Marvel and “The Defenders” have begun to make their mark on television with their Netflix original series line. The most recent Defender to be introduced was Luke Cage, and people tended to like him. Netflix accomplished a great feat: they introduced characters that people may have heard of but didn’t really know much about. They gave those characters depth by making them believable, not just superheroes with silly one-liners. The success Netflix and Marvel have had with “The Defenders” has spawned a new interest in characters once forgotten. Reports are confirming that Marvel is taking advantage of this boost in popularity. They’re creating a new ongoing comic book series about Luke Cage that will be released in May of this year.
The writer of “Power Man and Iron Fist”, David Walker, and artist of “The Magdalena”, Nelson Blake II, are leading the charge. Both men are experienced. David Walker has been writing the Luke Cage and Iron Fist collaboration series for almost a year. It was first released on February 17, 2016. Nelson Blake II has been an illustrator for “The Magdalena”, “Romulus”, and “Ms. Marvel (2015)”. The problem with David Walker being the writer of the new Luke Cage comic series is that “Power Man and Iron Fist” will be ending. Fans of the series will have to convert to a solo Luke Cage book without his trusty pal, Danny Rand (aka Iron Fist).
A solo Luke Cage comic series has high expectations due to the success of its Netflix counterpart. People want more out of this character than ever before, and it’s up to the creators to make this happen. They are responsible for balancing Cage in regards to what is expected in a comic book and not a TV show. The two are completely different (i.e. like on The Walking Dead). This will be difficult because of what people have already seen on Netflix. Yet, the TV series didn’t do everything perfectly for the character. Imperfection leaves room for David Walker and Nelson Blake II to twerk Luke in a way that makes sense for what they are wanting to get across in the comics.
Change will be necessary in order for Luke Cage the comic to stand out from Luke Cage the TV show. Otherwise, we would be reading the same material that was presented to us on our televisions; and that wouldn’t be fun. That’s why creators tend to change their source material when it makes it to the big (or small) screen or vice versa. Any fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series by George R. R. Martin knows what I’m talking about. The TV show (Game of Thrones), which is based on the books, changed major characters and removed plot lines. But this sort of adjustment is necessary in order to maintain a balance between what people see on TV, and what they read in books. I have confidence that David Walker and Nelson Blake II will find that balance.