Who is Marvel’s Blaxploitation Luke Cage Comic Even For, Exactly?

by Charles Pulliam-Moore | Originally posted on Medium

Recently, Marvel sent out a press release teasing Cage –  an upcoming Luke Cage solo comic to be written and illustrated by Genndy Tartakovsky with inks by Stephen DeStefano.

The series, Marvel explains, takes places in late ’70s New York City where the “shoes are big, bottoms are belled and crime is rampant!”

Apparently Tartakovsky’s Cage is meant to be a send-up(?) of the era’s wave of Blaxploitation, which wouldn’t be so much of a problem were it not for the decidedly problematic art style the book it set to have:

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Heavy is the Panther’s Cowl

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic characters in comics, The Black Panther.

Springing to life in the pages of Fantastic Four #52, the Panther’s comic journey has been one fraught with fits and starts. Some people look at Christopher Priest’s run as the definitive arc. Other’s look at Reginald Hudlin’s take as the best representation of the character. One guy at Dr. Comics and Mr. Games comic shop in Oakland felt Jonathan Hickman’s version in Secret Wars was, “The best look for the Panther. No one else got it right.” I’m going to have to refute that and argue that Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze, and Laura Martin’s Black Panther relaunch will be the definitive version of T’Challa, King of the Wakanda, for a long while to come. Instead of gold, the Panther received the gift of a fantastic creative team.

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Just Imagine Stan Lee Wrote the Worst Batman Story Ever Published

Originally posted at WilliamBruceWest.com

With all the talk about Batman v Superman over the past few days, it reminded me that it’s nowhere near the worst story told featuring the Caped Crusader. No, that honor belongs to Just Imagine Stan Lee’s Batman, published in September 2001 — making it the second worst thing to happen to America that month. If you’re unfamiliar with the book, let’s take a step back in time, shall we?

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Why Dwayne McDuffie Was Better Than You

One cannot discuss black excellence (specifically in speculative fiction) without discussing one of the most gifted and progressive storytellers, ever to walk this earth, the late Dwayne McDuffie.

As expected, many discussed the amazing work he and his team did with making Milestone Comics a success, others mentioned his phenomenal work with fellow phenom Bruce Timm creating over a decade of superb animated series and films.

Of course people pointed out that McDuffie paved the way for black storytellers in a way too vanilla-centric medium that is the comic book industry.

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Who Are The Dora Milaje?

The second trailer of Avengers: Age of Ultron featured more than a few surprises. Most notably, a scene that featured a mysterious woman in the cave which had the internet abuzz.

Unfortunately the shot-callers at Disney decided to snatch defeat out of he jaws of victory. After pulling rank on director Joss Whedon with the cave scene,  Disney ultimately pulled a bait & switch in advertising the woman in the second trailer and then removing her from the film.

Based on what is known regarding the plans for Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the character was most likely either Shuri, princess of Wakanda and co-Black Panther, or the Dora Milaje: the elite personal bodyguards of the Black Panthers.

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Character Study: Shuri

The Black Panther himself isn’t the only reason I’m eagerly awaiting the the live action film when it hits theaters in 2018.

Although T’Challa in action is more than reason enough.

The opportunity to see the mythical land of Wakanda, and the fiercely “Adored Ones,” the Dora Milaje, on the big screen is also well worth the price of admission alone.

But as the Captain America, Iron Man and Thor films have illustrated, the supporting players, (Falcon, Bucky Barnes, War Machine, and Lady Sif) will also get an opportunity to take center stage.

This is why I’m hoping T’Challa’s younger sister and fellow Black Panther, Shuri has a featured role in the film.

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Kickstart This: Black

Over the years, we’ve been pretty selective about which crowdfunding campaigns to support on this site. Once in a while, though, a campaign comes through our inbox or news feed that is too brilliant to ignore. The campaign to publish the graphic novel Black is one of those. Created by long time comic pros Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3, with art by occasional NOC contributor Jamal Igle and cover artist Khary Randolph, Black posits the question, what if only Black people had superpowers?

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