New CAGE AND FIST comic by @DavidWalker1201 and @SanfordGreene shows what @MARVEL is getting right (and wrong)

NOTE: Luke Cage doesn't like being called Powerman anymore, so I will be referring to the new  Powerman and Iron Fist series by David Walker and Sanford Green as Cage and Fist.  You should too...

I don't really buy a lot of comics anymore. Monthly comics have really gotten away from being a feel-good purchase. Most of the time, I tell myself I'll buy the trade, but Marvel has priced their trades out of being a good deal. And DC is... well, DC.
Then came the Diversity War.  Somebody somewhere decided that black people and women have money that spends just as good as anyone else's.  Next thing you know, Captain America is black, Deadpool knows the words to Shoop, Ms. Marvel is a teenage Muslim, and Thor has ample bosom.   This would set off my pander-o-meter except for one thing:
All these comics are dope now.

Greene's cover to Cage and Fist #2 perfectly captures the spirit of Marvel's resurgent odd couple

Another welcome effect of the Diversity War is that Marvel is hiring all my favorite underground writers and artists, like David Walker and Sanford Greene, the team behind Cage and Fist.

 If you didn't know already, David Walker is the shit, and Sanford Greene is the perfect artist for the bromantic action comedy Walker has launched here.  I've been a fan of Sanford Greene for a long time, and like his Ledhevy bredren Skottie Young (Rocket Racoon, the Wizard of Oz books), Greene has loosened his inking hand into a faster, more painterly style reminiscent of indie superstar Paul Pope.

The result is a fun, anything-goes visual spirit to match Walker's witty buddy-action banter.  I'm not usually a cheerleader for nostalgia, but Walker and Greene perfectly recapture the pleasant feel that made Powerman and Iron Fist a fun read back in the eighties, when comics were starting to slide into grimsville post-Watchmen/DKR. Likewise, Cage and Fist is a welcome relief from a comics industry that is a little bit too taken with house styles, over-designed costumes, and Hollywood pandering. After decades of stumbling around to find a place for Luke and Danny, Marvel has successfully brought these exploitation-era characters into the twenty first century.  After the considerable love shown to these characters in dead serious runs by heavyweight writers like Brian Michael Bendis (New Avengers, Mighty) and Ed Brubaker (Immortal Iron Fist), an equally skilled David Walker is loosening them up.
If the brass running the Marvel Cinematic Universe are smart (and I'm not QUITE saying they are), they will take the hint on tone. Luke Cage and Iron Fist should have respectful, serious tones on their solo netflix shows, but in the inevitable Cage and Fist/ Heroes for Hire team-up show, an action comedy specialist like Shane Black should be running it on some Lethal Weapon, Last Boy Scout, Long Kiss Goodnight tear-the-club-up buddy superhero type shit.

C'mon, Hollywood...
But I will not be surprised if they fuck that up. After all, they already cast Alfre Woodard as Black Mariah, in the latest episode of Fat Black Women Cain't Have Nothin' (don't even get me started on how Hollywood insists on fucking up Amanda Waller). I guess i need to take the time to address the hatred Hollywood has for fat women (especially black women) some other time, but I definitely applaud Walker and Greene making it a non-issue by knocking shit out the park with this redesign of the Black Mariah for Cage and Fist.
 (You'll see this Black Mariah redesign page again when I write that post about how comics artists try hard to make characters unique while Hollywood tries to make them all the same...)
Once again, the Blaxploitation expert behind BadAzzMofo and the Shaft revival shows that he knows how to bring this shit into the hip hop era, and Greene is the perfect partner for his plans.  After reading the first two issues, I'd say the synergy between Walker and Greene is as important to the book as the hilarious dysfunction between Luke and Danny is.  Still, if Marvel trades were affordable, I probably would'a skipped the individual issues of Cage and Fist to tradewait. But since Marvel insists on smoking me out on price, I've bought issues one and two, and will buy three when it comes out.  It reads well s monthly issues, and the pace satisfies like an eighties comic, if the price does not.
I hope Cage and Fist does well, because the approach taken on this book supports diversity in all areas, and more importantly,  it's entertaining as hell.  So good job, Marvel! Try not to fuck it up . . .

Samax Amen is a professional Content Developer, Illustrator and Cartoonist. Click here to hire him to breathe life into your concepts. 
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Phillip Magana said...

I'm digging the Cage/Fist book so far, and hope Marvel lets the creative team do its fun thing on it.

samax amen said...

Me too. There's a crossover on the horizon, though...

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