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Why I Love Danny, Luke and 70s/80s Marvel ][ Alternatively, Age, Luke Cage and... I can't think of..

Why I Love Danny, Luke and 70s/80s Marvel ][ Alternatively, Age, Luke Cage and... I can't think of..

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hugh house
...I Can't Think Of Anything That Assonates

Okay, today I got a book-shaped parcel and made off with it so fast that bbd thinks it is certainly a Christmas present. I intended that because I didn't want to tell him (or more pertinently my mum) that I spent the better part of £20 on a comic book. Okay, it was a trade paperback (and almost an inch thick) but I'm sure it still won't get any parental approval. [There are things that can be said when you are 30+, living with your parents and borderline neurotic about parental displeasure -- I am trying very hard not to think about them... not doing very well] so I am now the happy owner of Power Man/Hero for Hire 48-49 and Power Man and Iron Fist 50-70.

[points to icon - I need a better one]

It's one of the weirder "together they fight crime books". They have even less in common than most weird-combination-team-up books. I am not kidding,
LUKE CAGE: A child of the streets...
DANIEL RAND: a child of the mystic city of K'un Lun...
Two men from different worlds - both reborn with strength and power beyond belief.
Stan Lee presents POWER MAN AND IRON FIST


Basically Angry Black Guy* teams up with Martial Arts Reader-Identification Character. [A nine-year-old kid ends up in a mystic city not quite in this dimension and learns cool kung-fu stuff and acquires a mystic power - the iron fist - which would be utterly useless unless he worked hard at kung fu school and always did his homework -- he could be you! and you go to america to find the killer of your father! and become friends with a ninja chic and a sexy detective!]

Together They Fight Crime!

Basically, Luke runs a detective/bodyguard/super-hero agency and gets a lot of shit for "selling out" his superpowers. Luke's view is that regular super-teams fight super-villians and this does nothing for the average guy who has just had his store turned over by Unus the Untouchable etc. Instead he sells his services at what he considers a reasonable fee (starting at one dime) and this keeps him in silk shirts and renting a skeevy office/apartment over a cinema. He gets blackmailed by a hostage-taking bad guy into doing grunt work but is rescued by Danny (Iron Fist), Colleen (Hot Samurai Chick) and Misty (PI with a bionic arm). Danny joins Luke and Luke's agency becomes Heroes For Hire. To tell the truth, they do most of their actual hero-ing for free - picking up muggers, stopping random super-villains and getting cats out of trees***.

I could go on about why these guys are my current favourite team-up. Yes, there is cheese value but that's true of pretty much any news-stand comic book - you need to make sure the casual reader knows what he's bought. Expanded story-telling doesn't exist yet (let's face it six-month arcs are amazing from the modern fan perspective and trade-paperbacks but there is a reason Marvel has started printing one page summaries at the front of the floppies) but it's very satisfying and a hell of a lot more FUN to have a self-contained beginning-middle-end with everything you want in one handy package. People seem sometimes to forget that the purpose of comics is to be fun and enjoyable and get bogged down in literature.

So, short version: I like 1970s Marvel. It still gets to have a good time and they do actually have subplots. Luke's confused relationship with his fashion-model girlfriend might be just several frames an issue but it is there and we identify with that awkward fish-out-of-water dating feeling. A guy who lives in a one-room apartment/office doesn't have any life experiences that relate to a woman who likes champagne, bubble-baths and strawberries. Danny: Did you like it? Luke: It's nothing I'd ever think of doing. Danny isn't the only half of the team who has found himself in an entirely alien world.

I actually love the cheesy-sounding dialogue when the bad guy of the month can't just say "It's Luke Cage" without mentioning his "steel hard skin" and "300lb of solid muscle" before they get beaten to a pulp. They tend to miss Iron Fist unless with the "It's Luke Cage but that means... Iron Fist" [kung-fu kick]. Bad guys always refer to Danny as a "boy" - something I keep forgetting [from internal dating, Danny can't be older than 19 and Luke somewhere around 25. Danny's clean-living athletically-intense chilled-out lifestyle probably knocks around a year or two off. Luke's street-living rough-around-the-edges look probably adds a year or two. Which makes them an even-weirder looking partnership...

...sorry, fan-girl comic-geek musings there. Danny is well and truly at the shallow end of the super-heroic swimming pool. I think Marvel currently places him somewhere around 34 which makes Luke a bit older than I remember...

...which explains the little I've seen of his own Netflix series

[I don't have a subscription I'm very jealous]

For some reason age has never really entered my mind about superheroes until now. I get that the Marvel NOW kids are comparable ages as Spiderman then... but it still seems a bit weird thinking about heroes getting older.


---
*as opposed to Angry Canadian Guy and Angry Green Guy but with some interesting dialogue. He also happens to be Angry Guy Who Was Experimented On And Got Weird Powers And An Identity Crisis. He also does Best At What He Does and He Does It In Times Square**. So he has absolutely nothing in common with any other Marvel Characters.
**Times Square being a really skeevy area and also mostly Black.
*** Metaphorically at least. Luke would probably up-root the tree and Danny will use his leet kung-fu skills to jump and grab it - probably with a somersault in there. At one point he fights a mini-army of bad guys while on roller skates (and somehow, this is believable)
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