Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why Power Man & Iron Fist?

This is an intriguing question, for me, because I could have simply chosen Iron Fist on his own. And perhaps one day I will. But for now I have selected the duo because they work so well together. Two exploitation characters from the 70s (blaxploitation and the kung fu explosion) aren’t going to last long so in a last ditch effort to keep them afloat we get them paired together. And like salt and chocolate or beer and netball, they actually worked pretty damn well as a pairing. You needed a specific taste set to truly appreciate them but I feel overall this duo were a success.

I’ve read a lot of the old PM&IF issues, as I slowly track them down on eBay. They’re fun – that’s the biggest thing you get from them. There are other emotions and plot points on offer but mostly they are just fun. You can only get so serious with a big guy in a tiara and chain belt and his little buddy with the massive collar and yellow booties. You’ve got to have some levity in every issue and the series did it well.

Today, we have two status quo changes. Luke Cage now runs an Avengers team (who would have bet on that ten years ago?) and Danny Rand had one of the greatest runs of a superhero comic in a long time. Genius. The two remain staunch friends but they aren’t the dynamic duo any longer. They’re just two blokes with long history.
We also have Iron Fist now acting master to a young, and new, Power Man. A miniseries for these two just dropped, and it is damn fine fun. It channels the energy of the old series and that’s a very cool thing to find. Comics don’t have to be gritty and heart wrenching all the time, sometimes they can simply entertain.

When writing this week’s script you have plenty of choices to make. Will it be old school PM&IF or the new incarnation? Will it be a team up or just two ships passing in the night. Will Cage wear his old ‘costume’ or is being black enough of a new ‘costume’? You can tie in the Avengers or Heroes For Hire or the Thunderbolts because they’ve all got ties to these men.

But, ultimately, will you have fun writing it? I hope so.


  1. not just Luke Cage or just Iron Fist, but both of them together.

    Interesting. veeeery interesting.

    Plus if we're doing a duo this week, it brings up all kinds of interesting possibilities for future weeks.

  2. @MK: We've been expanding our bases a bit. I chose the idea of "Batman Inc." which could be anything, Rol chose "Dracula" but not an specific one, and now Ryan went with this. It's not just characters, but ideas and concepts, so that means that we are not going run out of subjects to write any time soon.

  3. Yeah, I suppose that after those to choices, I shouldn't be as surprised as I was by this duo pick.

    Oh well. Now I know better.

  4. I don't really know much about this "team", so I'll be looking forward to any insights I might garner this week :)

  5. Likewise. I just hope what I have written is acceptable....

  6. Power Man & Iron Fist – The Tastiest Holiday of them All - By MK Stangeland Jr.

    (6 Panels)

    Panel 1: Exterior view of a penthouse tower owned by DANNY RAND (IRON FIST). The scene is wintery but picturesque, with snow slowly falling to the ground. The time is a week or so before Christmas – it’s clearly the holidays, but not quite ‘last minute’ or when everyone would quite be gathering together yet.

    LUKE CAGE (POWER MAN): (From inside the building.) Hey, Danny! Merry Christmas to ya!

    Panel 2: MISTY KNIGHT holds the door open so that LUKE CAGE and JESSICA JONES are free to come into DANNY’s penthouse. All of them look pleased to see one another.

    LUKE CAGE is carrying a bag with assorted Christmas goodies in one hand. His other hand is being used to hold up a gingerbread house. JESSICA JONES is holding DANIELLE, their daughter, in her arms.

    MISTY: Luke! Jessica! So wonderful of you to come by.

    JESSICA: Thank you, we’re glad you could have us. You look lovely, by the way.

    MISTY: Thank you, you as well.

    LUKE: We brought food.

    Panel 3: All three of them are now fully inside the Penthouse. DANNY RAND leans around the corner. On his head is what can be described as a chef’s hat crossed with his regular IRON FIST mask, and he also has on an apron. Otherwise, he’s wearing civilian clothes, but the marks of flower and other food remains should suggest that he’s been hard at work cooking something.

    DANNY: Glad to see you’ve both arrived safely. I’ll be out in just a minute.

    Panel 4: LUKE, curious as to what DANNY is up to, follows him down the hallway, though he’s no longer carrying the gingerbread house or bag he had in Panel 2. JESSICA, still holding DANIELLE in her arms, and MISTY both follow after LUKE.

    LUKE: Danny? What you up to?

    Panel 5: LUKE, JESSICA, and MISTY come through a doorway. DANNY stands nearby.

    LUKE and JESSICA have wide eyes, surprised by what the find in the room (which is off-panel). MISTY just smirks, as she’s already seen it and remembers having a similar reaction. DANNY grins from where he’s standing. DANIELLE’s face is lit up with delight at what they’re all looking at.

    DANNY: So, what do you think?

    DANNY: Come on, I know you’re thinking it.

    LUKE: I’m not saying it.

    DANNY: You know you want to.

    LUKE: *sigh* Fine…

    Panel 6: Large panel, showing everyone looking at DANNY’s creation. It is, in short, a scale miniature replica of the mystical city of K’UN LUN, done in gingerbread and the usual associated ingredients (frosting, chocolate mints, marshmallows, etc) with a festive twist to it. The city lacks a certain level of detail and precision as would be expected from a gingerbread ‘house’, but it should still be impressive for what it is and, more importantly, be relatively large.

    LUKE: Sweet.


    (END PAGE)

    I guess we should just call Danny the Immortal Iron Chef.

