Identity in Christopher Priest’s “Power Man and Iron Fist”

Last Thursday, I wrote about Christopher Priest’s Power Man and Iron Fist #122, looking at the ways that Priest confronts Luke Cage’s publication history. Today, I want to continue that discussion through an examination of Power Man and Iron Fist #123, an issue where Priest and co-author M.D. Bright directly address issues of race. This is the only time, apart from issue #122, where Priest and the other creators address representation and race, but it is a powerful issue that needs to be read in relation to the ongoing conversations I have been having on this blog, specifically in regard to Buck Wild in Dwayne McDuffie and Bright’s Icon.

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Confronting Luke Cage in Christopher Priest’s”Power Man and Iron Fist”

A few weeks ago, I published numerous posts on Luke Cage, specifically Dwayne McDuffie and M.D. Bright’s satirical take on the character through Buck Wild in Icon. At the end of that series, I also posted the #lukecagesyllabus, an extension of Tara Betts’ syllabi that she produced when the Netflix series dropped. Over the next two posts, I want to briefly look at two of the issues that I placed on the syllabus, Jim Owsley (Christopher Priest) and M.D. Bright’s Power Man and Iron Fist #122 and #123. Over Priest’s 15 issue run, which also saw the end of the series, he did not overtly address race or representation, except within these two issues.

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The Roots Beneath Our Feet

Currently, I’m working on a paper that looks at the ways that Attica Locke’s The Cutting Season, amongst other things, critiques the plantation tourism industry in the South. As I was researching, I came across Rebecca C. McIntyre’s “Promoting the Gothic South,” an article that explores the ways that travel writers, after the Civil War, began to construct images of the South, specifically in regard to a deteriorating landscape filled with swamps. These Northern writers, as McIntyre notes, painted “[t]he southern scene [as] a gothic landscape created to be distinctly southern yet serve northern needs.”

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