also bring their own style to this. Expect some solid, old-school Marvel characters -- both enemies and allies like, say, Tombstone and Black Mariah -- to show up."
Marvel seems to have found a good partnership for these two as they themselves are big fans of these characters. Green said of the iconic duo: "Growing up as an African-American kid, you identify with these characters. Luke was one of those characters that impacted me. And it was always a dream project to get to work on him. It was the cherry on top to find out it would be Iron Fist as well."
During the announcement Walker also discussed some of the black lash that Marvel had received from fans and critics in regards to their being a lack of diversity in their creative staff and critic reaction to Ta-Nehisi Coates being hired to write Black Panther. "People use the words diversity and representation a lot these days, but it's important to draw the distinction between diversity and representation being a marketing ploy versus an ideological shift. Saying, 'This is how I want to live my life, this is how I wand to run my business.' It's a difficult conversation to have for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. This particular project has been in development for quite some time - and during that time, people were blasting Marvel and DC and other publishers about their lack of diversity and representation, but then you're sitting there at a convention wanting to go 'Hey! Guess what book I'm writing!' but you can't. Then a book gets announced, like Black Panther, and there were people who were like, 'Oh, yeah, Marvel just got those guys to shut all the critics up.' I'm like - they got a guy who is one of the best writers in the country right now! You can't broker a deal like that over a weekend, you know? It takes time."
This is interesting commentary coming from inside Marvel. On the outside, especially during the 'Hip-Hop Variant' covers that were being released, Marvel was under scrutiny for marketing to black readers but actually hiring black creators. Walker and Green's perspective and being life long fans of the characters will no doubt enrich the canon of this beloved property but bring new perspective to comics at large.
It is also a welcoming sight to see the progressive tone that Greene is brining to Luke Cage and Danny Rand. Iron Fist is fitted with also a Bruce Lee Game of Death style jumpsuit and sneakers yet still maintaining the 1970's disco popped collar while no tiara or chain belt can be found on Mr. Cage. Instead, he's a modern man who likes mustard yellow.
"As much as I'd love to put the tiara in there...but I did want to play off their classic looks. [The original costume] is a very highly regarded look, so I wanted to key in on some of that and make it look current, I wanted to play more into his new role as a husband and a father - more 'business casual."
It seems as though it has been forever since we've seen the original Heroes for Hire at Marvel. While Luke Cage and Iron Fist have been highly visible in their time as Avengers under Brian Michael Bendis, we really haven't seen just the two of them in their own adventures. Where and how they'll fit not only in new revamped Marvel as result of the Secret Wars but in present day remains to be unseen. Comics always mirror what is happening in our world so it will be interesting to see how their friendship take on major racial issues that are seem in America. Especially the view point of Luke Cage, being a husband in a interracial marriage and a father, his point of view as well as those of Walker and Greene are so valuable and are important voices for the world of comics and beyond.
Writer's Note: So far, I have to say that I am really enjoying the art that has been released so far, but is it me or does Iron Fist look like Fran Kranz from Cabin in the Woods...?