Marvel has released a first look at Luke Cage #1, the next digital-first series in the Marvel Digital Originals initiative, a line of double-sized comics released monthly on digital comics platforms and later collected into print trades, focusing on the characters from Marvel’s TV universe. Luke Cage is written by Anthony Del Col with art from Jahnoy Lindsay and Ian Herring, featuring covers by Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire.
It’s the initiative that Marvel calls “innovative” in a not-so-modest press release:
When Harlem faces an unprecedented heat wave, the people look to their hero—the unbreakable man, Luke Cage! But the heat wave turns out to be the least of Harlem’s worries. Someone has their sights set on the city’s 1%, and the rich and powerful are dropping dead from mysterious illnesses. In LUKE CAGE #1, Harlem’s Defender springs into action to stop this killer—but he’s just received a devastating diagnosis of his own…
We know you want to see the preview by now, but Marvel has provided exciting quotes from editor Alanna Smith and writer Del Col, and we wouldn’t want the PR department’s hard work to go to waste, so you’re going to have to read those first.
Between Jahnoy Lindsay and Ian Herring on interiors and Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire on covers, the art direction on this book has been very much Hitchcock-style noir, which we’re having a lot of fun with. On both this and JESSICA JONES – MARVEL DIGITAL ORIGINAL, we’re working hard to create distinct visual worlds that really sing in the digital format. As people have already experienced with JESSICA JONES, this new format allows us to get stories to readers quicker, in a more binge-able format that keeps the tension high and the action plowing ahead. Now, a story that would usually take half a year to deliver will only take three months, and the trade will drop shortly after that. It’s a format we’re very excited to explore, especially for books like LUKE and JESSICA which are more popular with our digital and trade readers!
And Del Col says:
Luke Cage is an amazing character, and I’m honored to create an original story that takes him in a completely different direction. He’s almost impossible to defeat physically, so it took me a while to realize that perhaps the biggest challenge he could have to overcome would be something internal. And after doing research and talking to specialists about CTE incidents amongst football players and soldiers, it seemed natural that it could make for a very compelling and relevant storyline for our ‘Hero for Hire.’
Okay, now you can see the preview.
Wait! One more thing. The book will be available on digital comics platforms… er… “coming soon” according to the press release. Okay, now here’s the preview.
Just kidding, here it is: