Marvel announced they would be doing a new Luke Cage comic called Cage. It is done by Genndy Tartakovsky who has previously done work on Cartoon Network, including Star Wars Clone Wars cartoon. However, in a group chat I am a part of, which includes several African American retailers, the discussion on the book became clearly negative towards the book. I asked the retailers to comment and they said they would do so on the basis of anonymity.
Here is what they had to say:
Our first impression is that the art style is very derogatory and plays off stereotypes of blacks that are just offensive. Cage is drawn in the old 70’s style outfit with large Afro, but if you look at the art of Cage that was released, as well as the people he is fighting, the “big lips” stereotype comes through. Plus, the “jive talking street fighting” stereotype is there as well.
The art style is childish. I know Genndy’s style tends to be this way and it is inline with his typical style, but if this is cartoony and if this gets into the hands of kids, then the stereotypes continue.
With Luke Cage in Jessica Jones, his upcoming series on Netflix, and the Defenders show, Cage is just not portrayed this way. He is not the jive talking stereotype, he is a more complex character. Marvel has several high profile black characters right now; Falcon, Black Panther, and Luke Cage. In this case, they are not taking Cage seriously. Marvel could have had a hit on their hands but instead hand us this joke. People will not get behind this and I plan on ordering exactly 0 copies. Taking him back to the stereotypical 1970’s style is just wrong.
When I first saw it I asked why would Marvel green light a blackxplotation book after they are trying to get away from that with Cage? It struck a nerve.
The art.. its very stereotypical..and I get where the creator is going, but now is not the right climate for it.
Marvel in the new Power Man and Iron Fist books, they have steered away from this version of Cage, as well as the tv series coming up, why would they do this?
I’m in a black comic group..people hate this Cage book.
Mel has been very vocal about portrayal of African American women in Marvel Comic books stating that Marvel only depicts one style of black woman, that being the dark skinned Afro puffed character that is shown by Riri Williams, Moon Girl, and others.