At some point in 2021, Luke Cage: City of Fire would be released and serve as the return of a solo Power Man book. Written by Ho Che Anderson, the three-issue microseries would feature art by a different artist for each issue, including Farid Karami, Ray-Anthony Height, and Sean Damien Hill. At the time, many thought Marvel had canceled the series due to ongoing pandemic-related distribution issues. It turns out that’s not quite the case.
In a new extended interview with CBRAnderson revealed that Marvel chose to shelve City of fire to protect the writer from ‘right notes’. According to Anderson, the story would be about Luke Cage being hired by the mother of a slain black man to protect the man’s killer, a law enforcement officer.
“Long story short, they sat me down and said, ‘We’re canceling this book. We’re afraid the subject matter will be harmful to you. We don’t want you to be attacked by right-wing lunatics. ,'” Anderson told the site. “I was like, ‘Guys, I can handle myself. Let them come at me. I’m not afraid of that. You don’t have to do this.'”
Anderson added that he’s not convinced that’s the real reason why Marvel decided to cancel the book.
“I don’t know if that’s exactly what was going on. I think there were probably some other issues with their senior officials just saying, ‘No, this is going to affect our bottom line. We don’t want the story out there.'” he added. “That’s my guess. No one has ever come out and said that to me. This was also around that time [of] the Kyle Rittenhouse trial and the decision that was made, and they were really afraid there was going to be a backlash with the Kyle Rittenhouse lovers of the world or whatever. So they chose to take the prudent route.”
The writer added that he has since turned that story into something of his own that he hopes to publish anyway. He’s not stopping the cancellation from affecting his work with the House of Ideas either, as he’s already working on more stuff with the publisher, even if it might not align with his personal desires for storytelling.
“I’m over it now. Like I said, I’ll continue to work with them,” Anderson concluded. “I’m still having a good time, and I’ve found a way to find a new destination City of fire for his own creation, which I’m super excited about. But I will never do work for Marvel that is about anything other than ‘The villain of the week wants to take over the world.'”
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