"About a year ago or so, [Marvel editor] Axel Alonso asked me to list all the characters that I wanted to work with the most," said Walker in the Fast Company announcement. "He said, 'Don't be limited -- go as big as you want.' At the very top of that list were Luke Cage and Danny Rand, and I put in parentheses after their names: 'as a team.' Because this was something that I'd wanted to see for years and years. That particular duo, they're so iconic. As a writer, you love interesting characters, and those two characters are so fun to delve into. They are the ultimate bromantic couple."
Artist Greene is also proud to be working on the new "Power Man and Iron Fist" series. "Growing up as an African-American kid, you identify with these characters," said Greene. "Luke was one of those characters that impacted me. And it was always a dream project to get to work on him. It was the cherry on top to find out it would be Iron Fist as well."
While specific details about the book's contents were kept under wraps, the creative team did mention that they are working on portraying this partnership -- the first time they've co-lead a book since the late '90s "Heroes for Hire" series -- in a way that acknowledges how much they've both grown. After all, Luke Cage is married (to Jessica Jones) and has a daughter now.
"David and Sanford are both extremely well versed in the background of these characters, the world they're from," said editor Jake Thomas. "But they're also bringing their own style to this. Expect some solid, old-school Marvel characters -- both enemies and allies like, say, Tombstone and Black Mariah-to show up."
Walker also used the announcement to speak to the major push for diversity that has been unfolding at mainstream comic publishers over the past year.
"People use the words diversity and representation a lot these days, but it's important to draw the distinction between diversity and representation being a marketing ploy versus an ideological shift," said Walker. "Saying, 'This is how I want to live my life, this is how I want to run my business.' It's a difficult conversation to have for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. This particular project has been in development for quite some time -- and during that time, people were blasting Marvel and DC and other publishers about their lack of diversity and representation, but then you're sitting there at a convention wanting to go, 'Hey! Guess what book I'm writing!' but you can't. Then a book gets announced, like 'Black Panther,' and there were people who were like, 'Oh, yeah, Marvel just got those guys to shut all the critics up.' I'm like -- they got a guy who is one of the best writers in the country right now! You can't broker a deal like that over a weekend, you know? It takes time."
This announcement comes ahead of both characters' television debuts; Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter, will debut in the Netflix series "Jessica Jones" on November 20 before getting his own show, "Luke Cage," in 2016. "Iron Fist," which has not announced any cast members yet, will follow on Netflix sometime later.