POWER MAN AND IRON FIST #2
Written By David Walker
Art by Sanford Greene & Lee Loughridge
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: February 17, 2016
Okay, so this is what happens when you get diverse creators to write stories.
Word is spreading through the criminal underground that Luke and Danny bust up Tombstone to get what people are calling the Supersoul Stone, not realizing they were set up by their old friend Jennie and her accomplice Black Mariah. Through diner fights and conversations with nuns, Luke and Danny become one iota the wiser while Mariah and Jennie move forward with their plans.
Y’all, I cannot get over how awesome a ride Power Man and Iron Fist #2 was. There were some amazing cameos and the story was one of the most hilarious I’ve read in a long time. The entire issue felt Black, and I loved it, because it demonstrates the power of hiring Black and other diverse creators and allowing them to tell a story based on their perspective. This issue is why Black creators need to write Black characters from start to finish and serves as a reminder why creators that belong to other marginalized groups need and deserve to write characters and stories from their perspective.
David Walker truly outdid himself in terms of dialogue and story. Each interaction between the characters reminded me of what it’s like when I speak with other professionals of color in my working life and the freedom of expression in being myself. Walker’s dialogue hits on the value of cultural narratives from creators that can bleed into their stories, making the difference between simple visibility and much more visceral and organic representation of marginalized people. The humor throughout the issue was absolutely on point, with great wisecracks and comedic timing underscoring some truly great dialogue between characters.
In this issue, Sanford Greene’s art feels much more crisp and defined without losing the edge and roughness of the style from the previous issue. Little details like eyes and hair seemed to have a sharpness to them, making each of the characters appear more distinct. Greene is a master of movement, even in panels when characters are stationary, and is adept at imbuing life throughout every panel within the story. Reminiscent of Wizard of Oz’s initial sepia tone, Lee Loughridge continues to employ a sheen of rust that grounds Luke and Danny’s world in realism, despite the growing presence of mysticism. The orange and earthy feel of Loughridge’s colors enhance the lighthearted yet gritty atmosphere within Power Man and Iron Fist #2.
We need more comics, more issues like Power Man and Iron Fist #2 because they feel real. We need these types of stories in many different ways. It’s subtle, but trust that there are distinctions in how marginalized groups speak with others within the group versus those who are more privileged. Walker capitalized on these differences to flesh out a narrative and provide an experience like I’d get walking down the street or communicating with others like me. While this type of story and its elements are important for many reasons, I cannot state enough how grateful I am to see a Black creator at work making a story that isn’t cookie cutter or absent of cultural flare.
What I hope moving forward is that more women show up, as they did in this issue, and that Jessica has her moment to shine at the forefront (though she truly needs and deserves her own comic). I want to see her bust heads at some point, too, because she’s a veritable powerhouse, but also because she doesn’t have to be the housewife, though I recognize she opted to leave superheroics on her own accord.
If you like Luke and Danny, pick up this issue. If you’re a fan of women gawking over Luke, pick up this issue. If you want something funny, engaging, real, and Black, please pick up this issue. Power Man and Iron Fist #2 was even better than the first, and I think we are in for a really fun ride moving forward.
The Verdict: 10/10