retro Heroes for Hire mini, anyone?

Your man Dan Panosian (X-factor: Forever, Drink and Draw, Volume 1) has worked up a fresh proposal for a new Heroes for Hire miniseries set in the seventies (for all my readers who can't let go of the classic 'sweet christmas' Luke Cage), tentatively called Brothers & Gangsters. If Marvel doesn't do this, I will say "Marvel doesn't care about Black People" the next time I'm on TV or radio (which does happen from time to time), at the most inappropriate time possible.

Of course, there's always a lot of controversy surrounding Luke Cage. I think it starts with how Cage was created (Marvel's basic attempt to capture some of that Blaxploitation paper), and deepens with all attempts to 'fix' him in a "post-racial" (chuckle) world... And I for one, love every minute of it! It's my inclination to take character continuity at face value, and to seek solutions that enhance continuity, not destroy it. Half of comics fans hate the blaxploitation-inspired Luke Cage with his afro, metal headband and silk shirt opened to his navel. Others love that version and hate the attempts to update him, from Brian Azzerello and Richard Corben's thugnificent potrayal in CAGE to Brian Michael Bendis' nondescript-and-constantly bare-chested-for-no-reason version in New Avengers.

I love the original Luke Cage, but I applaud the attempts to update him. I for one LOVED Azzarello and Corben's take on him. At the time, cats like Fitty and DMX were dominating the pop charts. It made sense to me that pop-gangster rap was the new blaxploitation, and that it would influence the updating for Luke Cage. That's probably the same energy behind Bendis' interpretation, although he toned down the hip hop vibe, and has made him seem more mature, which I like. I always see Ving Rhames as the perfect Luke Cage because I think the only solution with Cage is for him to grow older. He should retain his seventies roots, but show that he is older and wiser now (I get that feel from his portrayal in the new Thunderbolts). The shaved bald head is his way of dealing with age, not just a way to fit in with "urban" fashion. In fact, some of his behavior could be explained as a kind of struggle against aging. Like "look at me... I still got it"... It makes more sense to me to let Cage get older to preserve his past continuity without the need to be tied down by it. You can always use flashback stories (people never get tired of talkin' about the glory days) to pander to fanboy nostalgia.
anyways, for whatever reason, the other members of the old Power Man and Iron Fist cast (every one of them a product of the same pre-PC marketing grab) somehow seem immune to this scrutiny. There's nothing politically correct about the immortal Iron Fist... and Colleen Wing looks fully asian on one day, and fully white the next, and no one bats an eye about either of them. Of course, nobody better say NOTHIN' bad about Misty Knight if they know what's good for 'em!  Whatever the case, I love these characters, and would gladly suffer an out-of-continuity seventies mini (especially if the born-again-hard Dan Panosian is on art chores) if that's what it takes to see this crew together again. For the record, that Civil War: Heroes for Hire mini/TPB starring Misty and Colleen was okay.... there are others out that I need to read, but a new joint with the whole gang back would be sweet!
okay, I guess I said enough stuff for you to disagree with... I'll see you in the comments!

4 comments:

B_Steelo said...

I liked that comic

samax said...

"Power Man" aka luke cage was probably the first black superhero I read regularly in comics. PM & IF was written by Chris Clairemont and Drawn by John Byrne at the time, and JB was my first Fave artist, so I hunted it down and devoured all the issues I could!

Urban Barbarian said...

Hey, I wanted to drop you a line and give you some serious thanks for the support. I'm really hoping this happens at Marvel. I'll keep you updated. Much, much appreciated.

samax said...

no problem! WE wanna see this happen just as much as YOU do!

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