‘Power Man & Iron Fist’ Buddy Up Again Courtesy Of David F. Walker & Sanford Greene
One of comics' best known buddy teams, Luke Cage and Danny Rand, will make a comeback early next year courtesy of a new Marvel series from the creative team of David F. Walker and Sanford Greene. Titled Power Man & Iron Fist, the book will be the second new Marvel title by a black writer/artist creative team following the recent announcement of a new Black Panther series by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze.
Luke Cage was created in 1972 by Archie Goodwin and John Romita Sr., while Iron Fist followed in 1974, created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. Both characters were inspired by popular entertainment trends of the era; Cage by blaxploitation cinema, and Iron Fist by the martial arts trend. The characters were paired up as Heroes for Hire in 1978.
Though both characters have had solo titles since, to many readers they're at their best as a partnership, and those fans apparently include series writer Walker, who placed the characters at the top of his wishlist as a double act when talking to Axel Alonso. He told Fast Company, which broke the announcement, "[T]his was something that I’d wanted to see for years and years. That particular duo, they're so iconic. As a writer, you love interesting characters, and those two characters are so fun to delve into. They are the ultimate bromantic couple."
Marvel has indicated that it wants to expand its talent pool to reach wider audiences, so it's interesting to note that Walker says he started talking to Alonso about a year ago. In reference to the Coates/Stelfreeze Black Panther announcement he said, "You can’t broker a deal like that over a weekend, you know? It takes time."
Also on the subject of greater diversity at Marvel, Greene told Fast Company: "[I]t’s going to go beyond just the creator side. I hope I’m not going too far ahead here ... but from my understanding, it’s going to happen on the administrative side as well. I tell people, stay tuned." Marvel never lets anything run in an interview like this without its approval, so you can consider that a Marvel-endorsed statement.
The new Power Man & Iron Fist book embraces current continuity, with Cage now a husband and father, but will also tie in to next year's Luke Cage TV series on Netflix by using some of the villains that have been cast for that show, most notably Black Mariah and Tombstone.
It's not known at this point if other established supporting characters will make an appearance, beyond Cage's wife Jessica Jones and infant daughter Danielle. We're obviously keeping our fingers crossed for Danny Rand to reunite with Marvel's all-time greatest character, Misty Knight, more recently seen in the pages of the All-New Captain America series.
The title of Power Man passed to Afro-Dominican teen superhero Victor Alvarez in 2010, and the character has been using that title both in partnership with Iron Fist and serving alongside Cage in New Avengers and Mighty Avengers. Presumably Alvarez won't get to be Power Man anymore. (Update: writer Al Ewing has confirmed to us on Twitter that Alvarez will in fact continue to use the Power Man identity in his upcoming New Avengers title, so Marvel is following the example of Hawkeye and Spider-Man in having two characters with the same identity.)
Power Man & Iron Fist #1 launches in early 2016.