  7. Set in current continuity. Luke and Daniel have just broken up a weapons shipment in New York and are enjoying a celebratory drink.

    1 – Luke Cage and Daniel Rand sit in a bar, beers in hand. Luke wears a huge grin, still enjoying the rush from the recent fight. Daniel looks to be slightly more pensive, as if he's trying to remember something. They sit at the bar itself. The panel is a front on shot of the two friends, with the bar's large front window visible behind them. This angle will be the same for all four panels. A man can be seen through the window, limping along on the sidewalk on the other side of the street.

    LUKE CAGE: Thanks for calling me up. Bustin' up that weapons shipment was just like old times.

    LUKE CAGE (2): How many clowns did we knock around back there? Twenty-six? Twenty-seven?

    2 – Daniel Rand gets up without a word and heads off panel. The man outside is slowly making progress along the window's view.

    LUKE CAGE: Fist?

    LUKE CAGE (2) (quieter): Danny?

    3 – Luke is looking behind him at the window. Daniel interrupts the man's trajectory, hitting him with a flying jump kick and knocking him into a pile of garbage cans. No dialogue.

    4 – Luke looks in a mixture of surprise and bemusement as Daniel sits back down at the bar. The man outside lies unconscious, slumped over the garbage cans.

    DANIEL RAND: It was twenty-six. Now it's twenty-seven.

  8. The Hard Years

    Six panels. Aside from Panels 3, 4, and 5, the color scheme is drab and gray. Panel 1 and 2 are their own rows. Panels 3, 4, and 5 make up Row 3, and Panel 6 makes up Row 4

    Panel 1: We’re looking down into a dingy office through the blades of a ceiling fan. MEYER, LUKE’s landlord (new character, no reference), sits behind a large, mostly empty desk. He’s an old, grayish man. LUKE sits in a tiny folding chair, hunched over uncomfortably. His civilian clothes are a size too small (in a realistic, awkward-looking way) due to a botched laundry day (it was Danny’s fault).

    MEYER: I understand that Danny’s moved back in with you recently.

    Panel 2: Shot over LUKE’s shoulder. He’s got his head in his hands, and frustration is etched into every angle of his body. The pain of constantly being the responsible one in the friendship is taking its toll.

    LUKE: He and his girl hit a rough patch last week, and I thought it’d alright if he crashed—

    MEYER: Luke. You and Danny are both good tenants. Separately.

    Panel 3: Low angle shot of the room. A mouse is nibbling a crumb right in front of the reader’s field of vision. MEYER is leaning back, using his desk as bureaucratic fortress. Luke is leaning forward now, almost plaintiff. He wants to do right by DANNY, but he knows MEYER has a point.

    MEYER: But together you attract trouble like honey does flies. Just look at you. It’s starting already.

    LUKE: That ain’t fair. He—

    Panel 4: Same angle. DANNY, having just been thrown through the flimsy drywall, crashes into the panel background wearing nothing but a towel and his Iron Fist mask. Debris showers all around him. The mouse, frightened, scampers off, and only its back half is still in frame.


    Panel 5: Same angle. A flaming, boar-headed minotaur wearing a necklace of skulls slams into panel, chasing DANNY, who has bounced off the floor and is hurtling off-panel.


    Panel 6: High angle shot. LUKE and MEYER twist in their seats, staring at the hole in the wall, the debris, and the series of flaming hoofprints that the monster left on the floor as it ran by.

    LUKE: He can pay for that.

  9. @MK: That would make for a great Xmas Special. I wish we had white Christmases here in Australia.

    @Grant:: That was great. Nice, tight, and fun :)

    @Aryeh: Loved it. Made me laugh, that's for sure.

    I don't know what it is about this duo, but every script we've had so far (including my own upcoming one), has humour in it. There must be something in that :)

  10. @MK - that's exactly how a Xmas script should feel. I like it.

    @Grant - I imagined an old guy hobbling, innocently, past a bar. When you read it like that the page means something entirely differently - as is, it's fun, light and fun

    @Aryeh - not only is this hilarious but the page is set out so well as to accentuate the action. This is probably my favourite one so far, but on a whole I feel like this week has been perhaps the strongest - everyone is doing a good, and light, PM&IF duo. I have to admit, I didn't want to write a script that was noir, though I would if it was either character on his own...weird.

  11. MK - that made me smile, and was well thought out, down to the clever use of Luke's old catchphrase in the final panel. Good stuff.

    Grant - simple but effective, this made me think of a Lethal Weapon style gag, and as Luke and Danny were the original Riggs & Murtagh, that's perfect.

    Aryeh - brilliant. Captured just the sense of crazy superhero fun in a real world setting that the original book did so well. Made me laugh. Thanks.

  12. @MK - That Immortal Chef line is awesome. Love it. Great wholesome X-Mas feel to it. My one minor criticism is that all the characters sounded a tad 'samey'. But still, great script.

    @Grant - a nice simple yet effective script. Really sets up the relationship between the two. Well done.

    @Aryeh - "Flaming bore-headed minotaur". Now THAT I wanna see. Made me chuckle. Great work.

  13. @MK - A very fun piece you've put up this week. I especially enjoy the image from the final panel of an intricate recreation of K'un Lun in gingerbread form. Good stuff!

    @Aryeh - I love how off-the-wall and crazy your piece is. An excellent reminder of how wacky and how much fun comics can be. Excellent work!

    As for everyone else, thanks for the feedback on my piece. I'm glad to see that it could get such a positive reception. Can't wait to see what this week's character choice will be!


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