To my pleasant surprise, Marvel started a new Power Man and Iron Fist series… AKA The Heroes for Hire are back (as much as Luke Cage might deny it). I know a lot more about Luke Cage than I should. While Earth’s Mightiest Heroes was sort of my introduction to the larger Marvel Universe (Guardian’s of the Galaxy, for example, was experienced for the first time by me in that great cartoon series), I knew about this no-name street-level super hero before that.
I used to frequent this sort of collaborative storytelling forum (which is just a fancy way of calling it D&D without the dices and entirely written, a RP’ing site for lack of better term) where we would play Marvel characters. To apply for a character, you had to write an extensive amount of information on their history up to the site’s timeline, their powers, and, you know what, just about everything down to their favorite food. Okay, maybe not that far. But doing the biography was about a 10K short story unto itself. Which, needless to say, meant I learned way more than I needed to from Luke Cage. But why not. There weren’t many black superheroes, and he was a total bad ass with insane powers without being a world-renown hero a la the Avengers, it was perfect.
Alright, we’ve got my history with Luke Cage out of the way.
Luke Cage has also been in Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, he’s popped up in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, he’s a much younger one-note version of himself in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon show, and, he’s getting his very own Netflix series at some point in 2016. And Iron Fist is also getting his own in 2017 or 2018. I’m actually praying that both of them merge into a single show after the first season for a fun Heroes for Hire series.
The relationship between Power Man and Iron Fist is one you might expect. Luke Cage is the bulky powerhouse of the team, he’s not as vocally over the top, he’s cool and collected and level-headed. Iron Fist lets his mouth get ahead of himself, he’s ultra-confident and snarky. Jennie, their old friend, just got out of jail (she killed her possessed super-hero boyfriend to get in there) and Power Man and Iron Fist feel guilty about leaving her there. Although initially it seems as if Jennie might not blame them for her situation, you can sort of tell when they have the ole’
“Are you sure there’s nothing you can do for you?”
“There’s this thing…”
And you know the rest. Power Man and Iron Fist isn’t anything revolutionary in terms of its plot. It hits some familiar beats you’ve probably seen a hundred times played out. I didn’t necessarily mind that. I got Power Man and Iron Fist to see a pair of characters I really enjoy interact and having fun, that’s exactly what I got. Iron Fist and Luke Cage are best friends but they’ve been out of the business for a long time. That doesn’t stop Iron Fist wishing they were back together (and after a run-in with awesome Spectacular Spider-Man villain Tombstone, it only helps Iron Fist’s case) but Luke Cage is married to Jessica Jones and has a kid (which means he doesn’t have time for that fiddle-faddle lifestyle).
I know this is almost a cash-in on the rise of Defenders characters on Netflix but I’m so glad Marvel pulled the trigger on this. And it almost makes me wish we get to see characters like Tombstone, and Black Mariah in the Netflix series. And without getting on too much of a tangent, do you think maybe Tom Holland’s ego isn’t big enough to get him on those shows on the cheap?
The art in this one stands out too, it’s very different but it works really well. It has a very distinct urban feel and it definitely stands out from the pack, alongside the simple delight of watching Luke Cage and Iron Fist interact, the art style is so easy to watch and absorb and the colors are a nice mish-mash of vibrant colors but not overly so.
In short, yeah, I’m totally getting issue #2 of this series.