Defenders, Generation X, if we were making a list; next on the track of final issues of Marvel books is David F. Walker‘s run on Luke Cage.
David F. Walker who is also known for writing Shaft comics for Dynamite, has written the character since 2015 with Power Man and Iron Fist in the new All-New All-Different Marvel launch Post-Secret Wars before becoming a solo title Luke Cage in 2016. Both runs have been beloved. Unfortunately, issue #170 is the final and it’s a huge shame because the character has gotten newfound popularity thanks to the Netflix show which made it a good call on Marvel to publish solo series.
So for this final issue after the previous arc that went into dark places, David Walker decided it should be a bit lighter and fluffy so to speak. Does it work? It actually does.
On the “Power Mail” section at the end of the book, Walker mentioned the main inspiration was an issue of Uncanny X-Men and The Princess Bride and it shows. Not to mention, he had been wanting to do an issue about Luke Cage being a father to Danielle for quite a while since writing Power Man and Iron Fist. He saved this personal story for last. In an odd way, it’s kind of fitting.
We know Luke Cage is a badass dude, we know that and certain deep issues about him and the world around. But we have to remember, he’s also sensitive and does care about people. And given this issue is about his daughter Danielle, this showcases his fatherly side. Basically, Danielle has been having it rough at daycare and Jessica Jones makes the point that because they’ve been busy doing their own things, they haven’t had time for their own daughter as a result that may have her feel abandoned. So of course, he goes to comfort her.
What follows is pretty much what influenced the story. An entire tale of King Luke Cage and Princess Danielle who also happen to be superheroes and the latter having snakes as weapons coming out of her hands. Yes, you read that right. But the entire is wonderfully amusing that way because yeah, I’d expect a kid to think of this stuff especially the part about fighting trolls and dragon-tigers. It was funny but it took something of an emotional turn as it seems that something of Danielle’s feelings about her parents not being around much come to light but she still keeps on fighting and a rather poignant moment regarding the troll of the story which makes the point that and forgive me for the minor spoiler, the troll had a human face which makes the point that these trolls act big and tough sure but they’re not, they’re still weak. And that’s an honest to god good message that gives this issue much of an edge.
I can tell David F. Walker had a blast writing this story. It’s fluff sure but it’s very fun fluff to show Luke Cage as a parent. One of the reasons I connect with Marvel more than say DC is that the Marvel heroes are still people first. They’re people who happen to be heroes. Some are single people and others are couples or parents and Walker undoubtedly understands that.
The art by Guillermo Sanna is well done, it’s angular and stylized in a way that fits Walker’s writing especially given the subject matter and the colors by Marcio Menyz makes the art pop. And they both certainly fit the lighter tone of the issue.
Overall, it’s something of a fitting end to Luke Cage and I hope to see more of David F. Walker’s stuff for Marvel and whatever future beholds for Luke Cage. You won’t be disappointed. Just bring a tissue or two upon reading though.
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review