Hey there everyone. Good to see you again. If you haven’t caught the first part of this case study, I highly recommend going and checking that out and coming back. For those that have read it. Welcome back!! It’s been a bit since we last spoke of Marvel Comics’ favorite buddy cop duo, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
Let’s recap. In part one we covered how they came into being a team. How that team set the tone for their dynamic. The shocking and seemingly undeserved end of its very first run, and a couple of ways the team has been revisited since. Powerman and Iron Fist have seen their share of writer passing and honestly not much of captured the same camaraderie that readers fell in love within their first run.
That is until 2016 when Marvel gave the title over to David F. Walker. A writer we have all come to know as nothing short of legendary in the medium. Being the lead mind in great works such as Bitter Root, Cyborg, Shaft, and Luke Cage solo title. Walker came onto the scene ready to nurture this duo into what I can only imagine was his ideal image of them from his childhood.
This reunion series is the best way these two could’ve gotten back together. Luke, a family man. Married to Jessica Jones and raising a daughter with her. Luke is a bit more than just reluctant to getting the band back together. The story starts us off as a direct spiritual successor of Fred Van Lente’s version of these two. With Jennie Royce being released from prison right at the start of the first issue. A wonderful and not at all subtle way to tell the audience, “Hey, it happened. That’s over now.”
These two have no shortage of wonderful dialogue and quips galore. Between Luke trying to reaffirm he has no interest in getting the gang back together, to Jessica Jones asking him about it constantly. This book is a very fun and frankly glorious read and in stark comparison to what we had previously. This series is worlds apart from the five-issue mini-series we got from Van Lente. Not only is Walker able to keep the character development throughout fresh and new. He has a connection to black culture in a way that so much more genuine than Victor Alvarez.
Powerman and Iron Fist have always had this connection to the culture through Luke Cage. Between the quips and conversation, there are many callbacks and love letters to this same culture that separates it from its last run. During the radio segment where they talk about the fight with Manslaughter Marsdale, a caller described him as the spawn of Mr. T and Prince. While having the tone and love that black culture and not the same anger we get through Victor.
One can only speculate as to why Walker decided to go this route with the duo and not the same anger we’ve received previously. If I were to guess, it would be Walker’s connection to the culture. Through that his capability to connect with us on a level that is felt so much that I’m smiling each time you turn the page and see it brimming with rich representation. Whereas Victor constantly makes me feel like someone is telling me my struggle as a black person is not so bad and maybe calling someone master would save my life one day.