Early next year, Marvel’s favorite heroes-for-hire will reunite once more in the ongoing series Power Man and Iron Fist, written by David Walker (Shaft) with art by Sanford Greene (Runaways, Uncanny Avengers)
First appearing as a duo in 1978, Luke Cage and Danny Rand became instant hits for their unique spin on the business side of the superheroism, righting whatever wrongs they could for those who were incapable of defending themselves. For David Walker, like many others, the allure was almost immediate.
“I’ve loved these two characters since before they even teamed up. When Power Man and Iron Fist first teamed up back in the late 1970s, their title quickly became one of my favorite books, and it was always something I fantasized about writing. Seeing them back together is like being reunited with your oldest friends.”
One of the more pressing matters Walker hopes to balance in Power Man and Iron Fist is infusing more diversity within the series yet doing so in an organic manner. Marvel has been hitting home runs lately with the introductions of a woman Thor and an Asian Hulk, promoting Sam Wilson to the mantle of Captain America, casting Miles Morales as the vanguard of the Spider-Man brand, and most recently signing Ta-Nehisi Coates to write Black Panther. With greater representation comes greater resistance, which Walker is willing and ready to face.
“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 want 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.”
A storied team within the history of the Marvel Universe, Luke Cage and Danny Rand have been present for a majority of the company’s memorable events and storylines – together or apart – for nearly 40 years. A lot has occurred in the characters’ personal lives and Walker is enthusiastic to continue advancing their long-standing relationship for new readers and well versed fans.
“Luke has grown more than most characters have in the past 35 to 40 years,” says Walker. “He has a kid, he’s married to someone who is a prominent player in the Marvel universe… In comics as in real life, once you have a kid, everything is different.”
Series editor Jake Thomas is rightly confident in Walker and Greene’s abilities in weaving a new chapter for the illustrious duo, while respecting their exploits and rogues of yesteryear. “David and Sanford are both extremely well versed in the background of these characters, the world they’re from, but they’re also bringing 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.”
Focus your chi and keep your ear to the streets early 2016, because you don’t want to miss David Walker and Sanford Greene’s Power Man and Iron Fist!