Iron Fist is cancelled, Titans is launched, and Superman returns to The CW! All this and more on a new episode of Hard NOC Life.
I struggled to write this spoiler free review. I wanted it to stand apart from other reviews, while simultaneously endorsing the hell out of season two of Marvel/Netflix’s Luke Cage. After seven drafts of supernaturally crappy reviews, I decided to do it this way instead — bringing it back to the old school.
The story in brief: In keeping with western metaphor of season one, Luke has matured from gunfighter to sheriff. He is out and about, highly visible, and a pillar of the community. An enemy from “Black” Mariah Dillard’s past shows up to claim his place at the table of the criminal elite. A gang war ensues with Luke Cage ending up where none of us could have predicted.
This weekend news broke that after two issues, Marvel’s Black Panther & the Crew has been canceled.
The series revolved around Black Panther, Storm, Luke Cage, Misty Knight, and Manifold who band together to take on a dangerous wave of street-level threats in this new ongoing series by co-writers Ta-Nehisi Coates (New York Times best-selling author of Between the World and Me and Marvel’s Black Panther) and Yona Harvey (Black Panther: World of Wakanda) and legendary artist Butch Guice!
The death of a Harlem activist kicks off a mystery that will reveal surprising new secrets about the Marvel Universe’s past and set the stage for a big story in the Marvel Universe’s near future. Fear, hate and violence loom, but don’t worry, The Crew’s got this: “We are the streets.”
Anyone who thinks the cancellation has to do with “poor sales” and not the comics’ themes of racial justice and unapologetic blackness can line up and purchase some beachfront property I own in Wyoming.
Spoiler warning: spoilers throughout. Best to read this after watching the whole season! Which I recommend!
It was during a small, nearly throwaway scene deep in episode 10 that it hit me like Jessica Jones’ fist: Luke Cage is the most feminist show I’ve ever seen.
The scene, captured in the screen grab above, features four women characters — four black women, not a one of them under the age of 30 (and none of the actresses under 35) — each of whom is in fundamental conflict with the others, but who come together in two temporary alliances to fight a multi-level battle. Yes, it’s complicated.
As we get closer and closer to the late-2015 premiere date of Jessica Jones, Netflix’s follow-up to the mega-successful Daredevil, the rest of Marvel’s Television Universe is starting to take shape. We all know that Luke Cage is the next series in the pipeline; in fact, Cage is part of the main cast of Jessica Jones, played by Mike Colter. Now, news has come out that the next major Marvel character to get the live action treatment will be none other than Misty Knight, who will be played by Southland’s Simone Missick.
Prolific comic writer Jeremy Whitley (@jrome58) steps into the Hard NOC Life this week to talk about his latest books, including his short story in Marvel Comics’ romance anthology Secret Wars: Secret Love and issue #2 of Princeless: The Pirate Princess from Action Lab Entertainment, both in stores next week.
Nearly two years ago today, Marvel Comics announced its initiative to be more progressive in its comic book lineup. Surprisingly they have stuck with said initiative and it has paid off for them immensely in sales, mainstream interest and general good press. Many of the editorial decisions The House of Ideas have made are commendable.
From introducing Miles Morales, a female Thor, the new Ms. Marvel, to the all female X-Men team, Mighty Avengers, to Storm finally getting her long overdue ongoing solo series, Marvel is renewing its commitment to meet the diverse demographic of its readers. It was this type of initiative that translated into Marvel’s success in the past.
With that being said Marvel has often committed the Cardinal Sin of either shelving or misusing some excellent characters who would definitely result in profitable returns. This might be shocking news for some at Marvel but they do have characters other than Wolverine. Characters, who if given the right opportunity have crossover and mainstream appeal that would result in elevating Marvel’s success to the next level.
The following are five excellent examples of said characters.
[UPDATE 2: I talk more about Marvel Studios considering an Asian American Iron Fist with Andrew Wheeler over at ComicsAlliance.]
Yes, I am proposing that a major comic book institution change the race of one of its popular characters as it transitions to a new form of media. In this case, I want Marvel Studios to cast an Asian American actor to play the lead in the upcoming Iron Fist show it is developing for Netflix. It seems logical enough to me, though as always, there are fans who are urging Marvel to resist changing his race.
Now, I know the topic of cross-racial casting has come up time and time again here at The Nerds of Color. And while there are a contingent of fans who don’t think such things matter — or worse, are vehemently opposed to such casting choices — I can’t help thinking that Iron Fist gives Marvel a chance to add even more diversity to its interconnected cinematic universe. Not to mention that this is a case where changing the race of the character has the potential to actually add layers of depth to the story of said character.